Page 4 - Contemporary Art and Old Masters
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                                                              Essays by Achille Bonito Oliva

                                                              The political elation of the Sixties drove art towards
                                                              the impersonal. The creative force behind the
                                                              image was invisible. Now, however, particularly
                                                              in works by Chia, Clemente, Cucehi, De Maria and
                                                              Paladino in Italy, the hand of the individual artist art
                                                              is happily no longer divorced from the conceptual
                                                              impulse. This hand shows itself in the capacity of
                                                              the work of art to display a subjectivity that makes
                                                              use of all the tools of expression and every kind of

                                                              The young Italian artists feel compelled however
                                                              to use a means expression that is always subject
                                                              to the rigorous rules of language. But language
                                                              no longer follows the logic or the coherent, linear
                                                              paths of recent years. Rather the new means of
                                                              expression is rooted in an open, shifting nomadism
                                                              that refuses to be trapped in predictable, logical
                                                              development. The fundamental idea behind the
         Mimmo Paladino, Prospettiva II, 1999 mixed media 98x98 in. | 241x241 cm.  new work is that of a drift, a movement with no
         Private Collection Sindelfingen, Germany
                                                              predetermined directions, no points of departure
                                                              and arrival, accompanied by a desire to find each
                                                              time a provisional mooring in the gradual shifts of
                                                              sensibility within the work.

                                                              Subjectivity asserts itself through its very
                                                              fragmentation, through the accidental nature of
                                                              an image which never claims to be a unitary or
                                                              “cumulative” moment; it is always as a precarious
                                                              vision, never grasping or attempting to grasp the
                                                              meaning of the world and the accompanying idea of
                                                              the infinite. Here, the image becomes the repository
                                                              of a mere hint of potentiality, expressed through
                                                              the means of art, i.e. grace and passion.

                                                              The works of the young Italian artists convey not
                                                              so much private, autobiographical subjectivity, but
                                                              rather the structural elements that characterize
                                                              it: mutability, transience, contradiction and
                                                              emphasis on detail. The new work is permeated by

         4   WORLD of ART
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