Galleria Alessandro Bagnai is pleased to present the visual result of a philosophical reflection: Apparizioni: an exhibition based on, derived from and deduced through pondering painting and the message it bears today. The exhibition aims to deal with a theme that is quite wide- ranging in terms of depth and linguistic boundaries, but one that is also liquid and elastic relative to the broad and malleable cultural offerings of the 21st century.
In particular, the issue under examination is the sign/surface relationship: the trace left in the nothingness of monochromy; the figural imprint in the everything of formlessness; the abstract insert as an exercise in difference. Such is the construct that reflects any technical gesture, even when what lends weight to an image is merely a fragment, an object, a color or a volume in the space of a field. The condition is philosophical, because it communicates as a sort of hermeneutical happening, or as the meaning of an act of knowing, a creative, artistic postulate delineated almost like an ontological truth.
Apparizioni is the contextual formula lent by the title of a work that Franco Angeli (Rome, 1935-1988) painted in 1971, in which he depicted the presence of a structure motivated by the urgent need to find a role for things. The term – like another related term, “vision” – reveals the process rather than the stasis of achievement. From the Latin apparīre, made up of ăd and parīre, it offers the idea of "showing oneself", through “manifestation,” “presentation,” “birth,” “epiphany” – in short, “becoming,” in being “visible” or “evident,” in “demonstrating” as in “seeming” or in “appearing.”
Apparizioni presents works by:
Franco Angeli, Roberto Barni, Massimo Barzagli, Sandro Chia, Vittorio Corsini, Tony Cragg, Enzo Cucchi, Gianni Dessì, Rolando Deval, Stefano Di Stasio, Jim Dine, Jiri Dokoupil, Rainer Fetting, Daniele Galliano, Paola Gandolfi, Peter Halley, Jannis Kounellis, Paolo Leonardo, Mario Merz, Aldo Mondino, Nunzio, Mimmo Paladino, Giacomo Piussi, Pierluigi Pusole, Mario Schifano.
The concept is the materialization that organizes and constitutes an image as a declarative, rather than descriptive, moment; it also alludes to sudden generation, to the evidence that reveals itself in the text of the work. The indefinite subject and the presence/absence equilibrium coalesce together from the depth of the image, from the neutrality of its de- structuring. Hence the evocation of a subject, the manifestation of a reality, the expression of a certain solution.
It would be tempting to see the process as a realization, as attainment in itself, but the truth is that it proves impossible to truly know its direction: in fact, the dimension is intermediate and partial by nature, and this awareness might risk taking on moral value. But the painted image is suspended, ambiguous, and thus becomes ambivalent in its momentary becoming or dissolution, suggesting either illumination or dimming.
Pictorially, the reality of the act presumes the knowledge of the before or the after, and does not allow for the highlighting of its function through the fixedness of the painting. Rather, the criterion is filmic, and painting in itself cannot establish when the becoming is one of the material within the immaterial, or of the immaterial within the material. In painting, it is impossible or absurd to be able to or to want to consider such a moment as constructive or destructive, aggregative or dispersive, and thus morally positive or negative.
In painting, apparition or disappearance can only mean two different ways of understanding the same instant, and even though this instant is unknowable, here we will call it known, beyond technical limitations, calling Apparizioni all of those pictorial moments justified by factors parallel to and supplementary to the act of painting, or intuited by the indirect documentation constituted by the title of the work and other clues to the story, beyond the immediacy of its evidence.