Page 6 - Contemporary Art and Old Masters
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visions beneath the apparent vision of mundane       Franceseo Clemente works on the progressive
         things that are apparently closed and unequivocal.   displacement of the style, on the undifferentiated
         Furthermore, it tends to manifest itself as a trace   use of several techniques. The underlying idea is
         of a wider, more concrete image, choosing to stay    that of art that is in no way dramatic and that can
         in a deliberate state of transience. The transience   create an image where repetition and difference
         derives not only from the shadow or shading,         intersect thanks to the nomadism of lightness.
         but also from the very little space and time its     Repetition stems from an intentional use of
         execution requires.                                  stereotypes, references and stylizations that allow
                                                              the idea of conventionality to come into art too.
         The drawing always seems to reveal the artist’s
         assault on the immaculate space of the paper.        Such conventionality however is only apparent, as
         Here, public and private coincide: the threshold     the reproduction of the image never happens in
         of expression occurs even before any sign is         a mechanical or slavish way. On the contrary, it
         implemented; it starts at the point of the mental    tends to create subtle and unpredictable variations,
         processing of the image, in the movement and         producing a shift in the reproduced image. This
         trembling of the hand on the paper.                  shift, and the idea of time suspended deriving
                                                              from a state of relaxation, result in imperceptible
         Sandro Chia works through an array of styles,        differences. This is possible because Clemente
         always underpinned by technical skill and by         works on the displacement of the signifier, on a
         an idea of art that seeks its raison d’être within   chain of assonances, of visual analogies that free
         itself. These reasons consist of the pleasure of a   the image from all obligations and references.
         painting freed at last from the tyranny of novelty,
         and relying instead on the artist’s ability to use   All this creates a new contemplative state of the
         various “means” of achieving the image. There are    image, a sort of peace, removed from the glamour
         numerous references, everything from Chagall to      of its traditional references and given a different
         Picasso, to Cezanne, to de Chirico, to Futurist,     orientation one that is explicit and deceptively
         metaphysical, twentieth-century Carrà. But the       conventional.
         recourse to style is immediately reabsorbed by the
         quality of the result, at the intersection between   The extreme explicitness tends to produce an image
         technical skill and “state of grace”.                that does not display any effort or awkwardness
                                                              vis-à-vis its surroundings. As if imbued with an
         Painting becomes the field within which manual       oriental discipline, the new image does not betray
         dexterity and concept finally find a balance. In     any emotions, just a natural state of calm.
         Chia, images always go hand in hand with a title,
         a caption or a little poem painted directly onto     Enzo Cucchi radicalizes painting practice, taking
         the canvas to reveal its internal mechanism. The     the picture as a means rather than an end. Painting
         pleasure of painting goes with the pleasure of wit,   becomes a process of accumulating various
         the ability to integrate the passion of the creation   elements, figurative and abstract, explicit and
         of the picture and the protective distance of irony.  allusive, and combining them seamlessly. Materials
                                                              both within and outside the painting interact on the
         The work becomes a moving circuit of internal and    surface of the picture. Everything responds to a
         external references, all at the service of an image   dynamic, unstoppable movement that drags painted
         offering a dual quality: as substance both pictorially   shapes and color lines beyond all laws of gravity.
         and intellectually. In the first case the image is   The painting is a provisional repository of energies
         fulfilled by the materials of which it is made up,   that evoke images, densities of painting materials
         and in the second, it presents itself as a stunning   and ceramic extensions beyond the traditional
         demonstration of an idea: an ideal of art only exists   canvas support. This type of work finds its roots in
         if embodied in the texture of language. Chia‘s image   the fabric of a deliberately “minor” painting, tied
         is always crystal clear.                             to an anthropological and cultural territory that is
                                                              exquisitely Italian. From the point of view of visual

         6   WORLD of ART
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