In a recent interview, Giorgio Vicentini stated that “the word ‘routine’ cannot be used in painting, but rather, ‘continuum’: there’s no respite, each instant is in constant tension. To improve oneself is the only hope that is sown into the unknown”.
Imaginative planning also belongs to the awareness of this dimension, with which Vicentini has constructed each exhibition, deciding to exhibit research cycles dedicated to specific themes in imagination, flexible pathways of colour identity and its sudden apparition: within and beyond the mutable limits of the surface.
If the inclination of the artist is to favour constellations of artworks that speak of the adventures of his incessant research, in the case of this exhibition the journey is imagined as being a polycentric adventure that branches out without obstacles, from recent past to the current present (2013-2017).
The two sides of the exhibition space are interpreted with different spatial rhythms, playing on core areas of research that appear to be distinct but that are in fact simultaneous and have a new sense of union, a kind of complete environmental inebriation.
In this case, this is the experimentation of new spatial counterpoint through calculated connections, balanced summaries between the value of shapes and chromatic sounds, both thrust by the enveloping vibrations of painting.
Vicentini considers himself to be an author and spectator of his own vision, displaying a series of artworks that seem to speak to one another, he assembles the walls by alternating different techniques and modulating multiple formats, from single elements to the variable aggregations of chromatic groups.
Furthermore, the artist analyses weight and counterweight, placing fluid moments opposite atmospheres that are immersed in the shadow of memory; on the one hand, the speed of execution, on the other, the alchemic sedimentation of active matter, aware of the fact that the total dynamic must give back the magnetism of the shapes in the field, the beginning and end of their alternating fluidity.
Painting lives on attraction and dispersion, experiencing counter posed winds that bewilder the gaze, accepting the risk of getting lost in the vastness of what is visible, beyond the determined perimeter of each single artwork.
The curved lines are strips of thoughts that gravitate towards the certainty of emptiness, capturing motions that are wedged in or freed from any planned rule, physical pulsations in harmony with an inner gaze.
On the bigger wall of the so-called orangerie, the “flying notes” are arranged with a regular cadence, a series of diptychs where the contraposition between the insidious and sharp twirling of colour and its luminous obscurity is constant, brushed by minimal suspended segments, with net geometrical bands that are at times oblique, timbral, or grey, prevalently black.
The dialogue between the smooth and the opaque suggests a double visible climate that corresponds with the sources of light and shadow, the former entrusted to the gestural slide of the pigment on a white background, the latter withheld within the gradual breaking-up of matter, barely visible.
The idea of “flight” is connected to the metaphor of the air crossed by opposing tensions, placed in conjunction between the rarest energy of emptiness and the veiled depth of shadows, palpable radiations and an imaginative anxiety where thought wanders without a precise destination, escaping the eccentric weight of gravity.
In reality, the desire to take flight moves through the entire work of Vicentini, it is the development of the act of painting as a way of excessively soliciting its primary elements, not just the desire to break through boundaries, but to be, in itself, an unstable limit, a visionary threshold, transfigured in the motions of being.
The allusion to the flexible nomadism of shapes enhances the act of capturing unthinkable forces, catching them mid-air with outstretched movements beyond the changing colours, with sideway and transversal, expansive and flashing thrusts.
On the adjacent wall, there is a longitudinal “construction of a horizon”, a polyptych composed of aluminium bars painted with dark and discontinuous marks, placed parallel with alternate sides, like a visceral score that flows, taciturn and subdued, but with a strong presence.
On the other side, on a smaller wall there is an ample theory of “jamais”, small paintings of inner meditations, imperceptible mutations within the secret throbs of icons, between hues and quiet shadows.
These are accompanied by a few recent cycles of artworks, “Capture”, further affirmation of the inventive frenzy of painting, sharp and thin shapes that float in black like shards searching for an anchor, the curved points hooking onto impossible spaces with anomalous and whippy distortions. Vicentini journeys, suspended between opposite poles, feeding the game of contrasts of which he is the tireless investigator, with a capacity of mastering matter wholeheartedly, whilst conceptually sublimating it through abstraction, geometric modulation and fluid insurgence of shapelessness.
The nature of materials and the particular character of the used techniques is not something to be taken lightly in this constant generative process; ancient methods and new materials are combined within the search for an irrefutable expressive metamorphosis.
Wonder is to see chromatic matter (acrylics, inks, varnishes, beeswax) or different support materials (canvasses, paper, boards, sicofoils, metals) transformed into elusive images, treated with sensitive expertise and admirable and detailed execution.
Wonder can also be felt in a board that belongs to the “Concrete Air” cycle, an example of pure sensorial emanation that can be found in another part of the exhibition: painting as an apparition of deep darkness, a hermetic development of light that transpires through the dark womb of shapes.
Despite being displayed in isolation, other artworks evoke the persistent dreams of the artists, the unstoppable digressing of brushes, the chiaroscuro fervour of depths, the calibrated suspension between the internal and the external, the impassive convergence of black and white through every shade of grey.
Sometimes, black advances and white retreats, elsewhere the surface collects essential profiles, but also stratifications that are condensed into brief nuclei, or minimal material areas and dilated transparencies, whereas opaque blacks are obtained by sandpapering the painted surface and thus eliminating any excess.
It’s clear, and Vicentini confesses this somewhat, that certain effects come from the inner workings of the act of painting itself, certain artworks appear to be stories written on a blackboard, others spark from indecipherable strategies, such as the case where the mysterious appearance of white and grey occur beyond the colour black.
The spectator is asked to perform a reading exercise that takes account of composition but also the physical effort that the artist performs to verify the discussion with matter, the evolutions from the planning stage to the artwork itself.
On the opposite side, in the ground floor rooms in the Cristina Sissa building, there are paintings with a different impact, from the enchanting shape of “just a secret” to the unpredictable spurt of “flexibility of an only child”.
At this point, there are other artworks from the “raw colour” cycle, an original experimentation where the use of overlapped polyfoils allows the artist to mould the material by pressing on the film to obtain shapes connected to their irreversible exchange, transformation, discolouring.
The image is doubled, it slides from the boundaries, it comes alive in the air and breathes light, allowing colour to slide into the mirage of emptiness, to pulsate through the transparency of the two sides of action, gravitating as usual towards white, searching for unpredictable mutations in the mouldable material.
In other words, imagine creatures that waft on small shelves as “Aliases”, the colour slides into the folds in the polyfoil, captivating the shudders of the air, slight transparent trails, puffs of light pushed by the wind of emotion.
Other suggestions inhabit the space of the exhibition with alternate measures, from the square polyptych called Pic, to the “impassive” image that appears to be enveloped in its own unfathomable secrecy.
Without forgetting other spatial suggestions where painting speaks to itself, assuming melancholic tones, it lets itself go into lyrical resonances, but also new attempts to unveil the unknown, trying to clarify obscurity.
Sown everywhere, colour captures the energy of painting itself, enhancing the action of the gesture that moves like a compass, transforming each fixed composition into a fluctuating, unstable and ferocious shape, each time capable of diving into the depth of being to be grasped by other centres of gravity.
Vicentini’s painting doesn’t follow novelty, but rather continuous spins along the ambivalent paths of his emergence, the desire to see the invisible and to adventure across the thresholds of beyond, with that touch of madness that is necessary in order to grasp what is present beyond the horizon of any possible horizon.