Measuring the incomprehensible. ABC-ARTE, Genoa

Measuring the incomprehensible. ABC-ARTE, Genoa

The exhibition Where the Unmeasurable meets the measurable inaugurated on January 17 at ABC-ARTE gallery in Genoa, observes and takes inspiration from the words of the architect Louis I. Kahn: “A great building must begin with the unmeasurable, must go through measurable means when it is being designed and in the end must be unmeasurable.”, therefore the creative process is not an end in itself but functional in explaining the deeper expressive reasons, up to to get to something materially inexplicable. We start from matter and arrive at a more abstract form and vice versa, here “the incomprehensible meets the measurable”.

The exhibition curated by Flaminio Gualdoni explores this concept and four artists from different nationalities, generations and cultural contexts walk the walls of the gallery: Alan Bee (1940-2018), Paolo Iacchetti (1953), Tomas Rajlich (1940), Nanni Valentini (1932-1985). Without affinity as if they were small “personal exhibitions” without a syntactic purpose, they have the sole objective of exhibiting the sense of unique singularity of each of them through the works.

Entering the first room we immediately recognize the first works by Tomas Rajlich, medium and large format, entitled Untitled; the protagonists are essentially the industrial and regular “modules”, grids on panels and canvas, where the constant in all his works is certainly the instinctive and vital force that accompanies them. The artist never abandons his structural criterion and follows a well-defined path on his canvases and tables, with the addition, however, of a full-bodied material that alludes to the irrational and confuses the vision of the beholder.

In the second room we meet the first unpublished works by Alan Bee, for the first time ABC-ARTE exhibits his paintings to the public; German finance man and lover of collecting, he has always had a secret and unbridled passion for painting and for his disposition he authorized the spread of his works only after his death.

In addition to painting, also influenced by Joseph Beuys‘ experiences with materials such as honey, he has always had a passion for bees and their world, in fact he has reworked in many of his works, as in Genesis, the idea of ​​hives with tones mostly warm, while in works such as Free woman, Infinity or Freedom the colors light up and the rhythm of a beehive with perfect balance is interrupted to give life to more contrasting spots of color and to the more confused (though still modular) forms.
Alan Bee is certainly a new discovery for Antonio Borghese’s gallery that gives the user an engaging vision of life, a real reflection on birth.

The third room mainly highlights the works of another artist: Paolo Iacchetti. Many of his works have the word Numerazioni in the title, it is a real obsession that leads the artist to dissect the concept in all its facets; Numerazioni nascoste, Numerazioni incomplete, Numerazioni lineari, Numerazioni Incoerenti, etc.
This concept is subjected to a careful abstract and aesthetic reproduction and apparently confused forms, but they are actually studied to perfection.
Iacchetti simplifies the color to highlight its light and space, so his works become journeys, almost endless mazes that strangely do not inspire fear and are therefore reassuring.mA spontaneous declaration of love in his works, elaborated in his bright and silent home (as he himself declares).

In following room we find Nanni Valentini‘s small-format works, while large sculptures are present throughout the gallery. Valentini is a wise and humble sculptor, here craftsmanship flows into art with a capital A and matter becomes work and vice versa; for him art is measure, method and poetry.
The image, the shapes and the sign are the “earth” to be shaped, the material is for him a place to take refuge; terracotta, iron, gauze and all that is matter come to life in harmonious, balanced forms with reassuring lines.

In the last room we find the works of all the artists, a dialogue full of contrasts and assonances, where everyone’s life mixes, alternating experiences and passions, where everyone certainly has one thing in common: life on matter and matter on fingers, where everything can be measured even the incomprehensible.

Benedetta Spagnuolo


Alan Bee, Paolo Iacchetti, Tomas Rajlich, Nanni Valentini

17 January – 13 March 2020
Opening hours: Tuesaday – Saturday 9.30 – 13.30; 14.30 – 18.30
Sunday and Monday by appointment

Via XX Settembre 11/A Genova

Where the unmeasurable meets the measurable, 2020. Installation view at ABC-ARTE

Paolo Iacchetti, Numerazioni Divergenti, 2017, 150x145cm, olio su tela Paolo Iacchetti, Numerazioni Divergenti, 2017, 150x145cm, oil on canvas

Where the unmeasurable meets the measurable, 2020. Installation view at ABC-ARTE

Tomas Rajlich, Untitled (tryptich), 1986, var. dimensions, acrylic on canvas


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