All art is contemporary…Episode #8

“The way of music”

A small journey through the musical tempo in the works of Flashback Ludens, the edition dedicated to creative ability as an instrument. Many works throughout the pathway. Each of them to scan the rhythm, each of them to beat the time. From adagio, lively, andante to allegro, lively and presto, in a gait of cadenced steps.

Let us start from the Natura morta di strumenti musicali e libri con spartito, of the second half of the 17th century, by Bartolomeo Bettera, where the instruments reign in stillness. A work where the artist – through the personal distribution of void and full in the construction of the image – suspends time, crystallizing it into the instant that is immediately preceding or following the music.  

The element of caducity adds to the temporal suspension in Vanitas, natura morta con specchio, teschio, libri, flauto dolce e violino, oil on oak panel, by Jan Vermeulen, born in the Netherlands in 1638. The memento mori, accompanied by the musical instruments, calls to mind a heart-rending requiem and the immortality of art.

Presence – absence also in oil on canvas Still life of 1940 by Antonio Donghi, which – as a major representative of Magic Realism – enriches the representation by a charming narrative suspension, exasperating the dreamlike transcendent dimension of the work.

Is the Angelo (musicante?), a sculpture in polychromatic oak wood, whose origin is from Savoy, of the third quarter of the 15th century, playing an instrument or singing?

The two protagonists of work Due giovani donne al piano, of 1911 approx., by Giovanni Boldini, play the piano and the lively mastery of the pictorial gesture makes the melody present.

A melody that releases in its majesty, involving Le menadi danzanti. The work – of 1882 – is of Raffaello Sorbi from Florence. The artist has dedicated many of its works to the ludic theme, sketching out its romantic and Dionysian vein with great ability.

Finally, a dancer is also La Bayadère, by Paul-Albert Besnard, another work imbued with romantic spirit. The Indian temple dancer is historically the protagonist of Marius Petipa’s ballet, which narrates Salgari’s India, seen through the eyes of the romantic colonialists of the 19th Century. 

“If the music is too loud, you are too old”. 
Ozzy Osborne

In the image, on the top Left /hand: Jan Vermeulen, Vanitas, natura morta con specchio, teschio, libri, flauto dolce e violino, (Vanitas, still life with mirror, skull, books, recorder and violin), oil on oak panel, cm 42.5 x 55.5, courtesy of Il Mercante delle Venezie (Vicenza). Followed by: Raffello Sorbi, Le menadi danzanti, (The dancing maenads) 1882, oil on canvas, cm 39 x 19.2, courtesy of 800/900 Art Studio (Livorno; Lucca). Followed by: Giovanni Boldini, Due giovani donne al piano (Two young women at the piano), 1911 approx., oil on panel, 35 x 26.5, courtesy of Bottegantica (Milan). 
At the center, on the LH side:  Antonio Donghi, Still life, 1940, oil on canvas, cm 49.5 x 56, courtesy of ML Fine Art – Matteo Lampertico (Milan; London). 
Below, on the LH side: Bartolomeo Bettera, Natura morta di strumenti musicali e libri con spartito, (Still life of musical instrument and books with score) second half of the 17th century, oil on panel, cm 93 x 121, courtesy of Arcuti Fine Art (Rome; Turin). Followed by: Paul-Albert Besnard, La Bayadère, oil on canvas, cm 49.7 x 61, courtesy of Paolo Antonacci (Rome). Followed by: Angelo (Musicante?) (Angel – Musician?)  Savoy, third quarter of the 15th century, polychromatic oak wood, cm 82 x 24 x 30, courtesy Longari Arte Milano (Milan).

All art is contemporary…Episode #7

“De rerum natura”

Interpreting nature is one of the most significant themes in the artistic research ever. Many artists have put the natural element at the center of their own investigation, exploring the complex conflicting relationship between man and nature. 
No work ever is a simple reproduction of reality; every work is a tessera in an always open investigation. 

The first artist in Flashback’s works collection is Adriaen van Stalbemta Flemish painter and engraver who is known for his landscapes with religious, mythological and allegoric landscapes. The work is a small painting on copper – dating to 1620 approx. – of the magic atmosphere titled Paesaggio boscoso con l’Andata in Emmaus.

On the other hand, Eastern mythology and allegory characterize also the Six panels Byobu screen, of Japanese origin, which can be referred to the Edo Period and part of the Kano School. The paper smokescreens, decorated with ink and colors on a golden leaf, show the differences on interpretation between East and West

The interpretation turns into abstraction in the work of Turin’s artist Piero Ruggeri. The work Collina e lampi, of 1978, liberates from figuration, allowing nature to show itself in all its irrational component.

Work Zucche by Piero Gilardi, of 1966, is of great formal and conceptual impact. Through his Nature Carpets, the artist reproduces – in an extremely realistic way – fragments of natural environment in the aim of denouncing a lifestyle which is considered increasingly artificial.  

Finally, the work of Veronica Montanino, who – with installation Correre in un mondo– transforms the most ill-assorted materials into a process of “image ecology”, which generates a new nature of her very personal invention.

Nature is not only what the eyes can see; it also includes the intimate designs of the soul. 
(Edvard Munch)

In the image, on the top Left /hand: Piero Gilardi, Zucche (Pumpkins), 1966, expanded polyurethane, cm 60 x 84, courtesy of Biasutti&Biasutti (Turin). Followed by: Piero Ruggeri, Collina e lampi (Hill and lightning), 1978, mixed media, cm 130 x 180, courtesy of Galleria d’Arte Roccatre (Turin). At the center: Japan, Edo Period, Six panels Byobu Screen, 18th Century, Kano School, ink, colors and gold on paper, edge in silk brocade and wooden framework, cm 270 x 136, courtesy of Schreiber Collezioni (Turin). 
Below, on the LH side: Veronica Montanino, Correre in un mondo (Running in a world) 2020, branches, acrylic tissue, mixed technique, cm 500 x 150 approx., courtesy of Studio d’Arte Campaiola (Rome). Followed by: Adriaen van Stalbemt, Paesaggio boscoso con l’Andata in Emmaus (Forested landscape on the Way to Emmaus) 1620 approx., oil on copper, cm 13 x 18,5, courtesy of Galleria Luigi Caretto (Turin; Madrid).

All art is contemporary…Episode #6

“All the nuances of abstraction”.

From impressionism to abstract expressionism, from geometric abstract art to informal, the abstract research was born from the artists’ choice to deny the representation of reality and exalt their own search through shapes, lines and colors. 

We start in imbalance between abstract and figurative with the painting of Nicolaj Diulgheroff, who – with Aeropittura of 1930 – works on the intersection of lines, planes and spheres and introduces us to abstraction of geometric features. The artist, of Bulgarian origin, graduated in architecture in Turin, where he was part of the futuristic movement of the city. 

On the wake between abstraction and figuration, do we find Mario Sironi, who replaces the powerful constructive energy of the figurative period by a shattering of the shapes and a loosening of the composition syntax. The work is Composizioneof 1950 approx. – oil on canvas panel – which turns the figures into illusory bas-reliefs engraved in a stone slab. 

Giuseppe Capogrossi’s work, Superficie G 78, dates to seven years later, i.e. 1957. By gradually abandoning figuration, the artist lands to a rigorous personal abstract art, characterized by a sole shape-sign that – conjugated in infinite variations – ends up building an unusual space of representation.

On the other hand, Emilio Vedova, one of the most significant representatives of the Italian informal painting, subtracts himself to figurative, but also to the geometries. By Senza titolo of 1961, a precious 22.4 x 31.8 cm work on paper, the artist shows us the clear strength of the pictorial gesture that – through the dynamism of the sign and the contrasted chromatic tissue – lets arise the overflowing vital tension.

Finally Giorgio Griffa, with work Obliquo of 1973, close to the movements of Minimal Art and of “new abstraction”, overcomes the residual irrationalism of abstract expressionism with his large-sized rough canvasses, marked and traversed by thin lines of color. Poetic and rarefied, the artist manages to touch us intimately by his sign. 

Painting must seize this relationship that includes the need to identify with things as well as the need for abstraction. 
(Carlo Carrà)

In the image, on the top Left /hand: Giuseppe Capogrossi, Superficie G 78 (Surface G 78), 1957, gouache on paper cm 50 x 34, courtesy of ML Fine Art – Matteo Lampertico (Milan; London). Followed by: Giorgio Griffa, Obliquo (Oblique), 1973, acrylic on canvas, cm 120 x 120, courtesy of Glenda Cinquegrana Art Consulting (Milan). Followed by: Nicolaj Diulgheroff, Aeropittura (Aeropainting) 1930, oil on canvas, cm 100 x 80, courtesy of Galleria Umberto Benappi (Turin). 
Below, on the LH side: Mario Sironi, Composizione (Composition) 1950 approx., oil on canvas panel, cm 50 x 60, courtesy of 800/900 ArtStudio (Livorno; Lucca). Followed by: Emilio Vedova, Senza titolo (Untitled) 1961, mixed technique on paper, cm 22.4 x 31.8, courtesy of Galleria dello Scudo (Verona).