Pino Pinelli. Artistic career

Dep Art Gallery
Sep 10, 2019 4:38PM

Pino Pinelli (Catania, 1938) After the completion of his artistic studies, Pinelli relocated to Milan in 1963.

His works from the early 1970s indeed place him in the movement “Pittura Analitica” (“Analytic Painting”), an international contemporary group with whom he shared research. Canvas, frame, color, symbol and material are the fundamental components of the picture under analysis. The topological, deformable and morbid space perfectly expresses the artist’s need to investigate color, space and surface.

Immersed in deep thoughts on painting and its entirety of elements, at the beginning of his career, Pinelli was in an apprehensive state as he considered surfaces. This is demonstrated by the canvases which from 1974 are simply defined as “Pittura” (“Painting”).

Pino Pinelli. Monochrome (1973-1976) Color as destiny and as Prophecy @ Dep Art Gallery

These meditations on painting will later reveal a result much more concrete. In 1976, the cardinal moment of Pino Pinelli’s artistic journey occurred with the realization of the “La rottura del quadro” (“The Breaking of the Painting”) with Pittura GR. The work is liberated from support and all four angles of the framework can expand or reduce themselves according to whim.

Also in 1976, Pinelli enlarged the survey plan, which passes from the panel to the wall, distributing the segments in a free manner, as if they were scattered. The wall begins to be the destination of the work; it is no longer a passive surface, but an integral part. The material used is unworked flannel, which in contact with the painting alters the structure, almost creating a kind of skin.

Pino Pinelli. Monochrome (1973-1976) Color as destiny and as Prophecy @ Dep Art Gallery. Photo by Bruno Bani

Between 1984 - 1986, Pinelli’s work regained its mass by “taking body”. The basic structure, constructed from wood and polyurethane, is wrapped in a stretch fabric. This is followed by the pigmentation phase which gives the work force through an overlapping of colors.

In 1986, Pinelli introduced the shape of the scales, which, made up of industrial use powders, are molded with “gloved hands.” These “gloved hands” shape the material. When dried, the material passes to the next phase of pigmentation where there is an overlapping of colors until the “chromatic tone” is reached.

At this point, there is further metamorphosis: the fragments acquire a rediscovered lightness, becoming the "skin of the painting”. The surface loses its depth and the painting is placed on the wall with extreme delicacy, overlooking the rigorously geometric canon

At the beginning of the 1990s, Pinelli developed the oval form cycle, an idea of “rings” which scatter and move in space, reminiscent of a Matisse-esque dance

Pino Pinelli "Pittura oltre il limite" @ Gallerie d'Italia 2018. Photo by Bruno Bani

In the course of the 1990s, Pinelli abandoned irregular forms for a reacquired geometric rationality. The surface is endowed with a higher material consistency so much so that it appears to be wrinkled, transforming the painting into a tactile, almost velvety material. The result is a swelling that allows digging into the substance, thus seeing its essence.

Between 2002 - 2003, the forms evolve in the “Incroci” (“Crosses”) cycle, which reproduce a dissemination from the accentuated rhythm that is often rich in elements.

2003 Pittura B.R. 39 x 37 cm 14 elements. Photo by Bruno Bani

The fragments, scattered with shapes that illustrate more geometric characteristics, take hold of the wall and live only if supported on it; otherwise, they lose their atomic and spatial capacity. With this act, the artist seeks to rewrite the "the syntax of making," a new way of conceiving art.

Around 2008, the investigation continues on the material itself. These fragments which explode are “atoms” of painting, which evoke a swarming amount of particles which are about to explode.

“Breaking the painting in fragments is the desperate act of the European painter who perceives the weight of history… the only act possible is to think of painting rather than paint.”

Pino Pinelli in his studio, June 2019, Photo by F. Mantegna

Dep Art Gallery