Tiziana D’Acchille: solo show On silence and transparency, Palazzo Pubblico, Magazzini del Sale, Accademia Musicale Chigiana, Sienna – Catalogo De Luca Editori d’Arte, Rome
THE PEAKS AND ABYSSES
With his show, Of Silence and Transparency, Vinenzo Scolamiero’s pictorial research has touched a level of completeness only possible thanks to a twenty-year path of discovery. On a par with all great artists, he has reached a level of awareness and experience that has allowed him to coin his own specific and recognisable language and to create a personal universe, both abstract and concrete at the same time, in which he moves with consummate ease.
Themes dear to Scolamiero, true fixed points in his peculiar research, are the lightness of surfaces, the deft and delicate application of backgrounds that fluctuate together in the atmosphere enclosed by his frame, as well a privileged relationship between chromatic weaves, poetry and musical scores. A relationship with nature and its natural forms has characterised a lot of Scolamiero’s output, a body of work that has given birth to a pictorial style rich with references and intimations that are often close to the culture and artistic practices of the Far East.
This time, however, Scolamiero’s gaze seems to have gone further, reaching a higher dimension and giving life to images that until now our eyes had only seen thanks to technology: we can watch how a supernova explodes, as we can observe the form of a galaxy, or the texture of cellular liquid, or the structure of matter thanks to telescopes and microscopes that allow us to visualize all this, and to give concrete form to an otherwise abstract and unimaginable world.
Many contemporary artists have grappled with the cosmological (and cosmogonic) dimension in an attempt to render, with images that spring from personal creativity, that which churns in the bowels of the earth or within stellar material, in parallel to the real image. With this new show Scolamiero indisputably acquires a leading place among these artists by demonstrating the ease with which he explores all dimensions, exploring the borderlands of shadow and how to illuminate the forms and outlines of objects that once belonged to visible reality. Today, those objects, that reality, conserve only an evanescent and transparent memory that infinitely projects and repeats the outlines of their shapes. In the paintings that I would call “aerial” one traverses time and space with peculiar lightness, while in the more “terrestrial” paintings one senses the aggregation of matter with no added heaviness of materic or material technique, as if one were entering the melting pot of a copper crucible or had immediate access to the fourth dimension in order to see what happens at a macroscopic or microscopic level. The forces that agitate in the vibrating magma, atoms and energies are not the aseptic images of a monitor readout, but those of his creative microscope.
No longer earths, pigments, glazes over glazes, inks, inferred traces of organic vegetable elements, racemes, nests and fossils. Scolamiero’s microcosm is now pleasingly overlaid by a coppery and golden light, by a metallic pigment that dominates his surfaces in an enveloping explosion, almost as if the fluctuating expanses of his long production over these years have reached a deeper level, darker but simultaneously denser with light, in nuce, golden, close to the absolute, to everything.
With this universe, traversable in all directions, like a great virtual world explored with sensitivity and the humanity of paintbrushes, rather than the cold impersonality of a computer mouse, Scolamiero has succeeded, with his veils of colour, in giving back to us the aerial atmosphere of the hyperuranion while, with his earthy textures and his metals we perceive the climate of the deep abysses and the energy of the chthonic powers that inhabit them.
In the painting Earth Dances, in particular, this relationship with primordial telluric energy appears in all its intensity. Scolamiero’s pictorial sensitivity has long engaged a privileged relationship with contemporary music and the magisterial sonority of the Harrison Birstwistle piece of the same name, Earth Dances, which evoke in Scolamiero a surface in which the primeval forces of the earth seem to make their way through the geological strata, accompanied in their advance by its percussive power. Thus, in the painting, the sensitive and transparent coats of cold tones that characterised much of his previous work have become magmatic material in which earth and metal fuse in a kind of original crucible, almost as if Scolamiero has succeeded in capturing the moment in which matter becomes such, the very moment of primeval creation which, from indistinct chaos, seeks to define the elements in form.
The many canvasses realised with coppery-golden metallic pigments present in this show seek to remind us of the forces that hold the universe together. But the result is a non-anxious dizziness that passes from one state to another in an instant, annulling space and time, a dizziness in which this artist has no fear of losing himself and through which, in fact, he accompanies us on a fantastic voyage.
An equally visionary universe is that evoked by the composition, Tapiola, by the Finnish musician Jean Sibelius, inspired by a divinity in the Scandinavian Kalevala, which has represented a key point of reference and consonance for Scolamiero. The dense, thick forests of Finland served as a pretext for Sibelius to tell of the “sounds” of the movement of leaves, thus encountering the visual imaginary of Scolamiero’s refined and beautiful canvasses.
As a writer, discovering this aspect of Scolamiero’s work is a genuine revelation. Having long followed his diverse declinations, one feels as if witnessing a kind of revelatory illumination of the ultimate meaning of his poetic. Hidden in past years by an apparent lightness and a great, as well as characteristic reserve, is a rare emotional profundity and an ability to penetrate emotions, his own and others, and to fold them back into his research, accompanied by music and poetry. The ability to read inside the form of things and behind the gaze of others is a rare gift. With his work, Scolamiero has perhaps managed to describe to us something even more precious: that, in the great cyclical eternal flow, peaks and abysses touch each other that time and space, if traversed by the visionary gaze of art, no longer exist.