The exhibition “Dove la luce” (“The place the Gentle”) is the story of a unprecedented elective affinity between two nice masters of twentieth century Italian artwork, Giacomo Balla (1871-1958) and Piero Dorazio (1927-2005). Because the title—from a set of poems of the identical identify by Giuseppe Ungaretti—suggests, the theme is mild, the wellspring of all life, but additionally an everlasting problem for the artists who’ve sought to interact with it of their works. The present is a visible exploration conceived by Danna Battaglia Olgiati that presents 47 masterpieces created in two completely different durations: Balla’s Compenetrazioni iridescenti (Iridescent Interpenetrations) noticed the sunshine in 1912, and Piero Dorazio started producing his well-known Trame (weaves) in 1960. “There are nearly fifty years between these works, but what nonetheless captivates and intrigues us in regards to the phenomenon of sunshine, that these works interpret and pay tribute to, is the thriller that lies past all of the scientific explanations, and that magnetically pulls our gaze into the surfaces” Gabriella Belli, curator of the exhibition, notes.
The Compenetrazioni iridescenti characterize some of the fascinating chapters of Balla’s inventive profession, for his or her pioneering experimentation with summary and geometric types. These works have been produced within the house of only a few months, between July and December 1912, when the artist was staying in Düsseldorf, a visitor on the Löwenstein household’s villa. Invited to embellish the studio of the gorgeous home overlooking the Rhine, Balla spent a part of the time exploring a brand new concept of portray, nearly in secret (these works solely grew to become totally identified within the Fifties). Undoubtedly based mostly on observations of nature and light-weight, they nonetheless take the type of authentic triangle-based grids organized in autonomous sequences: summary/geometric compositions that have been actually ahread of their time.
On the pages of a easy notepad, the artist explored the concept of capturing the mysteries of the spectrum and the complexity of refracted mild. With scientific rigour, utilizing colored pencils, tempera and watercolours, he created a repertoire of doubtless infinite variations: patterns of triangles, traces and spheres that characterize the “anatomy” of sunshine. It was a quest to seize “the invisible” and free the infinitesimal atoms of the colors of the rainbow, from pink to orange, yellow, inexperienced, blue, indigo and violet.
The Iridescent Interpenetrations are a restricted collection of beautiful, diminutive masterpieces principally painted on paper, although some are on canvas. An enormous departure from Balla’s earlier observe, they will justifiably be classed as precursors to summary artwork.
There are greater than twenty of those items within the exhibition, hailing from prestigious non-public and museum collections, such because the Galleria d’arte Moderna in Turin and the Mart in Trento and Rovereto. A few of them testify to the transition between sketchpad and bigger format: right here the artist’s observe and experimentation provides rise to compositions that tackle a lifetime of their very own, with frames, usually designed by the painter himself, lending added gravitas.
Among the many works on show is the priceless postcard Balla despatched to his buddy and pupil Gino Galli in November 1912, which bears the primary account of his new Compenetrazioni: on the entrance is a form of spectrum of sunshine labored in a chromatic sequence of triangles, “a form that has lengthy been used to characterize the splitting of a beam of sunshine, however which in Balla’s work additionally takes on a symbolic worth, evoking the airtight and esoteric realms,” as Gabriella Belli explains, persevering with, “Although these works likely draw on observations of nature—as critics have all the time identified—his observe is rarely a chilly, calculated utility of scientific theories, however fairly a deep dive into nature, looking for to probe its most hidden, mysterious connections.”
Nearly fifty years later, this extraordinary nucleus of works was to encourage the younger Piero Dorazio, who was one of many first individuals to grasp the groundbreaking import of Balla’s research. His giant canvases, titled Trame (weaves), painted within the late Fifties and early Sixties, are dense with mild/matter and constructed with irregular crisscrossed traces. Gentle and shade materialise in grids of triangles, exhibiting startling similarities with Giacomo Balla’s experiments.
His Trame weave a dense mesh of vertical, horizontal and diagonal traces executed with a light-weight contact, in a palette of main and complementary colors in carefully wrought combos, creating the visible impact of traces which aren’t truly there, however the results of an optical adjustment.
There are greater than 20 of the collection within the present, produced between 1959 and 1963, and richly assorted. Most discover completely different ranges of brightness and perceptual interferences between the background and the floor, in addition to the connection between house and time. “The sudden glimmers of sunshine that rise to the floor within the gaps between the crossed traces, between the filaments, issuing from the triangles that kind there (an eloquent tribute to Balla’s patterns) create a unprecedented impact within the weaves of those work, like a revelation of actuality rising from the extremely refined matter, utilized layer by layer,” Gabriella Belli feedback.
Some extremely important works on this sense are these by which the weave breaks up, is interrupted, and the palette undergoes an abrupt change, like Time Blind (1963), or Tenera mano (Tender Hand) (1963): the “gaps” within the weave reveal the inner construction of the portray, highlighting the artist’s approach and, as Dorazio himself suggests, develop into the positioning of “an sudden illumination of consciousness, a method of visualizing the fleeting second.”
Among the many issues that Dorazio and Balla have in frequent, it’s fascinating to notice that the experiments with the Trame and the Compenetrazioni each occupy a really quick time period. But, from the angle of a steady arc tracing the event of contemporary Italian artwork from the avant-garde actions to the artwork of the submit struggle interval, there might be little doubt that the particular parallels between the 2 collection make them a extremely important a part of the image.
The exhibition format by Mario Botta highlights the variations and affinities between the 2 inventive practices. Botta has provide you with a brand new method of utilizing the exhibition house, specifically designed to showcase these works in all their splendour: Balla’s are suspended in white niches, surrounded by empty house that throws them into focus, whereas the big canvases by Dorazio are offered in opposition to sweeping expanses of black, a strikingly efficient method that above all ensures a visible reference to Balla’s works.
The exhibition will probably be accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue revealed by Mousse-Milano, that includes texts by Gabriella Belli, Francesco Tedeschi, creator of Piero Dorazio’s Catalogue Raisonée, and Riccardo Passoni, director of the GAM in Turin, the place Giacomo Balla’s most vital works on paper are preserved. Wealthy essential apparatuses edited by Giulia Arganini (for Giacomo Balla) and Valentina Sonzogni (for Piero Dorazio) full the amount. An interview with Mario Botta provides perception into the design of the exhibition.
The title of the exhibition, “The place the Gentle,” comes from the poem of the identical identify by Giuseppe Ungaretti, which is included within the guide La luce. Poesie 1914-1961 (Erker Presse, San Gallo, 1971), illustrated with 13 color lithographs by Piero Dorazio. As we all know, the poet was a buddy of Dorazio’s, however he was additionally an incredible admirer of Balla, and he wrote the foreword for the guide Balla Futurista. An Album of His Life and Work, by Virginia Dortch Dorazio’s (Piero’s spouse), dedicating his elegant essential prose to Balla’s exploration of sunshine.
at Collezione Giancarlo e Danna Olgiati, Lugano
till January 14, 2024