Art Historian and Curator

A arte Studio Invernizzi, Milano
23th September - 5th November 2014
Exhibition curated and Catalogue edited by Francesca Pola

Grazia VariscoGrazia Varisco

Photo Bruno Bani, Milano

From its outset the work by Grazia Varisco has always been characterised by creating the maximum possible involvement on the part of the observer, both in psychic and sensorial terms, by means of a visual language of extreme essentialness and simplicity. This communicative strength of her work has been based on an immediacy of perception that one is inclined to define as being empathic. As if the artist had in reality always looked for those forms and dynamics which belong to our original life - which we could define as being our relational archetypes - and had wanted to translate them into autonomous and dialoguing plastic/chromatic presences, aimed at establishing a direct and instantaneous relation with the person who observed them. This is why each one of her works is presented to us as an extraordinary fusion - and yet also spontaneous and natural, rational and intuitive, exact and evocative, certain and allusive. By way of the artistic experience, Varisco invites us to continuously bring into play our conventions and certainties, our acquired relational models, in order to open ourselves to a possible space of primary involvement, a ‘talking’ syntony, proposing to us “new” images of the world which are not its description or representation a posteriori but an active re-creation as space of action.

From F. Pola,
“Empathy and interference.
Archetypes of relation in the work of Grazia Varisco”, in “Grazia Varisco. Ventilati”, A arte Invernizzi, Milano, September 23 – November 5, 2014

Dominating the Visible
Fondazione Marconi, Milano
16th April – 31th May 2014
Catalogue with text by Francesca Pola

Nanni BalestriniNanni Balestrini

The exhibition at the Fondazioni Marconi presents two new cycles of works by the artist, poet and novelist Nanni Balestrini who for decades has been a grand “explorer” of the languages of contemporaneity: these cycles are I maestri del colore (The Masters of Colour) and the Neri (Blacks), both of which created for this occasion and exhibited for the first time. This exhibition is divided into two distinct and parallel sections which are, however, clearly bound to each other: like two possible and in some way complementary declensions that his work proposes in order to give rise to a complex intervention with the universe of the “visible”, understood as the place of our total meeting with the world by means of its potentially infinite configurations of concrete existence. Coherent with this sort of two-fold point of view taken on by the exhibition, this publication is structured by way of two possible readings and to each cycle dedicates a sequence of a reading hypothesis, in their turn intentionally organised in dialectical couples.
The first floor of the exhibition houses the cycle entitled I maestri del colore which in a new key proposes original reproductions of famous paintings: images of great icons of the history of art, painted in different periods by Paolo Uccello, Fernand Léger, Paolo Veronese, Eugène Delacroix, El Greco and Pieter Paul Rubens, on which Balestrini has added textual cutout segments, freely removed from forms of contemporary media communication, almost as if wanting to “measure” the language on the image, and vice versa. […] The second floor of the exhibition houses the Neri cycle, works in which Balestrini visually reformulates one of the fundamental concepts of his artistic poetic on all levels, that of “destruction”. Once again using the collage technique, these works extract and recombine deconstructed fragments of present-day media communication according to interwoven and intermittent trajectories.

From F. Pola, “Nanni Balestrini. Dominating the Visible”, in “Nanni Balestrini. Dominating the Visible”, Quaderno della Fondazione n. 13, Fondazione Marconi, Milano, April 16 – May 31, 2014

Lost Forms
A arte Studio Invernizzi, Milano
25th September - 21th November 2012
Exhibition curated and Catalogue edited by Francesca Pola

Mauro StaccioliMauro Staccioli

Photo Bruno Bani, Milano

The exhibition that Mauro Staccioli has created for A arte Studio Invernizzi gives a further opportunity to assess the continuing contemporary relevance of this great sculptor. It is a new leg on an uninterrupted journey that the artist has been on since the early 1970s, going through and interpreting the fabric of the world. In it we see all the signs that have emerged from the most varied contexts, with huge environmental installations, the creation of which is directly related to the places they are made in and which, in turn, modify their physical and quintessential coordinates. This extraordinary, unparalleled creative intuition which, very early on, Staccioli referred to as “intervention-sculpture” has made his sculpture no longer an independent, autonomous and absolute form but rather an interacting, plastic presence. It is the offspring of its ultimate destination and, as such, it acts as a transformation of the identity of the place of whose significance it is poetically and formally a part.

[…] “Lost forms” is how Staccioli has referred to the intervention-sculptures he has made for the exhibition at A arte Studio Invernizzi. These forms are deprived of their alleged physical weight, in the lightness of the arch which is the authentic generating element of the entire exhibition, from the crossable thresholds to the reiterated shapes closed in on themselves. The choice of iron rods appears as a secular revelation at the heart of the sculpture, which has no need even of its own body and surface to define the space and yet can equally well indicate the coordinates of a possible experience. A form of intervention that Staccioli adopted for the first time a few months ago, in another intervention “on the threshold”: “Homage to Leon Battista Alberti. Milan 2012. Villa Clerici in Milan Niguarda” (“Omaggio a Leon Battista Alberti. Milano 2012. Villa Clerici a Milano Niguarda"), in which - in an explicit causative link to the architectural dimension of Renaissance equilibrium - he created a structure that emerged from a triadic partition of the breadth of the passageway between two rooms in the long visual succession on the piano nobile (“noble floor”) of Villa Clerici in Milan. A potentially traversable threshold and the main axis for experiencing the place, in the form of an immaterial, meaningful summary that is turned into the essentiality of the sculptural sign as a minimum degree of existence and concreteness of thought. This can also be seen in the arches designed for A arte Studio Invernizzi, which emphasise both the dimensional transition and reflection, and that of the maximum concentration of tension and energy.

From F. Pola, “Mauro Staccioli’s Sensitive Sign. Sculpture of Dialogue and Transformation”, in “Mauro Staccioli. Lost Forms”, A arte Studio Invernizzi, Milano, September 25 - November 21, 2012

Brush Impressions...
A arte Studio Invernizzi, Milano
20th September – 30th November 2011
Exhibition curated and Catalogue edited by Francesca Pola

Niele ToroniNiele Toroni

Photo Bruno Bani, Milano

Since 1967 Niele Toroni has worked on giving concrete shape to the same operative method, which consists in a series of strokes using a no. 50 brush. These are left 30 cm apart, running across the surfaces of a variety of materials (canvas, oilcloth, paper, newsprint, Japanese paper, plexiglas, glass, mirrors, floors, walls, and so on), each of which becomes a place of epiphany that is as fleeting as it is concrete, as temporary as it is assertive. A place of transformation and of an incessant metamorphosis of his action in time. At times the impressions run from one surface to another in a succession that gives even greater substantiality to this diversity, the potential of which is not exhausted in the singularity and individuality of the work, but in the never-ending adaptation of the possible consequences of its empirical generation and unfolding. It is as though Toroni were tracing out a sort of ciphered path which, through painting, passes through the world in a constant drive towards knowledge, presentiating thresholds on infinity in his paintings: a journey not in an idealistic or metaphorical sense but absolutely material and concrete, physically present as an image of knowledge at the limits of the possible.

[…] The impression of the brush is also, and especially, an identitary, physiological, and natural trace of painting. Toroni’s work is like constantly taking the fingerprint of painting – its primary identity, free from cultural superstructures, on this side of any intellectualism and building up of non-intrinsic meanings. As a result, the title is a sort of “instructions for use”, for it deciphers, but does not explain, a method that gives material form to its own meaning, and thus transcends it. The impression of the brush is not a concentration on the manual aspect of the work, yet nor is it a minimal reduction of painting. It is not an analysis of painting, but nor is it a programme or a system to annul it. Rather, it is the coagulation of an absolute instant, infinitely repeated, which is a secular, enlightened ritual of concreteness, without going off into unaccepted metaphysics. It is a statement of the need for painting and of the consequent need for it to become “visible”, as an extension and oscillation between symmetry and asymmetry, between identical and different. It is the need to make the infinite tangible and perceptible, physically rather than optically: it is a physiology of the endless flow of time.

From F. Pola, “The Fingerprint of Painting. Niele Toroni’s Displaced Work”, in “Niele Toroni. Brush Impression...”, A arte Studio Invernizzi, Milano, September 20 - November 30, 2011

Ars Now Seragiotto, Padova
27th May – 17th July 2010
Exhibition curated and Catalogue edited by Francesca Pola

Günter Umberg Günter Umberg

The decision to have the works of Günter Umberg interact with those of Elisabeth Vary is due not just to the common biography of the two artists (they are indeed life companion). It is also and especially due to the transfer of this union into formal and operative analogies that, even though they do not detract from each other’s individuality, nevertheless reveal two parallel developments that both tend towards a configurations of experiences of spatial expansion and tension. For both Umberg and Vary, painting is a conscious and responsible act against the void. Their work is essential but not minimal, profound but not plastic. As dense as black holes, Umberg’s monochrome pigments set spaces in motion, catalysing streams of luminous energy. As expansive as galaxies, Vary’s formed and fragmented colours grow into tactile flames. By creating these volumes and giving sensitivity to these forms, they both bring about a particular occupation of space that, through colour, becomes tangible and measurable. Their sloping, saturated surfaces express precisely this responsibility of painting, both within and beyond itself.
[…] In this case, Vary’s works lead to a largely horizontal development which, in intense dialogue between its parts, invites the viewer to move along and around the body of the work and than to move away from it and embrace it in an all-encompassing vision. Umberg, on the other hand, has devised a set of works that is fundamentally vertical, concentrating on their mutual internal relationships. Here the evolution is more rarefied, for they tend to concentrate on the individuality of the single images they project.

[…] Through their work, Umberg and Vary thus appear to be effecting a measurement of spatial relations, shifting the problem from that of the painting-object (painted on a three dimensional support) towards a desire to paint from (concentrating on painting as a presence in itself).
[…] The other fundamental aspect of Umberg and Vary’s work is the literalness of their expressive “formulae”, for in their use of material and colour, there is actually no symbolism but, on the contrary, each work highlights the fact that it is a monad of meaning both in itself and in its own presence.

From F. Pola, “The Dynamics of Germination. Günter Umberg and Elizabeth Vary”, in “Günter Umberg. Elizabeth Vary”, Ars Now Seragiotto, Padova, May 27 – July 17, 2010

From Total Space to Satanic Paintings
A arte Studio Invernizzi, Milano
18th March – 6th May 2010
Exhibition curated and Catalogue edited by Serge Lemoine and Francesca Pola


Photo Bruno Bani, Milano

The juxtaposition in this exhibition of phases of Mario Nigro’s work distant from each other, allows us to establish the wealth and, at the same time, the consistency of a career that, in its progress and continuous renewal, may be regarded one of the most outstanding artistic practices in Europe in the second half of the twentieth century. In fact, three different periods of the work of this artist are being presented to the public. On the upper floor of the gallery, paintings from the “spazio totale” (“Total Space”) cycle, which started in 1953 and continued for the rest of the decade with developments and enlargements, are exhibited together with works relating to installations and environments created by the artist from 1964 onwards. On the lower floor, two closely related cycles produced in one of the most expressive periods of his career are on show: the “ritratti” (“Portraits”) of 1988 and the “dipinti satanici” (“Satanic Paintings”) of 1989.
Nigro’s work was always the result of a deeply-felt desire for knowledge, stimulated by an ideological commitment linked to events in the world at large, which he frequently experienced personally, both in his everyday life and in the wider sense of his active participation in a period of history in which, from the 1940s onwards, he played a leading role in the conscious rebirth of Italian culture after the tragedy of the Second World War. His was always an artistic practice regarded as civil responsibility, which, due to his close adherence to the changing of the times, human behaviour and the historico-cultural situation, postulated a continuous need for variation and renovation. In this creative procedure, interpreted as the responsibility of knowledge, at the beginning of each new period, Nigro undertook a continuous transformation of his stylistic elements, which were a means of inquiry that came into being in his own investigation. This was similar to scientific research, which, for him, immediately proved to be an essential model for methodological exploration and, at the same time, with regard to his own painting, a source and dialogical reference point in view of the general gnosiological maturation of humanity.

From F. Pola, “‘Portraits’ of Painting: Art and Freedom in Mario Nigro’s Work”, in “Mario Nigro. From Total Space to Satanic Paintings”, A arte Studio Invernizzi, Milano, March 18 – May 6, 2010

Germinating Erotic. Rodolfo Aricò’s Work in the 1980s
A arte Studio Invernizzi, Milano
19th May – 10th July 2009
Exhibition curated and Catalogue edited by Francesca Pola

Rodolfo AricòRodolfo Aricò

Photo Paolo Vandrasch, Milano

The 1980s constitute a particularly significant stage in Rodolfo Aricò’s complex artistic career. It was a phase following a long period of strongly introspective elaboration, which received public recognition on the occasion of the artist’s participation in the 1982 Venice Biennale, an event that marked the beginning of a completely new period in his painting. While, during the 1970s, Aricò undertook a tactile investigation of the structural and architectural archetype - the Renaissance perspective, the classic tympanum - as a possibility of awareness of the limit and of the threshold between living and painting, in the 1980s the metamorphosis of life into painting and painting into life took place in a total manner, now without any interruption, which seems to have been the aim of Aricò’s art from the outset of his career.

Having exhausted the humanistic potential of the archetypes, Aricò moved, at the beginning of the new decade, in the direction of a human dawn that was prior to them, discovering a universal lyrical dimension that may be described as genuinely introspective if the term is understood in the sense of a primarily physical investigation of our existence as a fragment of the universe. This is a painful and inevitable inquiry - and the artist himself regarded it as such - that culminated with its all dramatic force in the torn and broken paintings of the 1990s. A tormented sense of humanity began to emerge from the fragments of the archetypes in order to reveal to us what the artist described as “provisional eternity”. This spatio-temporal dimension is nothing other than the eternal coming into being of everything, which is perceived intensely within oneself: “A way perhaps, of creating provisional eternity with painting and its anomalous mechanisms. If this is ethical, it is also the only condition of life that is unavoidable for me. Independence is, therefore, the only condition for loyalty to one’s own existence. I don’t know any other types of loyalty”. All this was expressed in a very noble vision in which the artist was involved profoundly and ethically, with madness becoming, in effect, the only possible extreme limit to rationality and provisionality the only plausible epiphany of eternity: ‘The impulse to go “beyond the limit” of reason is a necessary and vital form of madness. Once again [it is] an exercise of reason.

From F. Pola, “Rodolfo Aricò. Germinating Erotic. Rodolfo Aricò’s Work in the 1980s”, A arte Studio Invernizzi, Milano, May 19 – July 10, 2009

A arte Invernizzi Seragiotto, Padova
21th March – 18th May 2009
Exhibition curated and Catalogue edited by Francesca Pola and Federico Sardella

Castellani Morellet

The greatest reduction in expressiveness to achieve the greatest intensity in communication: this is how one might summarize the objective that has guided Enrico Castellani’s and François Morellet’s work from the 1950s onwards. Conceived as concentrations of visual energy, their works are not modified by the place for which they are intended, but are expanding presences that tend to transform what surrounds them according to absolute coordinates. Their work has always aimed at the destructuration and contradiction of the traditional canons of representation, continuously modifying their results, while remaining faithful to their premises. Some of these seem to be particularly important for the interpretation of the works on show in this new exhibition in which Castellani presents his “Serie bianca” (“White Series”), consisting of four surfaces divided into sequences and rotation, and Morellet displays some large neon works based on the coordinates of fragmentation and progression: “Décrochage” and “π piquant neonly”.

Space and Perspective
In the first place, reference must be made to the expansive development, in a concrete sense, of Castellani’s and Morellet’s spaces. One of the central issues of their work is, in fact, this desire to constitute hypotheses of experience that transcend the contemplative dimension in order to assume a role of activation of spatiality: this is internal, not external, to the work and proceeds through the sequence of points of sensibility, whether they be Castellani’s articulations between positive and negative or Morellet’s light pulsations.
Both have sought to profoundly modify the usual perceptive systems, assuming as a working hypothesis the semantic deconstitution of the canons of representation. Of these, the system of perspective construction is rejected in the first place with regard to its component of mimesis and illusion so that it can be assumed instead as the possibility of the assertion of another, concretely infinite spatiality. This perspective could be described as an “aniconic form”, totally distinct from any figurative or illusionistic intentionality. Perspective is no longer the representational tool of optical spatiality that illusionistically coincides with reality, thereby expressing the absolute correspondence between reality and vision that is characteristic of a particular period (according to the famous definition of Erwin Panofsky, who regarded “perspective as a symbolic form” of the Renaissance). For Castellani and Morellet it becomes one of ways of stressing the independence and concreteness of the visual image as a parallel and symmetrical entity that is both generative and independent with regard to the coming into being of the universe.
Particularly significant in this sense is Castellani’s “Superficie bianca” (“White Surface”), (1966), consisting of two surfaces inserted in each other, one with engravings of cubes seen in perspective, the other with introflexions and extroflexions, the juxtaposition of which appears to be a statement of this choice of reality at the expense of illusion, as could also be seen shortly afterwards in the totalizing experience of the “Ambiente bianco” (“White Environment”), realized firstly for an exhibition in Foligno (1967) and then for one in Rome (1970). Similarly, already in the 1950s Morellet chose a hypothesis for the structuration of the surface with an all-over pattern generated by the application of a system, the result of which is the deletion of the image as an area or visual field closed in itself and its seeking of a more extensive spatiality. This was also evident in the artist’s “architectural disintegrations” and light environments, from “2 trames de tirets 0°-90° avec programmation par le spectateur” (“Two Warps and Wefts of Short Lines 0°-90° with Programming by the Spectator”), realized in Paris in 1971, to the more recent “Noendneon”.

From F. Pola, “Spaces beyond the Image” in “Enrico Castellani – François Morellet”, A arte Invernizzi Seragiotto, Padova, March 21 – May 18, 2009

A arte Studio Invernizzi, Milano
15th May – 4th July 2008
Exhibition curated and Catalogue edited by Francesca Pola

Ulrich RückriemUlrich Rückriem

Photo Paolo Vandrasch, Milano

Drawing has always played a central role in Ulrich Rückriem’s art: regarded as one of the leading European sculptors already in the 1960s, the German artist has, over the years, renewed his artistic language while continuing to be consistent with regard to his positions. In this process aimed at a single and constant objective, that of liberating the form from any abstract pretence in order to allow it to find an authentic and direct relationship with reality, drawing has always been, for Rückriem, the generative and fundamental counterpoint of sculpture and is, in fact, intended to give shape and substance to the sculptural thought constituting the energetic and vital centre of his artistic experience.
In this new exhibition, the artist presents drawings belonging to the “Blocks” series, based on the progressive iteration of an orthogonal module, together with the “Constellations”, which have produced “Figurations” (in positive and negative versions), recent works that instead exemplify diagonal projective dynamics. Both the configurations are linked to Rückriem’s output of recent years, involving both sculptural and graphic works and centring on the possibility of permutation and variation of the positions of eight black squares or rectangles on a chessboard having eight squares or rectangles per side. Generated by other possible graphic elaborations with the same structuring matrix - based in this case on seven points and as many lines joining them together, instead of on eight squares or rectangles - and always starting from the hypothesis of the controlled permutation on a chessboard, these drawings replace the assertive orthogonal configuration with other more varied diagonal dynamics.
To illustrate this link, at the beginning of the exhibition is displayed “The Queens Problem of Chess”, a sculpture summing up Rückriem’s previous exhibition in the same space. The work consists of the superimposition of a series of drawings on transparent film representing the ninety-two possible ways of arranging eight columns on a chessboard having eight squares per side. Whether these columns are moved horizontally, vertically or diagonally they never meet, but remain isolated in space: the drawings are contained in a glass box, so that design, drawing and sculpture become one and the same.

From F. Pola, “Ulrich Rückriem Drawing: the Zero Degree of Sculpture”, in “Ulrich Rückriem”, A arte Studio Invernizzi, Milano, May 15 – July 4, 2008

Space: a Blank Page
Monograph edited by Francesca Pola
Book published on the occasion of the exhibition, Atheneum, La Jolla, 24th June – 31th July 2006

Bice Lazzari

Mauro Staccioli was one of the main protagonists on the Italian art scene from the beginning of the seventies. From the very start his work has represented the innovative coordinates of what the artist has definied as “scultura intervento” (intervention sculpture). This indicates that the meaning of his work is directly related to the context as well as modifying it. In other words, similarly to the widespread and more comprehensive international site-specific art, his work is characterised by a directly generative relationship with the context it is destined for. Staccioli’s “intervention sculpture” represents, however, a highly specific and complex aspect of site-specific art. In fact, in his work the "site" is not only identified (not even in superficially formal terms) with the space-time coordinates of the context, but is receptive to a wider interpretation on the sites’ identities, something that also takes into account their history, their function (present, past, future, or possible), and their architectural and environmental presence (or absence) both in terms of pre-existence and of formative possibilities. Staccioli’s intervention sculpture is characterised by the very active way it has of relating to the space: it is a plastic form, a possible hypothesis, and a model which in turn models, and one which acts inside a situation, inside a given contextual and environmental state, and which alters its meaning. In this process of progressive acquisition and redefinition of various contexts the theoretical and explicative aspect is not, for Staccioli, something a posteriori, but something that is contextual and begins when he started to elaborate his image. In fact it is as a result of his immediate contact with various particular places that the artists begins his innovative reflections which he expresses through related verbal and plastic aspects. It is with this in mind that a perusal of the artist’s essays, which always accompany his “intervention sculpture” and which have been selected and published in this book, is of the greatest interest. Staccioli’s writings clearly individuate motives deeper than a superficial and contingent interpretations of his work – one restricted to a structural or formal level – might indicate. They allow us to connect, both historically and critically, interpretations of his work to that network of relationships which lies at its heart. In his writings, in fact, we frequently find references to the history and function of the various places: elements that are an integral part of the genesis of the sculptural "marks" or "signs" with which Staccioli intends to give a renewed identity to individual contexts. In this sense we might speak of the specific “contextual poetic” that characterise the artist’s creative work and that find their expression as much in his intervention sculpture as in his “working notes”.

From F. Pola, “When Place Becomes Sculpture. Mauro Staccioli’s Contextual Poetics”, in “Mauro Staccioli. Space: a Blank Page”, Atheneum, La Jolla, June 24 – July 31, 2006

A arte Studio Invernizzi, Milano
20th January – 11th March 2005
Exhibition curated and Catalogue edited by Francesca Pola


Photo Paolo Vandrasch, Milano

In the dialectic between monochrome and polychrome, the deletion and underlining of the operational aspect, the regularity and organicity of the forms, the rapid and imploded iteration and the extended time-span, the works executed jointly by Alan Charlton and David Tremlett all confirm the affinities between their approaches, without, however, eliminating, but rather developing - especially in this encounter - their specific identities. The subtle emanation, iteration and modularity of Charlton’s pulsating monochrome grey canvases interact with Tremlett’s colour articulations, which the artist executed directly on the wall by spreading the paint with his hands. The aim of both is to take possession of the phenomenological and corporeal dimensions of spatiality, not only from a proportional standpoint but also by establishing a direct relationship with the germinal moment of the creative process.
In these works a number of basic elements emerge that characterize both their artistic practices, such as, for example, a careful operational mode that realizes an effective and concrete approach to planning the work; in addition, the unavoidability of the volumetric component, with modification of the spatial dimensions according to the areas and presence of colour. These are factors that take concrete form in an intervention constantly linked to an inclusive concept of proportionality, which is, therefore, a concept not only of “size” but also of “commensuration”: it is, in other words, an equilibrium defining the work and its relationship with the wall, and also the entire articulation of the intervention. This equilibrium is already present in their particular mode of interaction that, on the planning level, is divided into different stages and successive, separate interventions, symbolizing the way they maintain their separate identities despite the complementary nature of their work.

From F. Pola, “Alan Charlton David Tremlett. Equal Opposites, Adapting Spaces”, in “Alan Charlton – David Tremlett”, A arte Studio Invernizzi, Milano, January 20 – March 11, 2005

A arte Studio Invernizzi, Milano
18th May – 9th July 2004
Exhibition curated and Catalogue edited by Francesca Pola

Nelio SonegoNelio Sonego

Photo Paolo Vandrasch, Milano

From the outset, Nelio Sonego’s work has been described as a conscious and coherent meditation through images on painting. “Meditation through images” - this means open exploration of the potential of the ‘sign’, not so much in an analytical vein as in a poetic one, involving the investigation of its inevitable relations with the space and time of existence. This is meditation that on each occasion reveals its philosophical matrix: this is an aspect for which I think in particular of its constant Heraclitean attempt to combine the opposites as elements in metamorphosis, but also the orientalizing echoes of the ideograms that speak to us of another image, neither linear nor cyclical, that is a total instant of time and space. But it is a mediation that is, above all, concretely articulated in the ceaseless tension of leading the gesture towards the corporeity of the image in the experimentation with new expressive possibilities: and, in this action, it is in continuous movement towards the edge of existence, regarded as knowledge.

Thus it happens that, in his solitary and varied career, Sonego has sown the seeds of developments that have only become actual images years later, when they have been enriched by the subsequent evolution of his work. This is the case with the series of his latest works, “Orizzontaleverticale”: generated by the need to revive an artistic praxis started at the beginning of the 1980s, they appear, in a historico-motivational analysis, to be a possible complement to the dramatic reflection based on the series of the “Angoarcoli”, not in contradiction or contrast with this period of his activity, but as their potential “alter ego” and thus their natural continuation.
Of the “Angoarcoli”, the new works also revive the large scale, in a dialogue with the exhibition space, thus stressing the environmental significance of this new period, which is intended to recover the suspended, intense lyricism that has always been associated with Sonego’s painting, expanding it to a total experience and a desire for involvement not limited to a discourse of a proportional nature, but orienting it towards the creation of a spatiality of the work, which offers itself without interruption with regard to the spatiality of existence as a possibility of a concrete, physical approach to the extreme limit of knowledge.

From F. Pola, “Directionless Signs: Nelio Sonego’s Total Painting”, in “Nelio Sonego. Orizzontaleverticale”, A arte Studio Invernizzi, Milano, May 18 – July 9, 2004

The Practice of Purity
A arte Studio Invernizzi, Milano
13th December 2002 – 12th February 2003
Exhibition curated and Catalogue edited by Francesca Pola


Photo Paolo Vandrasch, Milano

There is a constant and evident element that recurs in every example of Alan Charlton’s output: the clarity with which his work presents itself, both in its expressive coherence and in relation to its setting. This clarity can be seen as the result of the interaction of two fundamental components that have characterized Charlton’s creative activity since his earliest works: the purity of the image, a presence that is at the same time strong in itself and open to stimuli of various origin, and the exercise of an artistic practice that is constantly acting on the situation through modalities of precision.
In the encounter with Charlton’s works, there is, in fact, the perception of the inevitability of the intervention, the absolute compenetration of the image with the process that conceived and generated it, with its position and with its own materiality. At the same time, the continuous dialectic between object and image - and between matter and vision - that emerges from his works reveals itself to be tension that is resolved on each occasion in an unexpected way with the discovery of spatial-temporal forms that appear as images of purity.
Purity in Charlton’s work becomes the practice of equilibrium; it is the conscious assumption of the active responsibility inherent in each single creative event as the free intentionality of a new image.

Painting the Absolute Work
Charlton describes himself thus: “I am an artist who makes a grey painting”. It was as long ago as 1969 that the artist made a radical choice in favour of this colour, going beyond the categories of monochrome and painting itself.
Instead of illusoriness and the separative tension of artistic practice, he favours direct involvement - also in an existential vein - in his creative task, and real, straightforward expressiveness of the work, without intellectualistic mediation.
Thus Charlton’s works are like a single ‘grey painting’ in continuous metamorphosis: each work already contains in embryo the following one; his image already shows the traces of what the next one will take a step further without any interruption. The change takes place in the image, as in a single absolute work that questions painting itself and its innumerable possible relationships - which are, at the same time, specific - with existence.

From F. Pola, “Alan Charlton: The Practice of Purity”, A arte Studio Invernizzi, Milano, December 13, 2002 – February 12, 2003

Il buon uso della luce nella luce
A arte Studio Invernizzi, Milano
19th October – 1th December 2001
Exhibition curated and Catalogue edited by Francesca Pola


“How would the world appear if I rode a beam of light?”
Albert Einstein

The “éclairages” that Michel Verjux has been realizing from the early 1980s onwards are revealing projections of beams of light - squares, cones, pyramids, cylinders and other geometric figures, more or less distorted or broken up - in a continuous and changeable dialogue with the concrete situations that arise in each of his works. In the reduction of the visual language to its physically and metaphorically former state - light - they concentrate and orient the complexity of the interaction between the object/action/situation on itself. This is intent on the disintegration of these components. At the same time, they stress its nature of a physical, material and existentially connoted presence, through the passage of time and the expansion of space. This space and time are constantly, physically limited to the situation of the exposition and, through this, are oxymoronically concrete metaphors of the superimposition and interaction of different places and moments in terms of a context and a story. Becoming images made aware of the encounter of the realities of appearance, showing and sight in the very locus of absence, expectation and recognition of possibilities that are not intuitable except by negation, these luminous eyes open onto the situation find their own dimension of authenticity in what Heidegger described as “a-letheia”: the truth that necessarily reveals and hides itself, unknowable evidence, the very opening of physicality in a dialoguing, present request for meaning.

[…] In Verjux’s installations, the eye, the organ of sight, assumes remarkable communicative power: although the spectator’s eye is the “sine qua non” of the creative event, it is, on the other hand, the eye of the beam of light that creates the mirroring and revelation of spatiality and the progression of temporality. This monocular image swallows up the classic perspective scheme, taking the gaze beyond the image and annulling the concept of distance in the correspondence of the viewpoint and the horizon. This is the zero degree of language and, starting from this, by progressive stages of action/acquisition, it is possible for Verjux to define the relationships implied in the experience taking place. The simultaneity of the internal-external and natural-artificial interactions mean that the eye is the locus of the superimposition and fresh propagation of the intervention. Forms of intervention that may be generalized and applied to different situations - as the artist himself has described them - the works of Michel Verjux express the aesthetic of reduction as the physical and metaphorical clarification of reality. The dimension of the projection expresses this collapse of distance and, at the same time, makes the link and interposition possible by placing us on the threshold of sight and leaving open the space of action, thought and feeling.

From F. Pola, “Situation Light”, in “Michel Verjux. Il buon uso della luce”, A arte Studio Invernizzi, Milano, October 19 – December 1, 2001

A arte Studio Invernizzi, Milano
15th December 2000 – 14th February 2001
Exhibition curated and Catalogue edited by Francesca Pola

TorinoFrancesca Pola

Photo Paolo Vandrasch, Milano

François Morellet describes his own works as the free results of the rigorous application of a system. The system - which is always different - is selected and defined in an arbitrary and casual manner, but once in operation it is binding for the correct realization of the work. The titles of these works are geometric figures (often contradicted by the results), mathematical calculations and neologisms; by revealing the method of execution, they form an element of investigation.
The system is based on the application of formulae. In this case, the notion of “formula” is that of the representation, by means of symbols, of a relation. The etymology of “formula” reveals its dialectic component; it’s meaning must take into account that of form and, as a defining element, it is the cognitive mode of the indefinite.
Space is determined by a relation - made absolute by geometry - through such concepts as vicinity/distance, occupation and position. Morellet’s works are realized by the activation of space through the breaking of the figural and architectural perimeter and the destructuration of its visual and geometric definition. The result is that of spatiality extended to branched projections and fragmented perception constantly in expansion. This is an experience that continually proves to be problematic and is never complete because it assumes the characteristics of a discovery, a series of successive levels of progressive acquisition. It is, in other words, the conquest of freedom through the active interaction of the artist’s awareness with images that open up to the incommensurability of their own contradiction.

[…] The renewed paradox of the equivalence of poetry and rationality expressed by Morellet’s works is constantly characterized by a dynamic perspective. In systematicity of this type, movement may be just rhythm and may be visualized with its structure according to modalities determined rationally, interspersed by opening pauses. Possessing an underlying analytic dimension, Morellet’s art proceeds by means of scanning and by progressive cognitive stages of penetration and approach to the sensorial experience, from the surface of the canvas to the involvement of the spectator in the image. It is expressed in a poetic analysis of the form as decomposition and destructuration, not for its own ends, but rather it is open to involvement in an attentive and repeated experience. The same procedure for subsequent series, the serialization present in the individual works, in which single components are repeated with variations, is the symptom of speculative intentionality in his experimentation. The aim is not the obtaining of absolute, albeit hypothetical, truth, but rather the recognition of the validity of the open theorem and its application - despite awareness of its contradiction - as a constituent part of any system intended to activate space as the locus of freedom.

From F. Pola. “Formulae of Active Space”, in “François Morellet”, A arte Studio Invernizzi, Milano, December 15, 2000 – February 14, 2001

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Rodolfo Aricò. Germinating Erotic. Rodolfo Aricò’s Work in the 1980s, 2009

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Mauro Staccioli. Space: a Blank Page, 2006

Alan Charlton. David Tremlett, 2005

Nelio Sonego. Orizzontaleverticale, 2004

Alan Charlton. The Practice of Purity, 2003

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François Morellet, 2001