On silence and transparency – Palazzo Pubblico, Magazzini del Sale – Sienna, Italy-2021/22

On silence and transparency

Sixty large canvasses, works on paper, artist’s books, videos and other materials alternate under a canopy of medieval vaults, the fruit of a rigorous research inspired by the abstracting force of poetry and music that acquires form in slow and sedimented yet concrete and mysterious painting.

The protagonists of Vincenzo Scolamiero’s personal exhibition – whose title itself, Of Silence and transparency, suggests in a beautiful archaic form the spirit that animates it – are a number of recent cycles of large canvasses and artist’s notebooks. Executed in various pigments, inks, Indian ink and sparkling metallic powders, the works comprise solid and flat forms, plates of colours and earthy folds, cut from light and disrupted by an ancestral wind.

From those powders Scolamiero obtains gold, which invades everything, from luminous surfaces to the darkest cavities, insinuating itself into the folds of earth or spreading itself to the limits of the plane of a painting, a luminescent gold that illuminates the shadows and shimmers in his colours. The wide range of golds that dialogue with the other colours seem, here on the ground floor of the Palazzo Pubblico, to render homage to the illustrious Sienese school which, from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, taught generations of great artists how to deftly apply gold leaf to wooden supports, and then burnish it, tamp it and have it shimmer in haloes, the hems of mantles, picture frames and the wings of angels.Thus, in his personal show in Siena, Scolamiero engages in a noble dialogue between contemporary experimentation and the highest of traditions. Today we see the result and desire to see how it will develop.