Spirit Of Paper
Curated by Daniela Ilieva
Despite the advanced digitalization, we could not imagine our everyday lives without paper. Though paper has had a long tradition as the bearer of artworks, be they drawings, aquatint etchings, reliefs or print works, paper has freed itself from its shadowy existence as picture medium for studies and sketches. Today, paper has emancipated itself as a medium for an autonomous art language, holdings its ground amongst other materials.
The topic of this exhibit with works by four prominent Italian contemporary artists is the paper as a medium. The focus is on artworks by Gillo Dorfles, Carlo Bertè, Sandro Martini and Jano Sicura as these artists take very diverse approaches to paper applying very distinguish techniques in their artworks.
Paper, which has very specific properties, can develop a distinct aesthetic during various artistic processes like drawing, aquarelle, and print graphics or tearing, folding and pasting as collage material and can only then be consciously recognized and experienced as paper.
Various contemporary manifestations are on display here as paper works spanning drawing (aquarelle, charcoal, chalk or pen) and print graphic techniques (reliefs, aquatints and etchings).
For his marerial pictures Sandro Martini always resorts back to paper because its properties allow it to combine particularly well with other materials. Depending on how it is handled, paper can be fragile or stabile, transient or permanent, flexible or resistant.
Gillo Dorfles prefers to capture his imaginary, supernatural world on paper. Fascinating, fantastic robots, curious cybernauts, proboscides and snail-like creatures, insects and bats, anchorites and moon men tumble around in a surreal metaphysical space guiding the viewer through a mysterious, hermetic, self-contained inner world.
In his first theoretical work, «The Technical discourse of Art» («Il discorso tecnico dell'arte», 1952/2003 Marinotti), the art critic Gillo Dorfles draws attention away from the predominantly contextual analysis common in Italian art theory to an interpretation of the art work based on its technical and material aspects. Art is first made real and brought to life through its material. In his analysis of forms of expression and structures in music, painting, sculpture and architecture, Dorfles searches for art’s structural units in order to uncover their relation to time and space. He comes to the conclusion that there are no structural rules but that any possible laws or norms are only evident a posteriori and that they are, either way, in constant flux. (B. Fässler, “Seismograph of the Present” (“Seismograph der Gegenwart”).
The scenes devoid of people that Carlo Berte creates on white cardboard are part of a very unique creative process. He is interested in the catastrophe of mankind’s existence and is inspired by nocturnal settings, dreamscapes and enigmatic and at times burning ruins of the fantastical architectural structures of Baroque painter Monsù Desiderio.