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KALEIDOSCOPE:
CONTEMPORARY ART IN GERMANY.


This editorial and exhibition project, resulting from a long journey of research, is part of my culture of the arts, always characterized by an attention towards a plurality of voices, which, in the present as in the past, constantly interact with one another, combine, overlap and ultimately demand analysis, judgement and choice.  There is no era in the history of humanity that has not demonstrated a proliferation of ideas and creativity that produced an artistic heritage, renewing its expressive skills and confirming its role in front of perception.


The expressive dimension of the contemporary art system has reached unimaginable kaleidoscopic proportions. At the beginning it was exclusively a Western heritage specific of the two Atlantic coasts – the United States and the liberal part of Europe. The growth of this particular season called 'second avant-garde' followed a constant growth, it  expressed itself and occurred in specific areas and environments, but also revealed relationships and interferences, which today we know to be much broader than what was considered until the 1990’s.

A strategy of separation between the different linguistic and research areas, among authors who lived of contamination, imposed during the first five decades by the critical judgment system, coinciding with an ideological conflict and progressively sustained by an incorrect strategy of the art market – all of this creating persistent damage to the overall vision of that heritage.

This marginalization process of values was followed by the 'cancellation' of a very high number of individuals that constitute its extraordinary dimension and that slowly but progressively are being 'rediscovered' and laboriously repositioned in the historical process of knowledge. This existing and immensely manifested contradiction clearly appears during the first twenty years of the new century between the extension and development of the artistic culture projected beyond the traditional margins and the rigidity of the distribution system characterised by the rules of the financial market. A process that has temporarily redesigned the history of art collecting. 

We are observing with great interest a real "explosion of creativity" corresponding to the process of cultural globalization and we are witnessing the final achievement of a single art culture, thanks to the overcoming of that fracture that distinguished the Eastern practices from the Western ones, the Northern part of the world from the Southern one and advance societies from depressed areas. 

Confronted with this incredible extension of contemporary 'artistic products’ – capable of 'representing' perfectly all possible interdisciplinary relationships, linguistic combinations,  rethinking and reviewing processes, innovation and citation – it results increasingly coercive the  hyper-selective action of the distribution system, highly concentrated on an always more limited range of names.  This general process is openly contradictory: on one side, the tendency towards a global extension of the art culture and, on the other side, on a financial basis, the narrowing down of its placement within the social fabric.  A strategy in open conflict with the historical experience of collecting is confirmed, but with a highly potential for its development among the middle class of emerging societies.

In a critical vision based on the perception of wealth, watchful of the extensive network of relations that exist within, I always welcome a kaleidoscopic process. 



'German Research'.

This project originates from the need to uncover the artistic heritage present in the vast area of German-speaking countries, having noted that, although being increasingly oriented towards Europeanism, there exists a low circulation of its artistic culture.  
As already premised, knowledge has very few active tools available, restricting the geographic-cultural areas on non-communicating channels, unlike the linguistic systems, music and literature that do not need the logistic system that the material culture of art depends on. Its presence within the German art heritage must not be overlooked, the broadest internationalization of the expressive systems, the visual grammars and the different research and experimentation lines; this aspect delivers us artists who broaden the value of this Exhibition towards a 'European dimension'. The German exhibition system, closely connected to Switzerland and Austria, for decades has carried out a solid organization founded on a dense network of Museums, Kunstverein, Kultur Haus, Foundations (in increasing numbers), Galleries and Art Fairs, within which the possibilities to relate and share with a “less organized” Italian system are rare.  The specific Exposition Cycle that this Edition documents is quite rare and surely still unseen. 

From Cologne to Zurich, from Basel to Karlsruhe, there is an exhibition network, which is a preferable tool for those who would like to get acquainted with the artistic heritage of the art fairs. It this mainly from the exhibition environment that the art fair exhibition originates, as a result of a long series of monographic and collective art fairs conducted for many years. By attending the great art fairs, I was able to 'select' those artists with whom I was able to create a relationship visiting systematically their studios and exhibitions and collecting editorial material. Within this broad framework, throughout the years, I traced their expressive developments and solutions and I was able to get to know a greater number of artists whom I hope to work with in the future and whom I will try anyway to mention in this edition.

Direct contact, getting acquainted with the artists and visiting the art studios where their works originated, as already mentioned, was the next fundamental step, that allowed me to get in sync, to verify what may have been an initial intuition in a particular context such as the stand of a Fair or the 'aseptic' space of a gallery.   Only in these art studios, often hidden and reserved, is it possible to perceive the real importance of an artistic research, because it is here that on the tables lay the first papers and drawings, reference books, the accumulation of experimental drafting techniques. The spaces of the art studio indicate both the history and the future developments of an art culture. They all reveal the transformation of the various methodological-linguistic processes, the curiosities waiting to be examined and accomplished. 

It is in the art studio that a conversation, both personal and focused, with the artist begins, an in-depth exchange where the resolution of doubts and unexpected answers occur, giving you the dimension of creativity. All this material collected and experience leads to the phases of installation of the exhibition and lastly the critical judgement.  -The life in the art studio allows you to gather all information ranging from the intuition of the project to the choice of all supporting material and production techniques; on the other hand, listening to the artist gives us a direct understanding of the processes behind the artwork and allows us to understand how the artist communicates with the exposition space and how he enters into a relationship with contemporary history and thus with the art system as a whole. In the current tendency, where critical judgment and taste depend on the size of the web, it is essential to reopen the art shops, and to give the possibility to see and attend those places as an experience to understand and perceive, to taste important truths that we do not grasp easily from a cold and ephemeral contact.  Materials and colours, paper and canvases, pigments and supports, piled up volumes and lights accompanied by the scent of coffee, oil and trichloroethylene, the photographic and graphic selections of the prints, all represent the cradle of making, of reflecting, of thinking and of seeing.

As a result of a close relationship within a common experiential framework, two parallel yet independent projects are introduced here: the first project focuses on the city of Freiburg and on the authors that I have collected in the embracing concept of the Kaleidoscope; the second takes up a broader character encompassing different geographies, from Munich to Cologne and Wurzburg, enclosed in the title "German Research". These two exhibiting and editorial paths tend to interact as happened in "All Breads of the World" Project for the Sassi di Matera Foundation in 2019, and to circulate and take new paths of expansion and deepening.


German Research

L.Bert, C.Desgranges, I.Ringe, M.Wallenstall-Schoenberg, H.Mehler, S. Edle von HoeBle, R.Gross, R.Rohlfing 

Five Gallery Lugano 2016/2019. 

The 'German Research' exhibition cycle, which this last project more closely refers to, focuses on a series of monographic exhibitions spanned over a rather broad time frame. 
In the first central phase of the project, the artists examined were those attributable to the analytical processes of the 70’s, to the development of the heritage in the recent season. It was a matter of demonstrating and highlighting innovative and original solutions within the works of the artists involved, a renewed legacy, especially for some artists like Ivo Ringe, Claudia Desgranges and Cecilia Vissers, representing the oldest season of the Arte Concerta, and other choices based on individual aesthetic values. 

The peaceful and welcoming atmosphere of Five Gallery in Lugano answered perfectly to this critical project by overcoming those rigidities and that hardness connected to the origins of that distant season. Each exhibition highlighted a series of personal expressive inspirations founded on individuality, an expression of intimacy. When looking at an artistic culture even if founded on “analytical expressive processes” – as in the case of Rita Rohlfing and Lore Bert – we must observe how the operational boundaries have nowadays broadened including emotional solutions; that is, where each different procedure tends to draw out tensions and splendour from the inside towards the perception. The 'processes' activate a vital dimension in constant growth and affirmation. This dimension is insistent because in repeating the icon, be it a form (Herbert Mehler) or a colour (Maria Wallenstall), it express contemporaneity.

 
The activation of an 'analytical' proceeding indicates a precise will that does not exclude the perception of emotions. The linguistic concept that leads to the definition of form and colour, the option for a support and the choice of a bonding agent, all indicate how the investigative territory of each artist has extended its own dimension.

A new art culture is born which finds in the contemporary world the need of confrontation, an opening to interference. A great example of this concept can be found in the work of Rainer Gross, in which the sculptural dimension of the colour carries out independently a strong and incisive creative action; and in the work of Lore Bert, in which the choice of using paper is crucial for each creative solutions. 

Within this project I would have liked to include, among others, also Thomas Deyle, Markus  Strieder and Heiner Thiel.



Kaleidoskop

B.Bosch, A.Hess, W.Ewers, B.Liebel, J.Ligteringen, D.Maertens,T.Matt,M.Ott,D.Schon,

M.C.Tangorra, S.T.Verwick,B.Jager.

Freiburg (D) 2017


In 2017, this project examined the works of twelve artists around the city of Freiburg with the aim of providing a wide range of different linguistic-visual areas.  In addition to the expressive qualities individually represented, the main idea was to propose a cross section of contemporary artistic culture on an representative level and without presumption of completeness.  It was a matter of setting up a great exhibition where each artist could reveal the significant stages of his/her own expressive journey and develop a personal and articulated communication system.

We tried to avoid following the lines of a dangerously generic and not very thorough infinite collective exhibition, by dedicating the entire space for the development of autonomous ideas and projects with independent solutions, even through a dialectical relationship. All artist knew they had access to sufficient tools to express their own path, to underline objectives and solutions considered important in their research; each artist was able to distribute a number of works throughout the space, either following a chronological path or with separate thematic insights. It is also possible to perceive the value of this independence of analysis and judgement in the volume that accompanies this project. Thus a “kaleidoscope” was born first focused on Freiburg and then transferred to Padua, with a remarkable complexity of works, artefacts and this edition that records and interprets its multifaceted and problematic aesthetic dimension; an unprecedented event based on the complex dimension that the art system expresses in constant quest for renewal. A kaleidoscope that observes the overall and underlines the single artefact, that provokes the relationships between the artworks but also helps us dwell on the private dimension of a fragment, which seeks environmental perception but also directs our attention on the project grammar of doing and of creating. 


Kaleidoscope.
Contemporary Art in Germany

Museum of Avellino Irpino

Max Diel, Ben Sleeuwenhoek.

C.Desgranges, R.Gross, I.Ringe,, R.Rolfing, M.Wallenstall-Schoenberg.

The new project is made up of two exhibition sections, one monographic and one collective, both capable of expanding and renewing what has been so far done and reported in these years. The monographic exhibition by Max Dill and Ben Sleeuwenhoek – compared to what has been done up to now -- adds a first moment of analysis on what takes place inside Berlin, but most of all it enlarges even more and also “revolutionizes” that dimension, in any case  organic, that marked the previous project. 

Analysing the works of C.Desgranges, R.Gross, I.Ringe,, R.Rolfing and M.Wallenstall-Schoenberg, in which shape and colour respond to a partially connected process, with solutions of one and the other, between cooling solutions but also with warm contributions of materials,  we can insert in this context two expressive paths: Max Diel’s story with cards and reading Ben Sleeuwenhoek’s  large paged books. 





Monographic texts follow.






Max Diel “About not knowing and not wanting to go further”

Max Diel deals with constant and extended dimensions of figuration, connecting in particular to “story-telling by images” that passes through modern and contemporary times, without excluding a relation of continuity with the wider dimension of the European historical heritage. Following a process of work in regress, I believe it is useful to go back for a moment to the broader 'ancient' heritage, even if it might seem too far away not only from a chronological point of view, but also for a linguistic and visual grammars viewpoint, which characterized the development throughout the centuries and among the diverse geographic and cultural areas.

Using a critical approach that aims at personalizing the indications resulting from the perception of art and investigating through his painted canvases and his working papers, I observe that Max Diel's artworks describe that suspended time that links the present with the past. Following an interpretative process that in time freed itself from historical and scientific boundaries, I discover that every artwork records fragments of reality and images of time, according to an expressive approach traceable in the immense reservoir of art history. We can affirm that Max Diel intertwines, perhaps unconsciously, his work with 'hidden' expressive fields and with a series of minor 'fragments' belonging to the pictorial culture of all ages.

This collection of artworks can be define as 'minor', resulting from a 'disenchanted' observation, rarely developed outside of commissions, but as a result of personal curiosity. 

Predominately, these artworks have the value of a 'remark', an accidental subject of inspiration, but linked to the sensitivity of the moment to then become an accomplished art work as such.


Just like the transcription work of Max Diel, the area of interest refers to everyday life; it lingers 'briefly' on the causality of an action, a gesture or a glance, lost in the everyday life:  These images are the same that we have meet in the series of frescos and, more specifically, in the freer ‘synopses’, where freedom of expression was extensive, and, still in the boxes, in the preparatory sketches and in the small drawing books typical of 'modern times'.

Over the years and with important results even in this artistic phase, all of Max Diel's work, strictly tied to his inner sensibility, seems to want to respond – respecting the inner and the external privacy – proceeding with what we can define as “the distracted look', that is focused on understanding, without questioning, the meaning of a gesture, without wanting to know the reason of a glance, avoiding depth, registering only an attitude with no emotions related, through formal-chromatic solutions and with measured participation. Every subject undergoes a uniquely fit frame-shot never repeated for others.

For Max Diel this is mere curiosity, apparently without a real purpose, focused on catching the chromatic shades of an everyday action, chosen from millions of actions that every animated creature performs, but also of those many objects that live in the immobility of space. The painter and the watercolourist entrust the fluidities of colour to find a balance between the 'happening of a fact' and its possible development, without trying to find its sequence, settling with what the frame-shot selects from reality.

It’s no coincidence that the traditional process of observation and transcription of everyday life does not happen in a classical art studio isolated from society, separated from the everyday facts of life; Max Diel chooses to work in places and operational spaces where he can find all signals of the community, where he can capture noises and voices that give a ‘voice’ to his ‘images’ and that in turn we can ‘imagine’.






Ben Sleeuwenhoek

I found a perfect relation between the 'nature' of Sleeuwenhoek's study in Berlin and his work, between the radiance from the big windows that collect the north-eastern light and the 'clear' culture of his artworks, and further, the organization of the tables and bookcases that show an aesthetic compositional will. I could observe how the space where the artist lives and works can represent not only a mere operational place but it can also offer the perfect condition for observation and study, ultimately suggesting the idea that here it is possible to create that inseparable link between art and space into which the artist moves becoming a part of it.

Everything seems conducting to the research of a balance between different data, diversity which does not frighten its maker; the elaboration of an artwork is the perfect outcome of an expressive knowledge matured over time; every 'page', every different 'book' and every sculpture-object originate from particular processes capable of turning the occasional into a new series of values.

Through a careful check of the visual-linguistic tools, in particular by adapting collage to his expressive needs, Ben Sleeuwnhoek is able to promote the experimental dialogue between iconographic 'fragments' and chromatic influences, developing an 'encyclopedic' heritage as such. Over the years, the kaleidoscopic action of collection created a real “Archive of Art and Culture” confirming the role of collage in defining contemporary art, as happened with welding for sculpture.

I opened the anthology “Een keuze” which narrates the artistic history of Sleeuwnhoek between the 1987 and the 2001, discovering how much the relation of continuity with the present shows contamination between a real richness of ideas and the methodical and experimental process; through an attentive selection of the most different and distant iconographies, usually coming from the social capital, it reaches, work after work, a new grammar. Sleeuwehoek undertakes a work of investigation and review on the range and global dimensions of  'writing with images', re-elaborating fragments and subjects, themes and ideas giving them a completely new form with remarkable results and a layout of unquestionable greatness. Everything looks prefect, every sheet, every page and every finished book...so that the precision used it is not felt like an imposition nor the strictness a limit.

By observing Sleeuwenhoek's working place characterized by an intellectual awareness, with particular interest on the culture of materials and thus of appreciation and sharing his great sensitivity, everything seems to occur on a sort of suspended time.  For every sheets or book or sculptures it is not a matter of ‘advancement at all costs’ but a production resulting from a process of transformation characterized by a productive immobility, that never repeats itself but on the contrary self-renovates, that grinds itself adding innovative fragments like an alchemist. Time becomes a 'bubble' of creativity that continuously self-transforms, which even these most recent papers come from and are witness.

Compared to the figurative archive of the past, Sleeuwehoek keeps the unicity of a single object, focusing on it all of his attention; he chooses to linger and dedicate himself to the golden rattle, building around it a bright chromatic reality, in other words “sonorous”. This research corresponds to an additional phase of conceptual communication, where two subjects contaminate each other, stimulating a reciprocal reaction.



Claudia Desgranges. Colour ‘in motion’ and ‘expanding’ light.

A dazzling white light is perfectly distributed in Claudia Desgranges’s space-studio in Cologne, reaching every corner and underlining the polychrome aspects of the artworks on the walls, on paper and in the ongoing books; light comes down from the very high ceiling, creating different relations between natural and artificial lighting and generating an atmosphere of complete isolation.

By eliminating all external distractions, one’s attention is focused on the relationship among the working tools, the supporting materials and the artworks, in particular among those still in a  'work in progress' phase and those completed; the aesthetic fulfilment of Claudia Desgranges's art moves forward through precise ideas of inspiration, among linguistic paths and areas of intervention.  Over the years, it  self-renovates following a progressive, experimental and consistent path,  methodical and never improvised. Both white and colour are essential in delimiting the architectonic space of the studio, in clear correspondence with the expressive nature of Claudia Desgranges's artworks, all  characterized by a constantly clear organization, never improvised, but the outcome of a sought and achieved balance.

In this frame, even the use of rigid and minimal material, industrial and not handicraft, such as aluminium, seems to be a factor that produces isolation of the artwork from its context,   separating it from the wall in order to impose itself in the space and gain a separate structural purpose.  The metallic sheet, a privileged material that substitutes the canvas, hosts the visual communication processes expressing itself in between the geometric dimension of the fragment and the composition of the different parts, choosing both vertical and the horizontal spaces, exploring the sequence at different levels.

These first indications all show how much the colour has gained a central role in Claudia Desgranges's interests and experimentations, reaching a new and specific expressive importance, thanks to the perfect definition of a 'chromatic writing' system and the relation between the material and the tools, the dimensions and the widths.  The colour reaches an ideal condition and continues to communicate those new areas and values, capable of renovating itself consistently.

In fact, colour is 'in motion',  dragged along the entire aluminium surface; it is neither diluted nor splashed, leaving traces of the material dimension and a trail showing its nature; the colour is carefully distributed on the surface by an expert hand extending and expanding its specific qualities. This dragging technique with comb brushes seems to ‘shred’ the texture of the single colour, in order to show the physiologic essence of a shining nature.

In parallel, Claudia Desgranges moves from the rigid and cold surface of aluminium to the warm and absorbing paper, towards the ancient atmosphere of paper and towards the insistent creation of great art books.  Compared to the processes used within the strict and rigid metallic material, the wide zone of the Collection of Books and Papers seems to expand and free the liberating dimension of the expressive action of the artist.

The aesthetic relationship between aluminium and paper is in perfect equilibrium and it expresses itself in the creative working place, prepared to mark the exposition spaces and private collections through the vital content of colour, the result of analytic processes carried out with great sensitivity.  


Rainer Gross. The diptych suggests the opening of a book, the leafing through of pages, the consequentiality of the story ...


My first encounter with Rainer Gross’ work took place in front of two big multi-pigmented paintings.I found myself facing a large-scale diptych, similar to an inaccessible wall, in which the blending of yellow with red was predominant. I realized straight away that the surface of the painting was not traditionallypainted, nor had a spatula been used. Hisprocess was not at all related to various forms of dripping methods, although one could sense a similar mix of light and energy that tends to characterizeAmerican paintings after the 1940s, which in turn influenced the Informel movement in European art.

My studies ofhistory and art, in particular art restoration, turned my attention to the textural thickness of the color, the physical substance coming from the inside, full of life. Very rarely have I found myself speechless in front of an artwork. Even though this art referencedvariouspieces of art history, it was something I’d never seen before, leaving me astonished and captivated. I did not perceive the ephemeral and superficial sensation of “novelty at all costs” typical of a self-referential tendency.Instead, I was pulled towardartwhich was painted in a completely new way. It overwhelmed me with the strength of an altarpiece.

Our relationship continued at Rainer Gross’ studio in Cologne, where we discovered that we had long heldsimilar interests in artistic relationships, whichled us to collaborate in several different exhibits in Italy and Switzerland. The impact of my initial encounter, later affirmed by a more extensive understanding of his art, connected me with my experience of ancient paintings,especially with the techniques of “peeling off” and “restoring” the fresco cycles.

Analyzing Gross’ artwork, I discovered that there exists a “strange” relationship between the background area of the painting, which originally was detached from the colored pigmentedforeground and thenfused with fragments on the supporting surface.The first time I saw his work, I felt as if I was on the opposite side of the piece, in a condition of presence and absence, and I re-discovered the importance of that phase as well, always hidden and unreachable. This is the principle from which Rainer Gross' diptychs originate: two surfaces are “stuck together” and then detached. Onekeeps evidence of the other, but they’re also independentofone another. The opposing faces communicate and tell a storysuggesting loss between the pigmented materials and the polychrome surfaces. The abrasions reveal the piece’s initial unity. 

Starting from the fascinating notion of a hidden aesthetic reality, I then studied his process for stratifying a painting, gathering emotions in front of the accumulated crusted surfaces, adialogue of the epidermal condition of color.

The polychrome variable layers seem to be infinite as they constantly shift either because of strong conflict or dissonance. The diptych suggests the opening of a book, the leafing through pages, the consequentiality of a story.Especially during the age of woodcarvings, the diptych turns our focus to the revealing of theological truths, of which ancient art history has been the crucial witness. We cannot forget the “religious” aspect and the spiritual atmosphere that the contemporary age of painting has revealed through movement, light, and material, from Pollock to Rothko and Burri.The constancy of the diptych and its predominant preference for the square shape takes a step toward concentration and psychological tension, underlining and improving perception. 







Maria Wallenstål-Schoenberg

I am not able to 'measure' how much influence her Swedish origins and the relation between her everyday life and her art studies have had on her work or have left specific traces in the expressive story of Maria Wallentål and in her most recent artwork collection considered in this edition; but, I must say that the chromatic dimension organized by solid and material background colours, detailed in an engraved border, suggests a linguistic relation with His excellency, the Scandinavian Edward Munch.

What must be acknowledged from the artwork of the Norwegian artist – independent from the 'underlining' process typical of German Expressionism – is the presence of broad and bright background colours, defined by a strong silhouette form placed in the space. Furthermore, we must underline the monochrome scale of values characterized by an interlocking independence, maybe the beginning of an analytical and aniconic process, founded on reds, whites and greens. By observing the painting “The girls on the bridge' of 1902, we can see how much the artist is interested in representing the physical essence of the dress, using the physical strength of the consistency of the background colours; another methodological aspect also evident in 'the dance' of 1899 of Edward Munch is seen in the monochromatic surfaces through a process of  'work in regress'  that tends towards the principle of 'Giotto's bell' used in the dark monochromes of the Cappella Bardi.

From a critical experience, these details can be part of a visual-linguistic consolidated heritage, built in time, with unplanned similarities found in Maria Wallenstål-Schoenberg's work.

My first encounter with Maria Wallenstål-Schoenberg took place in a gallery completely dedicated to small dimension paintings; a big white wall separated the precious power and the lively energy of about ten chromatic dowels, forcing the viewer to follow never losing sight, revealing short movements of shapes and solutions often 'acidic'; the first perception is followed by an inner reading of every single fragments enlightening the plastic texture of the colour distributed according to an 'ancient drawing' process.

On the trail of the small paintings collection, amazed and engaged, I stopped and explored the extension of colour and shapes of the bigger canvas; in this second phase, the dimension became the beginning of an observation, then of participation and lastly of a new and further idea of expressive vitality, having the shape of confront-contrast concept. Even in the stratification of the whites, the extension of the painting space and of the forces that float and organize themselves within introduced the strength of what we can define as 'a wall of colour'. We can then realize that the big canvases of Wallenstål are able to open a series of interesting relationships with the dimensions of contemporary architecture. We can therefore affirm that Maria Wallenstål-Schoenberg's large dimension artworks, without ever losing their intensity, are projected towards the expressive field of the 'joie de vivre' in the most vivid chromatic solutions, characterized by her blues, oranges, greens and reds.

It is no coincidence that her studio in Munich, situated in the middle of a great artistic area, represents the perfect space for the achievement of the artistic doing that communicates with the spatial dimension.  The original structure of a big military barrack, with its common access area and long hallways, together with the concentrated space of the studio, represent that perfect habitat where that state of inner discretion can be found, necessary for the creation of each one of her artworks; light penetrates through a long horizontal window, spreading across equally on the three working wall  -  detailing the 'projects and sketches'  on the shelves and on the tables – an arrangement that gives maximum extension to the big artworks, so that the deep yellows and oranges can explode inside their shape.




Ivo Ringe. Blackboards of paint.

I do not agree with the worries of those who, following an apparent scientific pureness of art, do not consider the relations that exist between observation/criticism of the artwork with the author’s personality.  Without falling into a reductive list of biographic notions, I believe that, based on the direct experience he of who lives the life of the art studios,  a meaningful and very precious aspect is getting to know and introducing the perception of human values in judging the art work. In the case of Ivo Ringe, personality has an important weight that cannot be hidden or excluded when directly observing his paintings; there is a very powerful energy and a strong tendency towards enthusiasm and existential involvement, all aspects that give importance and expressive value to his paintings.

From an emotional perspective, during my first phase in approaching Ringe's work I recognized a condition of distance, a kind of independence between each single canvas and the enjoyment of the viewer; the smallest artworks, in which one’s attention focuses on the pictorial material, maybe because of its intimate making, induced my emotions to empathize with his works and determine a deeper understanding.

My visit to his studio in Cologne, followed by several encounters in Italy, allowed me to extrapolate and underline an expressive heritage resulting from a pictorial culture where the aim of the project and the organization of the mental space preserve a structural meaning. The extension of the different monochromatic surfaces, from green to rose, from black to yellow, become the support for an aesthetic-analytical process that turns into graphic solutions and plane geometries; the drafting process is based on a deep knowledge of the pureness of a pigment and its capability of expression in researching a perfect relation with the space offered.

He creates his artworks, even of great dimensions, defined as 'blackboards of paint'; these are layouts that are looking for a mental condition within space, a state of mind, and that go into the participative condition of perception. Both in the large exposition spaces of museums and in the intimate space of private collections, Ringe's artworks are witnesses of an aesthetic experience born and built on the perfect balance between passion and rigour, between energy and structure; from the monochromatic fragment to the instalment of large dimension paintings into the habitat, we are all introduced into a completely unseen space of contemporary art, a result of the encounter between the European season of the practical art and the North-American analytic art heritage. In Ivo Ringe's work, we can feel a firm aesthetic statement, characterized by a will to geometrically define positive space, but also to reach celestial constellations and geographic papers, through paths and tracks that join the deepest shelter of 'thought'. The 'board' concept, considered as a place of research and writing, specifically refers to Joseph Beyus, who was Ivo Ringe's teacher during his academic years in Dussenldorf.  When referring to the 'board' concept my intention is to go back to the values of tracing lines and defining spaces, within the intuitive relation that has always united science to art, mathematics to painting, philosophy to aesthetics.

On the basis of this analytical path, we must also focus on the titles and their sequence that characterize the artwork collection; these are suggestions that Ivo Ringe openly declares referring to states of mind and poetic emotions; the deep personality of Ringe emerges through artworks that describe the sweetness of a family portrait surrounded by a pink grid, a garden with its first buds, among the burning deserts of New Mexico, the awakening of a love, the reds and warm oranges and yellows of “A sunny day”.







Rita Rohlfing

Rita Rohlfing's art studio is situated in the suburbs of Cologne, in an area full of laboratories and factories; the structure resembles a big warehouse or a depot; the dimensions and appearance of the facility recall the tangible work experience of production and stocking.

All of these aspects reveal useful indications to correctly place Rita Rohlfing's artistic activity within the industrial culture setting, its productions and technologies.  This not only refers to the obvious need of space that sculpture normally requires, but it is linked to several matters and values that have their origin in the industrial reality: from regimented processes to experimentation, from rigour to organization, from precision, order and organization along the entire processes. On the other hand, we do know that monumental artworks together with those of smaller dimension are very often conceived and designed in the art studio, whereas the actual production happens in real workshops according to the materials chosen and the technologies needed.

Even the monographs dedicated to Rita Rohlfing show a research activity that focuses on various industrial materials with the intent to verify their expressive potentials.

She analyses the texture and the structure of plexiglass (methyl methacrylate) and its stratification in order to create, through transparency, a system of luminous variables; using an attentive selection of colours, Rita Rohlfing stimulates up to exasperation the fluorescent dimension of material, obtaining a pervasive and captivating reverberation on the space. Thanks to the lightness and the ductility of aluminium, she creates artworks where light is always the main subject investigated and the central theme of the artwork; the cut of the metallic surfaces follows a study of those shapes that redraw the perceptive dimension of space.

During these years, she carries out a large production of artworks, organized by Cycles that are characterised by the changing of shapes, colour and light.  Every collection is, in fact, differently marked by the use of these supporting materials – aluminium, steel and plexiglass – on which several variable options depend, both for dimension and for exposition spaces, between museums and private spaces: the big 'architectural' structures are placed into the landscape with the aim to create and 'exasperate' the imaginative productivity of the installation, both from a dimensional perception and emotional viewpoint, expressed by the relation between colour and light...the sandblasted aluminium slabs are distributed in space with their designed shapes spreading them apart... the plexiglass containers collect and enclose the evanescence of the light with all of its emotions...the most recent large dimension photographs printed on aluminium sheets are reflecting walls that have the main task to express the inside and the outside of the artwork, through incisions and flares, into its secret worlds and in between traces of reality, along the passing of time.

This is a creative path where the personal sensitivity is strictly tied to the study and experimentation processes, to then unfold in the production and installation phase.  Thus, we can affirm that every artwork comes from the discovery and the realization of an experimental desire where the experience of 'pleasure' slowly find its space; we can also perceive that Rita Rolfingh's artistic culture allows us to live a sophisticated and not accidental aesthetic experience, even though there exists a rigorous dimension of  geometries and the minimization of data utilized; we know that this is a territory of research that follows a specific scientific rigour that imposes her a small range of solutions, with small amount of supporting information, in which Rita Rohlfing moves with high sensibility and desire to reach the dimension of beauty.

 

PROF. ANDREA GUERCIO

 

Caleidoscopio. 

Arte Contemporanea in Germania


Anche questo progetto editoriale ed espositivo, frutto di percorso di indagine, si colloca all'interno della mia cultura dell'arte da sempre contrassegnata dall'attenzione alla pluralità delle voci che costantemente, nella storia come nel presente, si intersecano, si combinano sovrapponendosi, obbligando all'analisi, al giudizio e alla scelta. Non esiste epoca in cui la proliferazione della creatività nella società umana non abbia prodotto un patrimonio, rinnovando le sue competenze espressive, confermando il suo ruolo di fronte alla percezione.   

La dimensione espressiva del sistema contemporaneo dell'arte ha raggiunto proporzioni  caleidoscopiche inimmaginabili rispetto all'inizio della sua stagione, quando contava quasi esclusivamente sul patrimonio occidentale ed in specifico tra le due coste dell'Atlantico,  tra gli Stati Uniti e la porzione libera dell'Europa. Lo sviluppo di quella stagione definita delle 'seconde avanguardie' ha seguito una costante crescita articolandosi e specificandosi in aree e ambiti diversi, ma anche rivelando relazioni e interferenze, che oggi sappiamo essere assai più ampie rispetto a quanto si intendeva definire fino agli anni '90. 

Una strategia della separazione tra le diverse aree linguistiche e di ricerca, tra autori che comunque vivevano di contaminazioni, imposta nei primi cinque decenni dal sistema di giudizio critico, corrispondente ad una conflittualità ideologica e progressivamente sostenuta da una scorretta strategia del mercato dell'arte, ha creato danni tutt'ora persistenti rispetto alla visione d'insieme di quel patrimonio.A questo processo di marginalizzazione dei valori ha fatto seguito la 'cancellazione' di un altissimo numero di individualità che ne compongono la straordinaria dimensione e che lentamente ma progressivamente vengono 'riscoperte' e faticosamente ricollocate nel processo storico di conoscenza.  Appare evidente la contraddizione esistente e ampiamente manifestata in questo primo ventennio del nuovo secolo, tra l'estensione e lo sviluppo della cultura artistica proiettata oltre consolidati confini e la rigidità del sistema distributivo contrassegnato da regole che appartengono al mercato finanziario. Un processo che ha temporaneamente ridisegnato la storia del collezionismo.

Constatiamo con grande interesse, in corrispondenza con i processi di globalizzazione culturale, ad una vera e propria 'esplosione di creatività' e tocchiamo con mano al definitivo raggiungimento di un'unica cultura dell'arte, frutto del superamento di quella frattura che distingueva le pratiche occidentali da quelle orientali, tra il nord e il sud del mondo, tra società avanzate e aree depresse. 

Di fronte a tanta estensione di 'beni artistici' contemporanei, in grado di 'rappresentare' perfettamente tutte le relazioni interdisciplinari possibili, le combinazioni linguistiche, il ripensamento e la rilettura, l'innovazione e la citazione, risulta sempre più coercitiva l'azione iper-selettiva del sistema di distribuzione, concentrato su un range di nomi sempre più contenuto. Si tratta di un processo generale apertamente contraddittorio tra la tendenza all'estensione globale della cultura dell'arte e il restringimento, su base finanziaria, del suo collocamento nel tessuto sociale; si conferma una strategia in aperta conflittualità con l'esperienza storica del collezionismo ma con le potenziali dimensioni del suo sviluppo tra la classe media delle società emergenti.

Nella visione critica fondata sulla percezione della ricchezza, attenta alla fitta rete di relazioni che intercorrono al suo interno, pongo da sempre il rispetto di un processo caleidoscopico.  




'Ricerche tedesche'. 

Nello specifico questo Progetto nasce dalla volontà di andare ad indagare il patrimonio artistico presente in quella vasta area composta dai paesi di lingua tedesca, avendo inevitabilmente constatato come, pure in una cultura progressivamente sempre più orientata all'europeismo, sussista un basso tasso di circolazione nella cultura artistica. La conoscenza, cosi come si è premesso, ha scarsissimi strumenti attivi, delimitando le aree geografico-culturali su canali non comunicanti; una realtà che si aggrava rispetto a sistemi linguistici, la musica e la letteratura, che non necessitano di quel sistema logistico da cui dipende la cultura materiale dell'arte. Non deve sfuggire quanto all'interno del patrimonio dell'arte tedesca sia da tempo presente, la più ampia internazionalizzazione dei sistemi espressivi, delle grammatiche visive e delle diverse linee di ricerca e di sperimentazione; questo dato ci consegna autori che allargano verso una 'dimensione europea' il valore di questa Esposizione. Il sistema espositivo tedesco, collegato strettamente a Svizzera ed Austria, risponde da decenni ad una sua solida organizzazione costruita attraverso una fitta rete di Musei, Kunstverein, Kultur Haus, Fondazioni (in numero crescente) gallerie e Fiere d'Arte, al cui interno rare solo le possibilità di relazione e di condivisione da parte di un 'confuso' sistema italiano. Questo specifico Ciclo di Esposizioni che questa Edizione documenta appare un fatto abbastanza inedito e sicuramente raro.

La partecipazione e la presenza all'interno del tessuto delle fiere d'arte in questi paesi, da Colonia  a Zurigo, da Basilea a Karlsruhe, rappresenta lo strumento preferibile per chi vuole prendere conoscenza del patrimonio artistico di quest'area; è soprattutto da questo ambito fieristico che prende origine questa stessa esposizione, frutto di una lunga serie di mostre condotte negli anni sia a carattere monografico che collettivo. Dalla frequentazione di grandi Fiere d'arte ho potuto 'estrarre' gli autori con i quali ho potuto approfondire i rapporti, grazie alla sistematica visita degli studi, delle esposizioni e dalla raccolta delle attività editoriali. Ovviamente all'interno di queste ampie vetrine, rintracciando negli anni gli sviluppi e le soluzioni espressive, ho potuto prendere visione di un più alto numero di autori, nei confronto dei quali spero di trovare soluzioni di approfondimento per il futuro e che comunque cercherò di menzionare in questa edizione.     

Il successivo passaggio, cosi come già accennato, è stato la fondamentale frequentazione diretta degli artisti attraverso la visita degli studi in cui le opere hanno origine; si tratta di un passaggio fondamentale che permette di entrare in sintonia, verificare quella che può essere stata un'intuizione iniziale in un contesto particolare come lo stand di una Fiera o lo spazio 'asettico' di una Galleria. Negli studi e solo in questi luoghi spesso appartati e riservati, è possibile percepire la portata di una ricerca artistica, perché è qui che i tavoli ospitano  le carte e i primi disegni, ma anche i libri di consultazione, l'accumulo sperimentale di tecniche di redazione. Lo spazio dello studio segnala sia la storia pregressa che gli sviluppi futuri di una cultura dell'arte, svela le trasformazioni dei diversi processi metodologico-linguistci, le curiosità che rimangono in attesa di approfondimenti e di realizzazioni. Nello studio nasce la conversazione con l'artista, personale e mirata, e l'approfondimento, con la risoluzione di dubbi e risposte che non ti aspetti, che spesso ti spiazzano, dandoti la dimensione della creatività. Tutto questo materiale raccolto costituisce l'esperienza che predispone gli indirizzi successivi, verso le fasi di istallazione espositiva e di giudizio critico nello strumento editoriale. La vita in studio permette di raccogliere tutti i tasselli che muovono dall'intuizione progettuale alle questioni di supporto e alle tecniche di produzione; l'ascolto fornisce diretta percezione dei processi che stanno alla base e alle spalle delle opere per poi andare a acquisire i valori che le conducono a dialogare con lo spazio espositivo, ad entrare in relazione con la storia contemporanea e quindi con il sistema dell'arte nel suo insieme. Mai come nella stagione attuale, in cui il giudizio critico e il gusto dipendono dalla dimensione del web,  risulta importante riaprire le botteghe dell'arte, permetterne la frequentazione quale esperienza del comprendere e del percepire, dell'assaporare quelle verità che spesso sfuggono ad un rapporto freddo ed effimero. Materiali e colori, carte e telai, pigmenti e supporti, volumi che si accatastano e luci che si accendono accanto al profumo di un caffè e dell'olio e della trielina, le selezioni fotografiche e grafiche della stampa, rappresentano l'archivio del fare e del riflettere, del pensare e del vedere.

In relazione stretta e all'interno di un comune quadro esperienziale si collocano due diversi progetti affiancati ma indipendenti, dove il primo si è concentrato sulla città di Friburgo e, quindi, sugli autori che ho raccolto nel concetto avvolgente di Caleidoscopio, mentre il secondo ha assunto un carattere più ampio tra geografie diverse, tra Monaco, Colonia e Wurzburg, racchiuse nel titolo "Ricerche tedesche". I due percorsi espositivi ed editoriali, non si sono esauriti in un tempo breve, tendono a contaminarsi, come è avvenuto nel progetto "Tutti i Pani del Mondo" per la Fondazione Sassi di Matera nel 2019, e ad essere circolanti, come avviene in questo caso...per poi prendere nuove strade, tra ampliamento e approfondimento. 


Ricerche tedesche. 2016/2019

L.Bert, C.Desgranges, I.Ringe, M.Wallenstall-Schoenberg, H.Mehler, S. Edle von HoeBle, R.Gross, R.Rohlfing 

Five Gallery Lugano (Ch) 


Il ciclo espositivo 'Ricerche tedesche', a cui più strettamente fa riferimento quest'ultimo Progetto, si è concentrato su una serie di esposizioni monografiche, scandite lungo un arco temporale abbastanza ampio. Nella prima fase centrale del progetto sono stati presi in esame autori riconducibili ai 'processi analitici' degli anni '70, allo sviluppo del suo patrimonio nella stagione recente; si trattava di dimostrare e mettere in evidenza come all'interno del lavoro degli artisti coinvolti, si percepisse soluzioni originali e innovative, un rinnovamento dell'eredità' attribuita, sopratutto per alcuni autori come Ivo Ringe, Claudia Desgranges e Cecilia Vissers alla più antica stagione dell'Arte Concerta, ed ancora scelte che si sono specificate su valori estetici individuali. 

Gli spazi raccolti e accoglienti di Five Gallery a Lugano hanno risposto perfettamente al progetto critico di superare quelle rigidità e alcune durezze collegate alle origini di quella ormai lontana stagione; ogni esposizione ha permesso di mettere in evidenza una serie di spunti espressivi personali, fondati sull'individualità, espressione dell'intimità. 

Di fronte ad una cultura artistica seppur fondata sui 'processi espressivi analitici', come avviene nel caso di Rita Rohlfing e di Lore Bert, dobbiamo osservare come oggi i confini operativi si siano allargati includendo soluzioni emozionali, dove cioè ogni diversa procedura tende a far affiorare tensioni e suggestioni dal proprio interno verso la percezione; i 'processi' attivano una dimensione vitale in costante forma di crescita e di affermazione, insistente perché nella ripetizione dell'icona, che sia una forma (Herbert Mehler) o un colore (Maria Wallenstall), sta la contemporaneità. L'attivazione di un procedere 'analitico' indica una volontà attenta, ma non per questo chiusa di fronte alla percezione sensibile;  il concetto linguistico che conduce alla definizione della forma e del colore, l'opzione per un supporto e la scelta di un collante, indicano quanto il territorio di indagine su cui si orienta ogni singolo artista, abbia esteso la propria dimensione. Nasce una cultura dell'arte che trova nella contemporaneità la necessità del confronto, di un'apertura all'interferenza; esemplare è in quest'ottica il lavoro di Rainer Gross in cui la dimensione plastica del colore svolge in maniera autonoma una forte e incisiva azione creativa e di Lore Bert in cui la scelta del supporto cartaceo svolge un ruolo trainante per ogni soluzione creativa.

All'interno di questo progetto avrei voluto includere, tra gli altri, anche Thomas Deyle e Markus Strieder, Heiner Thiel. 


Kaleidoskop 2017

B.Bosch, A.Hess, W.Ewers, B.Liebel, J.Ligteringen, D.Maertens,T.Matt,M.Ott,D.Schon,

M.C.Tangorra, S.T.Verwick,B.Jager.

Freiburg (D) 


Il Progetto del 2017 ha preso in esame il lavoro di dodici artisti  presenti nella città e nel territorio di  Friburgo, con l'obiettivo di fornire un ventaglio ampio tra diverse aree linguistico-visive; alla base delle scelte, oltre alle qualità espressive individualmente rappresentate, stava l'idea di suggerire uno spaccato, a carattere emblematico e senza presunzione di completezza, della cultura artistica contemporanea. Si è trattato di predisporre una grande mostra in cui ogni artista potesse rivelare le tappe significative del proprio percorso espressivo e sviluppare un personale ed articolato sistema di comunicazione. Non si è trattato di seguire le linee di una infinita collettiva, pericolosamente generica e poco approfondita, ma di cercare di consegnare tutto lo spazio per lo sviluppo di idee e di progetti autonomi con soluzioni indipendenti, anche in relazione dialettica. Ogni artista invitato sapeva di poter fornire strumenti sufficienti a 'raccontare' il proprio percorso, a sottolineare obiettivi e soluzioni ritenute importanti nella propria ricerca; ogni artista ha potuto distribuire nello spazio più lavori, sia seguendo un percorso cronologico oppure con approfondimenti tematici distinti. Il valore dell'indipendenza di analisi e di giudizio si riversa anche all'interno del volume che accompagna il progetto. Nasce un 'caleidoscopio' puntato su Friburgo e trasferito espositivamente a Padova, con una notevole complessità di opere, manufatti diversi e questa edizione che ne registra e interpreta la dimensione estetica sfaccettata e problematica; si predispone un evento inedito fondato sulla dimensione complessa che il sistema dell'arte esprime rinnovandosi costantemente. Un caleidoscopio che osserva l'insieme e sottolinea il singolo manufatto, che provoca le relazioni intercorrenti tra le opere ma che si sofferma anche sulla dimensione privata di un frammento, che cerca la percezione ambientale ma che orienta lo sguardo anche sulle grammatiche progettuali del fare e del creare.


Caleidoscopio. 2020

Arte Contemporanea in Germania

Museo Irpino Avellino

Max Dill e di Ben Sleeuwenhoek

C.Desgranges,R.Gross, I.Ringe, R.Rohlfing,  M.Wallenstall-Schoenberg.

Il nuovo progetto si articola attraverso due sezioni espositive, una monografica e una a carattere collettivo, in grado di allargare e rinnovare ulteriormente quanto in questi anni si è andato realizzando e di cui si è data notizia. L'esposizione monografica di Max Dill e di Ben Sleeuwenhoek aggiunge, rispetto a quanto fino ad oggi svolto, un primo momento di analisi su quanto si svolge all'interno di Berlino, ma sopratutto tende ad ulteriormente  allargare e anche a 'stravolgere' quella dimensione comunque organica che contrassegnava il precedente progetto. 

Allo scandire delle opere di C.Desgranges,R.Gross, I.Ringe, R.Rolfing, M.Wallenstall-Schoenberg, in cui la forma e il colore rispondono ad una processualità collegata a tratti, con soluzioni dell'uno e dell'altro, tra soluzioni di raffreddamento ma anche con i contributi caldi delle materie, si inseriscono due percorsi espressivi in cui si impongono il racconto con le carte di Max Diell e la lettura con i libri e le grandi pagine di Ben Sleeuwenhoek.





Max Diel "Del non sapere e del non voler andare oltre".

Max Diel affronta le costanti ed estese dimensioni della figurazione, collegandosi specificatamente a quella storia del 'raccontare per immagini' che attraversa la stagione moderna e contemporanea, senza che si possa escludere un rapporto di continuità con una più ampia dimensione del patrimonio storico europeo. Seguendo un processo di work in regress penso sia utile ripartire dall'esteso patrimonio 'antico',  anche se potrebbe sembrare ad alcuni, troppo lontano, non solo sul piano cronologico, ma anche dalle grammatiche linguistico-visive che ne hanno contrassegnato lo sviluppo nei secoli e tra le diverse aree geografico-culturali. 

Attraverso una costante attitudine critica tesa a personalizzare le indicazioni risultanti dalla percezione dell'arte, osservo che le opere di Max Diel, insinuando lo sguardo tra le tele dipinte e le sue insistite carte, siano testimoni originali di quel tempo sospeso che unisce il presente al passato; seguendo un processo interpretativo che si è nel tempo liberato da parametri storici e presunte scientificità, scopro che ogni opera trascrive frammenti di realtà e immagini del tempo, secondo un'attitudine espressiva rintracciabile nell'immenso serbatoio della storia dell'arte. Possiamo affermare che Max Diel intrecci, forse inconsapevolmente, il suo lavoro con ambiti espressivi 'nascosti' e con una serie di  'frammenti' minori presenti nella cultura pittorica di ogni epoca. 

Si tratta di un patrimonio di opere cosi dette 'minori', frutto di una osservazione 'disincantata', raramente nate all'esterno di committenze ma risultati di curiosità personali; nella maggioranza dei casi hanno il valore di  un 'appunto', soggetto anche casuale d'ispirazione, ma legato alla sensibilità del momento per poi diventare anche opera d'arte nel valore compiuto del termine. Cosi come avviene nel lavoro di trascrizione di Max Diel, il territorio di riferimento  parla di quotidianità, si sofferma 'brevemente' sulla casualità di un'azione e di un gesto, di uno sguardo che si perde nella quotidianità: Sono sempre immagini che abbiamo incontrato lungo la stagione dei cicli di affreschi e, in specifico, nelle più libere 'sinopie' in cui ampia era la libertà di espressione, e ancora nei cartoni da spolvero, nei disegni preparatori, nei piccoli blocchi da disegno della stagione 'moderna'.

In questi anni e con importanti risultati anche in questa fase artistica, tutto il lavoro di Max Diel, strettamente legato alla delicatezza del suo stesso essere, sembra voler rispondere, rispettando la privacy esteriore ed interiore, ad un procedere che possiamo definire 'dello sguardo distratto', cioè di un'attenzione tesa a cogliere, senza porre domande, le ragioni di un gesto, senza voler sapere il significato di uno sguardo, evitando di approfondire ma solo registrare un atteggiamento che soluzioni cromatico-formali trascrivono con misurata partecipazione, trattenendo l'emozione. Ogni soggetto è sottoposto ad un'inquadratura che sembra appartenergli, senza mai ripeterla per altri. Si tratta per Max Diell di una curiosità senza scopo, di un interesse senza ragione apparente, attenta cioè a cogliere i toni cromatici di un'azione svolta nella normale quotidianità, scelta tra quelle migliaia che ogni essere animato compie,ma anche di quel gran numero di oggetti che vivono nell'immobilità dello spazio. Il pittore e l'acquarellista, affidano alle liquidità del colore la possibilità di trovare un equilibrio tra 'l'avvenire di un fatto' e il suo possibile sviluppo, senza cercarne la successione, accontentandosi  di ciò che il fotogramma seleziona dalla realtà.

Forse non è un caso che tutto questo percorso di osservazione e di trascrizione del quotidiano non avvenga in un classico studio d'artista isolato dalla società, separato dallo scorrere dei fatti della quotidianità; Max Diel, opta per luoghi e spazi operativi in cui sono presenti tutti i segnali di una collettività,  di cui capta quei rumori e quelle voci che danno 'voce' alle sue 'immagini' e che a nostra volta possiamo 'immaginare' .




Ben Sleeuwenhoek .Tutto appare perfetto, ogni foglio compiuto, ogni pagina ed ogni libro completato...

Ho trovato una perfetta relazione tra la 'natura' dello studio di Sleeuwehoek a Berlino ed il suo lavoro, tra la grande luminosità che ampie vetrate raccolgono dalla luce di nord-est e la cultura 'limpida' delle sue opere, ed ancora l'ordine che tavoli e librerie fornisco ad una volontà estetica compositiva. Ho potuto osservare come lo spazio in cui l'artista vive e opera, possa rappresentare non solo un luogo operativo ma anche offrire una perfetta condizione di osservazione e di studio..fino a suggerire l'idea che sia creata quell'unità inscindibile tra arte e spazio in cui lo stesso artista si muove facendone parte.

Tutto sembra condotto verso la ricerca di un equilibrio tra dati la cui diversità non spaventa il suo artefice; l'elaborazione di un'opera risulta il frutto esemplare di una sapienza espressiva maturata nel tempo; ogni 'pagina' e i diversi 'libri' e gli oggetti-sculture nascono da procedure che hanno saputo piegare l'occasionalità verso una nuova serie di valori.

Attraverso un controllo attento degli strumenti linguistico-visivi, in particolar modo adattando il collage alle sue necessità espressive, Ben Sleeuwehoek, ha saputo promuovere il dialogo sperimentale tra 'frammenti' iconografici e suggestioni cromatiche elaborando un vero e proprio patrimonio 'enciclopedico'; negli anni l'azione caleidoscopica di raccolta ha prodotto un vero e proprio "Archivio della Cultura e dell'Arte" confermando il ruolo del collage nella definizione a carattere progettuale della pittura contemporanea, cosi come è avvenuto con la saldatura per la scultura. 

Mi sono posto di fronte al volume antologico "Een keuze" in cui si racconta la storia artistica di Sleeuwehoek tra il 1987 e il 2001, scoprendo quanto il rapporto di continuità con il presente, indichi la contaminazione tra una grande ricchezza di idee ed una metodica processualità sperimentale;  attraverso un insistito lavoro di selezione dei più diversi e tra di loro distanti apparati iconografici, spesso provenienti dal patrimonio sociale, giunge, opera dopo opera, ad una sempre nuova grammatica. L'ambito e le dimensioni globali della 'scrittura per immagini'  viene sottoposta da Sleeuwehoek ad indagine e a revisione; sottoponendo ad un processo di rielaborazione frammenti e soggetti, temi e spunti, giunge a dar loro una nuova forma con risultati esemplari e un'impaginazione che non può essere messi in discussione. Tutto appare perfetto, ogni foglio compiuto, ogni pagina ed ogni libro completato...cosi che la precisione non appare un condizionamento e il rigore un limite.   

Sulla base di una presa di visione diretta del luogo di lavoro con caratteristiche di concentrazione intellettuale, di registrazione di una particolare attenzione alla cultura dei materiali e quindi di apprezzamento e di condivisione con la grande sensibilità di Sleeuwehoek, risulta che tutto ciò avviene in una sorte di sospensione del tempo; non si tratta, per ogni carta o libro o scultura, di un avanzamento a tutti i costi ma di una produzione frutto della trasformazione, determinata da un immobilismo produttivo, mai ripetitivo ma auto-rinnovativo, che macina se stesso aggiungendo come un alchimista frammenti che rinnovano. Il tempo diventa una 'bolla' di creatività in continua auto-trasformazione, da cui anche queste più recenti carte hanno origine e ne sono testimonianza.

Rispetto all'archivio figurativo diffuso nel passato, Sleeuwehoek conserva l'unicità di un singolo oggetto, centralizzando su di esso la sua attenzione; sceglie di soffermarsi e di dedicarsi alla presenza del sonaglio d'orato, costruendo, intorno ad esso una realtà cromatica accesa, diremmo 'sonora'. Si tratta di una ricerca che risponde ad una ulteriore fase di concettualizzazione del linguaggio in cui i due soggetti si contaminano, sollecitando la reciproca reazione. 





Claudia Desgranges. Il colore 'trascinato', la luce 'dilatata'.

Un bianco abbagliante si distribuisce perfettamente all'interno dello spazio-studio di Claudia Desgranges a Colonia avvolgendo ogni angolo e mettendo in risalto le presenze policrome delle opere alle pareti, le carte e  i libri d'artista ancora in fase di redazione; da un unico alto soffitto ricade una luce frutto delle diverse relazioni tra quella naturale e quella elettrica, predisponendo un'atmosfera di totale isolamento. 

Escludendo ogni esterna distrazione, la lettura si concentra sulla relazione tra gli strumenti del lavoro, i materiali di supporto e le opere, quelle ancora in fase di redazione e quelle perfettamente completate; la fruizione estetica dell'opera di Claudia Desgranges si articola attraverso precisi e mirati spunti, tra indirizzi linguistici e ambiti di intervento, si auto-rinnova negli anni seguendo un percorso sperimentale progressivo e costante, sistematico e mai improvviso. Il bianco e il colore sono gli essenziali dati che contrassegnano lo spazio architettonico dello studio, in evidente corrispondenza con la caratura espressiva delle opere di Claudia Desgranges contrassegnate da un'organizzazione costantemente chiara e nitida, mai casuale, sempre frutto di un equilibrio accuratamente cercato e raggiunto.

In questo quadro anche la scelta di un supporto estremamente rigoroso e minimale, industriale e non artigianale, quale è l'alluminio appare un fattore che induce ad isolare l'opera dal contesto, a separarla dal muro permettendogli di imporsi sullo spazio, di assumere una funzione strutturale indipendente; il foglio metallico, quale supporto privilegiato che sostituisce da tempo la tela, ospita i processi di comunicazione visiva articolandosi tra la dimensione geometrica del frammento e quella compositiva di porzioni diverse, scegliendo sia l'orizzontalità sia la verticalità, esplorando la successione dei diversi piani.

Questi primi dati indicano quanto il colore, avendo assunto un ruolo centrale negli interessi e nella sperimentazione di Claudia Desgranges, abbia potuto raggiungere un'ulteriore e specifica valenza espressiva; attraverso la perfetta definizione di un sistema di 'scrittura cromatica' , grazie alla combinazione tra supporto e strumenti, tra le dimensioni e gli spessori; il colore ottiene la condizione ottimale per continuare a comunicare quelle nuove aree e i valori che gli sono propri, che é in grado di rinnovare costantemente.

Il colore è infatti 'trascinato' lungo l'estensione della superficie di alluminio, non diluito ne gettato, cosi che possa lasciare tracce della dimensione materiale e una scia della sua natura; il colore si distribuisce sul piano per essere condotto da una mano attenta e sicura verso l'estensione e la dilatazione delle sue specifiche qualità. Questo procedere contrassegnato da pennellesse a pettine sembra 'sfibrare' la composizione del singolo colore, al fine di far risultare pienamente la sostanza psicologica di una natura luminosa. 

Un procedere che Claudia Desgranges sposta dalla superficie rigida e fredda dell'alluminio a quella assorbente e calda della carta; parallelamente, infatti, il lavoro artistico si trasferisce nell'ambito antico del foglio e nella insistita realizzazione di grandi libri d'artista; rispetto ai processi condotti all'interno della rigorosa struttura del supporto metallico, il vasto ambito delle Collezioni di Libri e di Carte sembra moltiplicare e allargare la dimensione liberatoria dell'azione espressiva.

Il rapporto estetico in perfetto equilibrio tra alluminio e carta si rivela nel luogo del lavoro creativo, predisponendosi a contrassegnare gli spazi espositivi e le collezioni private attraverso il contenuto vitale del colore, frutto di processi analitici condotti con grande sensibilità.






Rainer Gross. Il dittico suggerisce l'apertura di un libro, lo sfogliare delle pagine, la conseguenzialità del racconto ...

Il mio primo incontro con Rainer Gross è avvenuto di fronte a due grandi pareti polimateriche frutto di una stratificazione della superficie policroma; mi trovavo improvvisamente di fronte ad un dittico di grandi dimensioni, molto simile ad una invalicabile parete in cui predominava la contaminazione tra il giallo e il rosso; rilevai subito che la superficie del quadro non risultava dipinta, ma neanche realizzata a spatola; nello stesso momento trovai quanto il processo di redazione presentasse una specifica autonomia dalle diverse soluzioni legate alla 'sgocciolatura' sebbene si respirasse quel  misto di luce/energia  che scopre la pittura americana dopo gli anni '40, influenzando la stagione a-formale  dell'arte europea. 

I miei studi storico-artistici e in particolare quelli dedicati alla cultura del restauro, avevano indirizzato la mia attenzione per lo spessore materico del colore, per una sostanza fisica che si rilevava animata al suo interno, brulicante di vita; raramente mi sono trovato spiazzato di fronte alla percezione di un lavoro che,  pur raccogliendo in se stesso tasselli diversi di cultura pittorica, sfuggiva al già visto, trattenendomi e affascinandomi; non percepivo la sensazione effimera e superficiale della 'novità a tutti i costi', tipica di una tendenza auto-referenziale; fui effettivamente attratto da quella inedita parete di colore che mi sovrastava con la stessa forza fisica di una 'Pala d'Altare'.   

Quell'iniziale confronto con la pittura di Rainer Gross è avvenuto all'interno di Art Karlsruhe, è proseguito nel suo studio di Colonia, scoprendo di avere da tempo quei comuni interessi e quelle mirate relazioni che ci hanno condotto, tra Italia e Svizzera, a collaborare in diverse occasioni espositive.  Quell'iniziale impatto confermato da una più ampia conoscenza dell'opera di Rainer Gross, mi ha immediatamente ricondotto all'esperienza  della pittura antica ed alle tecniche di 'strappo' e di 'restauro' dei cicli di affresco; nel confronto con il suo lavoro si scopre che esiste una 'strana' relazione con la visione della parte retrostante di un affresco, distaccato dall'originaria sinopia, ancora contrassegnata dalla matericità frantumata del muro di sostegno. Per la prima volta ebbi la sensazione di trovarmi dalla parte opposta dell'opera, quindi nella condizione di presenza e di assenza, e scoprire quanto fosse importante anche quella fase, da sempre tenuta nascosta e inaccessibile. Su questo stesso principio, tra due pareti 'incollate' che si distaccano, nascono i dittici di Rainer Gross in cui l'uno conserva testimonianza dell'atro ma anche autonomia; le due diverse facce dialogano e raccontano, suggeriscono la percezione di una osservazione che cerca di perdersi nelle superfici materiche e policrome individuando quelle 'abrasioni' che rivelano l'originale unità.  Partendo dalla affascinante condizione di una realtà estetica nascosta, ho approfondito questo processo ricostruttivo condotto da Gross sulla dimensione stratificata della pittura, raccogliendo idee ed emozioni di fronte alle incrostazioni di una materia in grado di  parlarci della condizione epidermica del colore;  la percezione estetica segue l'insistenza e condivide l'accanimento di un procedere pittorico che ottiene senso e valore dalla lavorazione stessa, dal piccolo al grande, dalle opere su tela a quelle su carta, di ogni singolo frammento prezioso. Le variabili e le combinazioni policrome appaiono infinite rinnovandosi costantemente, sia per forte conflitto che per  assonanza: il dittico suggerisce l'apertura di un libro, lo sfogliare delle pagine, la conseguenzialità del racconto; il dittico, sopratutto nella sua stagione lignea, riconduce la nostra osservazione allo svelamento delle verità teologiche di cui la storia dell'arte antica è stata per secoli testimone fondamentale. Non sfugga questo ambito 'religioso' e le atmosfere spirituali che la stagione contemporanea della pittura, attraverso il gesto prima, la luce e la materia, da Pollock a Rotko a Burri, ha svelato; la costanza del dittico e la frequente predilezione della dimensione quadrata suggeriscono un ulteriore passaggio espressivo verso la concentrazione e la tensione psicologica, con valore rafforzativo e di sottolineatura della percezione.   

Maria Wallenstål-Schoenberg

Non sono in grado di 'calcolare' quanto le origini svedesi, la combinazione tra la quotidianità e gli studi d'arte, abbiano influenzato o lasciato più di una traccia specifica nella storia espressiva di Maria Wallenstål e nelle opere della più recente stagione che raccogliamo in questa edizione; in ogni caso devo segnalare che la dimensione cromatica organizzata per campiture solide e materiche, dettagliate da un confine inciso, dell'artista svedese, mi suggeriscono una relazione linguistica con lo scandinavo per eccellenza, Edvard Munch. 

Dall'opera dell'artista norvegese, in autonomia rispetto al processo di 'sottolineatura' dell'espressionismo tedesco, deve essere rilevata la presenza di ampie ed accese campiture di colore, definite dalla sagomatura rafforzata di una forma che si impone nello spazio; dobbiamo sottolineare la scala di valori monocromatici in forma di indipendenza ad incastro, forse un anticipo di un principio analitico e aniconico, fondata su i rossi, i bianchi e i verdi. L'osservazione del dipinto 'Le ragazze sul ponte' del 1902 rivela quanto l'artista sia interessato a scandire attraverso la fisicità della campitura uniforme dei colori impiegati, la fisica sostanza segnaletica dell'abito; una definizione delle superfici monocromatiche che riscontriamo, secondo un processo di work in regress, verso il principio della 'campana giottesca' adottata nei monocromi bruni della Cappella Bardi, quale ulteriore sottolineatura metodologica, presente anche ne "La danza" del 1899 sempre di Edward Munch . 

Questi dati, possono, per esperienza critica, far parte di un depositato patrimonio linguistico-visivo, costruito nel tempo, per affinità non programmabili e in ogni caso riscontrabili nell'attuale lavoro di Maria Wallenstål-Schoenberg. 

Il mio primo incontro è avvenuto di fronte ad una 'quadreria' interamente dedicato alle piccole dimensioni; un'ampia parete bianca isolava la preziosa carica e la vivace energia di una decina di tasselli cromatici, obbligando lo sguardo a inseguire e a riprendere contatto visivo, rilanciando brevi spostamenti di forme e soluzioni spesso 'acide'; alla prima percezione seguì la lettura interna ad ogni frammento rivelando la sostanza plastica del colore distribuita secondo il processo di un 'disegnare antico'. 

Sulla scia tracciata dalla collezione di piccole tele, affascinato e coinvolto, potei soffermarmi e approfondire la dilatazione, nelle grandi tele, del colore e delle forme; la dimensione diventava, in questa seconda fase, il principio di un coinvolgimento, poi di una partecipazione e infine da intendere nella forma del confronto-scontro, di una nuova e ulteriore idea di vitalità espressiva. L'estensione dello spazio pittorico e delle energie che in esso fluttuano e si organizzano introduceva la forza, anche nella stratificazione dei bianchi, di quella che potremmo definire una 'parete di colore'. Si osserverà di fatto come le grandi tele della Wallenstål siano in grado di aprire una serie di interessanti rapporti le dimensioni dell'architettura contemporanea. Possiamo affermare che le grandi opere di Maria Wallenstål-Schoenberg, senza mai perdere d'intensità, risultavano proiettate verso il territorio espressivo della 'joie de vivre' nelle più vivaci soluzioni cromatiche, caratterizzate dagli azzurri e dagli aranci, dai verdi e dai rossi. 

Non è un caso che lo studio di Monaco, posto all'interno di una straordinaria area artistico-laboratoriale, rappresenta il luogo privilegiato per l'affermazione del fare artistico che dialoga con la dimensione spaziale; la struttura originaria di una grande caserma, con l'area comune di accesso e i lunghi corridoi, il carattere concentrato dello studio, rappresentano l'habitat in cui si riconosce quello stato di attenta riservatezza interiore necessario all'elaborazione di ciascuna sua opera; la luce penetra attraverso l'orizzontalità di un lungo finestrato distribuendosi in maniera equilibrata e uniforme verso le tre pareti destinate al lavoro - dettaglia la successione dei 'progetti e i bozzetti preparatori' disposti lungo il piano di appoggio e le scaffalature - fornisce la massima estensione alle grandi opere perché sia i gialli che gli aranci possano, intensi, esplodere all'interno della forma. 


Ivo Ringe. Lavagne di pittura.

Non condivido le preoccupazioni di coloro che escludono, in nome di una presunta purezza scientifica dell'arte, le relazioni che intercorrono tra l'osservazione e il giudizio sull'opera con la personalità del suo autore; senza scadere in una riduttiva scala di nozioni biografiche, ritengo un dato significativo e spesso prezioso, in base all'esperienza diretta di chi frequenta da sempre e vive la vita degli studi d'artista, conoscere e introdurre la percezione dei valori umani nel giudizio sull'operare artistico...nel caso di Ivo Ringe il tema della personalità assume un peso importante, che non può essere nascosto ed escluso dal confronto diretto con la sua pittura; una marcata energia e un forte orientamento all'entusiasmo e alla partecipazione esistenziale, sono dati che ne contrassegnano il valore e la carica espressiva.

In una prima fase del mio avvicinamento al lavoro di Ringe riconoscevo, sul piano di una percezione emotiva, una condizione di distanza, direi una indipendenza, tra la singola tela e la fruizione; le opere di più piccola dimensione, forse  per la loro intima fattura, in cui lo sguardo si fa attento alla materia pittorica, inducevano la mia sensibilità ad entrare in più stretta sintonia, andando ad una conoscenza diretta . 

La visita nello studio di Colonia, a cui hanno fatto seguito diverse occasioni di incontro anche in Italia, mi ha permesso di estrapolare e di mettere in evidenza un patrimonio espressivo frutto di una cultura pittorica in cui la volontà progettuale e l'organizzazione dello spazio mentale, mantengono un peso strutturale. l'estensione delle diverse superfici monocrome, dai verdi ai rosa, dai neri ai gialli, diventa la dimensione di appoggio per l'azione di un processo estetico-analitico che si articola tra soluzioni segnico-grafiche e geometrie piane; il processo di redazione si fonda su una attenta conoscenza di quanto la purezza di un pigmento è in grado di esprimere nella ricerca di un perfetto rapporto con lo spazio che gli viene offerto.  

Nascono opere, anche di grandi dimensioni, orientate a definirsi 'lavagne di pittura'; sono planimetrie che cercano nello spazio una condizione mentale, uno stato d'animo e che si riversano sulla condizione partecipativa della percezione. Nei grandi spazi espositivi museali come nel clima raccolto delle collezioni private, le opere di Ringe sono testimoni di un'esperienza estetica nata e costruita sul perfetto equilibrio tra rigore e passione, tra struttura e energia; dal frammento monocromo alle grandi dimensioni di un'installazione della pittura nell'habitat si è introdotti in uno spazio ancora inedito dell'arte contemporanea, frutto dell'incontro tra la stagione europea dell'arte concreta ed il patrimonio analitico dell'arte nord-americana. Nel lavoro di Ivo Ringe si avverte una affermazione estetica decisa, contrassegnata da una volontà tesa alla definizione geometrica dello spazio positivo, ma anche al raggiungimento di costellazioni celesti e di carte geografiche, tra percorsi e tracciati che uniscono i luoghi del 'pensiero'. Il riferimento alla 'lavagna', nell'accezione concettuale di luogo della ricerca e della scrittura, introduce un ideale riferimento a Joseph Beyus di cui Ivo Ringe fu allievo negli anni accademici di Dussenldorf; riferendomi alla 'lavagna', intendo rimandare ai valori del tracciare linee e dell'individuare spazi, nel rapporto intuitivo che unisce, da sempre, la scienza all'arte, la matematica alla pittura, la filosofia all'estetica. 

Sulla base di questo percorso di analisi dobbiamo ancora soffermare la nostra attenzione sulla  successione dei titoli che scandiscono la Collezione delle opere; sono suggerimenti che Ivo Ringe dichiara apertamente riferendo stati d'animo e emozioni poetiche; affiorano tutti i dati di una personalità intensa, con opere che narrano di dolcezze familiari racchiuse in un reticolo rosa, per trascrizione di un giardino con i suoi primi verdi, tra le bruciature desertiche del Nuovo Messico, un risveglio d'amore, i rossi e i caldi aranci e i gialli per "Una giornata di sole".



Rita Rolfingh

Lo studio di Rita Rohlfing si trova nel contesto periferico di Colonia, in un'area contrassegnata dalla presenza di laboratori e di fabbriche; la struttura rimanda a quella di un grande magazzino o di un deposito delle merci; le dimensioni e i caratteri dell'impianto rimandano alla tangibile esperienza del lavoro, della produzione e dello stoccaggio. 

Questi dati forniscono indicazioni utili a collocare con correttezza l'attività artistica di Rita Rolfingh nell'ambito della cultura industriale, delle sue produzioni e delle sue tecnologie; precisiamo che non si tratta soltanto di quell'ovvia necessità di spazio che tendenzialmente la scultura ha sempre richiesto, ma si rapporta proprio ad una serie di questioni e di valori che hanno origine nella realtà industriale: dalla processualità alla sperimentazione, dal rigore alla sistematicità, tra precisione,ordine e organizzazione lungo tutto l'arco dei processi. D'altra parte sappiamo che le opere monumentali come quelle di più piccole dimensioni, vengono tendenzialmente concepite e progettate nello studio, mentre l'effettiva produzione avviene, a seconda dei materiali selezionati e delle tecnologie collegate, in vere e proprie officine.    

Anche le monografie dedicate a Rita Rohlfing segnalano un'attività di ricerca che si concentra su alcuni materiali industriali con l'obiettivo di verificarne le possibilità espressive. 

Del plexiglas analizza la struttura e la composizione (polimetilmetracrilato) e la stratificazione per estrarre, per trasparenza, un sistema di variabili luminose; attraverso una attenta selezione delle colorazioni Rita Rohlfing promuove fino ad esasperare la dimensione fluorescente del materiale ottenendo sullo spazio un riverbero diffuso e avvolgente. Attraverso l'alluminio, grazie alla sua duttilità e leggerezza, predispone soluzioni in cui è ancora la luce ad essere il soggetto indagato e il tema dell'opera; il taglio delle superfici metalliche fa seguito allo studio di quelle forme che ridisegnano la dimensione percettiva del lo spazio. 

Nasce in questi anni una ricca produzione di opere, organizzata per Cicli contrassegnati dal variare delle forme, del colore e della luce; ogni Raccolta è infatti diversamente contrassegnata dall'impiego di questi materiali di supporto - l'alluminio, l'acciaio e il plexiglas - da cui dipendono grandi variabili, sia sul piano delle dimensioni sia degli spazi  espositivi, tra museali e privati: le grandi strutture 'architettoniche' si inseriscono nel paesaggio con l'obiettivo di creare e di 'esasperare' il patrimonio immaginativo racchiuso nell'installazione, sia sul piano della percezione dimensionale sia in quella emozionale sottolineata dal rapporto tra colore e luce...le lastre di alluminio sabbiate si distribuiscono con le loro forme disegnate nello spazio divaricandolo...i contenitori di plexiglas raccolgono e racchiudono l'evanescenza della luce con le sue variabili emozionali...le più recenti grande stampe fotografiche su lastre di alluminio sono pareti riflettenti a cui è affidato il ruolo di raccontare, tra bagliori e incisioni, il dentro e il fuori dell'opera, nei suoi mondi segreti e tra le tracce della realtà, luogo il trascorrere del tempo.

Si tratta di un percorso creativo in cui la sensibilità personale si lega strettamente ai processi di studio e di sperimentazione per poi evidenziarsi nella fase di produzione e di installazione; possiamo affermare che ogni opera è il frutto di una scoperte e la riuscita di un desiderio sperimentale in cui l'esperienza del 'piacere' lentamente trova il suo spazio; avvertiamo che la cultura artistica Rita Rohlfing, pur nella dimensione rigorosa delle sue geometrie, anche di fronte alla minimalizzazione  dei dati coinvolti, ci permette di vivere un'esperienza estetica non casuale ma raffinata; sappiamo che si tratta di un territorio di indagine dettato da un rigore scientifico che le impone un ventaglio applicativo ristretto, con pochi dati di supporto, nel quale Rita Rohlfing si muove con attenta sensibilità e desiderio di raggiungere la dimensione della bellezza.

Kaleidoscope: Contemporary Art in Germany.


This editorial and exhibition project, resulting from a long journey of research, is part of my culture of the arts, always characterized by an attention towards a plurality of voices, which, in the present as in the past, constantly interact with one another, combine, overlap and ultimately demand analysis, judgement and choice.  There is no era in the history of humanity that has not demonstrated a proliferation of ideas and creativity that produced an artistic heritage, renewing its expressive skills and confirming its role in front of perception.


The expressive dimension of the contemporary art system has reached unimaginable kaleidoscopic proportions. At the beginning it was exclusively a Western heritage specific of the two Atlantic coasts – the United States and the liberal part of Europe. The growth of this particular season called 'second avant-garde' followed a constant growth, it  expressed itself and occurred in specific areas and environments, but also revealed relationships and interferences, which today we know to be much broader than what was considered until the 1990’s.

A strategy of separation between the different linguistic and research areas, among authors who lived of contamination, imposed during the first five decades by the critical judgment system, coinciding with an ideological conflict and progressively sustained by an incorrect strategy of the art market – all of this creating persistent damage to the overall vision of that heritage.

This marginalization process of values was followed by the 'cancellation' of a very high number of individuals that constitute its extraordinary dimension and that slowly but progressively are being 'rediscovered' and laboriously repositioned in the historical process of knowledge. This existing and immensely manifested contradiction clearly appears during the first twenty years of the new century between the extension and development of the artistic culture projected beyond the traditional margins and the rigidity of the distribution system characterised by the rules of the financial market. A process that has temporarily redesigned the history of art collecting. 

We are observing with great interest a real "explosion of creativity" corresponding to the process of cultural globalization and we are witnessing the final achievement of a single art culture, thanks to the overcoming of that fracture that distinguished the Eastern practices from the Western ones, the Northern part of the world from the Southern one and advance societies from depressed areas. 

Confronted with this incredible extension of contemporary 'artistic products’ – capable of 'representing' perfectly all possible interdisciplinary relationships, linguistic combinations,  rethinking and reviewing processes, innovation and citation – it results increasingly coercive the  hyper-selective action of the distribution system, highly concentrated on an always more limited range of names.  This general process is openly contradictory: on one side, the tendency towards a global extension of the art culture and, on the other side, on a financial basis, the narrowing down of its placement within the social fabric.  A strategy in open conflict with the historical experience of collecting is confirmed, but with a highly potential for its development among the middle class of emerging societies.

In a critical vision based on the perception of wealth, watchful of the extensive network of relations that exist within, I always welcome a kaleidoscopic process. 



'German Research'.

This project originates from the need to uncover the artistic heritage present in the vast area of German-speaking countries, having noted that, although being increasingly oriented towards Europeanism, there exists a low circulation of its artistic culture.  
As already premised, knowledge has very few active tools available, restricting the geographic-cultural areas on non-communicating channels, unlike the linguistic systems, music and literature that do not need the logistic system that the material culture of art depends on. Its presence within the German art heritage must not be overlooked, the broadest internationalization of the expressive systems, the visual grammars and the different research and experimentation lines; this aspect delivers us artists who broaden the value of this Exhibition towards a 'European dimension'. The German exhibition system, closely connected to Switzerland and Austria, for decades has carried out a solid organization founded on a dense network of Museums, Kunstverein, Kultur Haus, Foundations (in increasing numbers), Galleries and Art Fairs, within which the possibilities to relate and share with a “less organized” Italian system are rare.  The specific Exposition Cycle that this Edition documents is quite rare and surely still unseen. 

From Cologne to Zurich, from Basel to Karlsruhe, there is an exhibition network, which is a preferable tool for those who would like to get acquainted with the artistic heritage of the art fairs. It this mainly from the exhibition environment that the art fair exhibition originates, as a result of a long series of monographic and collective art fairs conducted for many years. By attending the great art fairs, I was able to 'select' those artists with whom I was able to create a relationship visiting systematically their studios and exhibitions and collecting editorial material. Within this broad framework, throughout the years, I traced their expressive developments and solutions and I was able to get to know a greater number of artists whom I hope to work with in the future and whom I will try anyway to mention in this edition.

Direct contact, getting acquainted with the artists and visiting the art studios where their works originated, as already mentioned, was the next fundamental step, that allowed me to get in sync, to verify what may have been an initial intuition in a particular context such as the stand of a Fair or the 'aseptic' space of a gallery.   Only in these art studios, often hidden and reserved, is it possible to perceive the real importance of an artistic research, because it is here that on the tables lay the first papers and drawings, reference books, the accumulation of experimental drafting techniques. The spaces of the art studio indicate both the history and the future developments of an art culture. They all reveal the transformation of the various methodological-linguistic processes, the curiosities waiting to be examined and accomplished. 

It is in the art studio that a conversation, both personal and focused, with the artist begins, an in-depth exchange where the resolution of doubts and unexpected answers occur, giving you the dimension of creativity. All this material collected and experience leads to the phases of installation of the exhibition and lastly the critical judgement.  -The life in the art studio allows you to gather all information ranging from the intuition of the project to the choice of all supporting material and production techniques; on the other hand, listening to the artist gives us a direct understanding of the processes behind the artwork and allows us to understand how the artist communicates with the exposition space and how he enters into a relationship with contemporary history and thus with the art system as a whole. In the current tendency, where critical judgment and taste depend on the size of the web, it is essential to reopen the art shops, and to give the possibility to see and attend those places as an experience to understand and perceive, to taste important truths that we do not grasp easily from a cold and ephemeral contact.  Materials and colours, paper and canvases, pigments and supports, piled up volumes and lights accompanied by the scent of coffee, oil and trichloroethylene, the photographic and graphic selections of the prints, all represent the cradle of making, of reflecting, of thinking and of seeing.

As a result of a close relationship within a common experiential framework, two parallel yet independent projects are introduced here: the first project focuses on the city of Freiburg and on the authors that I have collected in the embracing concept of the Kaleidoscope; the second takes up a broader character encompassing different geographies, from Munich to Cologne and Wurzburg, enclosed in the title "German Research". These two exhibiting and editorial paths tend to interact as happened in "All Breads of the World" Project for the Sassi di Matera Foundation in 2019, and to circulate and take new paths of expansion and deepening.


German Research

L.Bert, C.Desgranges, I.Ringe, M.Wallenstall-Schoenberg, H.Mehler, S. Edle von HoeBle, R.Gross, R.Rohlfing 

Five Gallery Lugano 2016/2019. 

The 'German Research' exhibition cycle, which this last project more closely refers to, focuses on a series of monographic exhibitions spanned over a rather broad time frame. 
In the first central phase of the project, the artists examined were those attributable to the analytical processes of the 70’s, to the development of the heritage in the recent season. It was a matter of demonstrating and highlighting innovative and original solutions within the works of the artists involved, a renewed legacy, especially for some artists like Ivo Ringe, Claudia Desgranges and Cecilia Vissers, representing the oldest season of the Arte Concerta, and other choices based on individual aesthetic values. 

The peaceful and welcoming atmosphere of Five Gallery in Lugano answered perfectly to this critical project by overcoming those rigidities and that hardness connected to the origins of that distant season. Each exhibition highlighted a series of personal expressive inspirations founded on individuality, an expression of intimacy. When looking at an artistic culture even if founded on “analytical expressive processes” – as in the case of Rita Rohlfing and Lore Bert – we must observe how the operational boundaries have nowadays broadened including emotional solutions; that is, where each different procedure tends to draw out tensions and splendour from the inside towards the perception. The 'processes' activate a vital dimension in constant growth and affirmation. This dimension is insistent because in repeating the icon, be it a form (Herbert Mehler) or a colour (Maria Wallenstall), it express contemporaneity.

 
The activation of an 'analytical' proceeding indicates a precise will that does not exclude the perception of emotions. The linguistic concept that leads to the definition of form and colour, the option for a support and the choice of a bonding agent, all indicate how the investigative territory of each artist has extended its own dimension.

A new art culture is born which finds in the contemporary world the need of confrontation, an opening to interference. A great example of this concept can be found in the work of Rainer Gross, in which the sculptural dimension of the colour carries out independently a strong and incisive creative action; and in the work of Lore Bert, in which the choice of using paper is crucial for each creative solutions. 

Within this project I would have liked to include, among others, also Thomas Deyle, Markus  Strieder and Heiner Thiel.



Kaleidoskop

B.Bosch, A.Hess, W.Ewers, B.Liebel, J.Ligteringen, D.Maertens,T.Matt,M.Ott,D.Schon,

M.C.Tangorra, S.T.Verwick,B.Jager.

Freiburg (D) 2017


In 2017, this project examined the works of twelve artists around the city of Freiburg with the aim of providing a wide range of different linguistic-visual areas.  In addition to the expressive qualities individually represented, the main idea was to propose a cross section of contemporary artistic culture on an representative level and without presumption of completeness.  It was a matter of setting up a great exhibition where each artist could reveal the significant stages of his/her own expressive journey and develop a personal and articulated communication system.

We tried to avoid following the lines of a dangerously generic and not very thorough infinite collective exhibition, by dedicating the entire space for the development of autonomous ideas and projects with independent solutions, even through a dialectical relationship. All artist knew they had access to sufficient tools to express their own path, to underline objectives and solutions considered important in their research; each artist was able to distribute a number of works throughout the space, either following a chronological path or with separate thematic insights. It is also possible to perceive the value of this independence of analysis and judgement in the volume that accompanies this project. Thus a “kaleidoscope” was born first focused on Freiburg and then transferred to Padua, with a remarkable complexity of works, artefacts and this edition that records and interprets its multifaceted and problematic aesthetic dimension; an unprecedented event based on the complex dimension that the art system expresses in constant quest for renewal. A kaleidoscope that observes the overall and underlines the single artefact, that provokes the relationships between the artworks but also helps us dwell on the private dimension of a fragment, which seeks environmental perception but also directs our attention on the project grammar of doing and of creating. 


Kaleidoscope.
Contemporary Art in Germany

Museum of Avellino Irpino

Max Diel, Ben Sleeuwenhoek.

C.Desgranges, R.Gross, I.Ringe,, R.Rolfing, M.Wallenstall-Schoenberg.

The new project is made up of two exhibition sections, one monographic and one collective, both capable of expanding and renewing what has been so far done and reported in these years. The monographic exhibition by Max Dill and Ben Sleeuwenhoek – compared to what has been done up to now -- adds a first moment of analysis on what takes place inside Berlin, but most of all it enlarges even more and also “revolutionizes” that dimension, in any case  organic, that marked the previous project. 

Analysing the works of C.Desgranges, R.Gross, I.Ringe,, R.Rolfing and M.Wallenstall-Schoenberg, in which shape and colour respond to a partially connected process, with solutions of one and the other, between cooling solutions but also with warm contributions of materials,  we can insert in this context two expressive paths: Max Diel’s story with cards and reading Ben Sleeuwenhoek’s  large paged books. 





Monographic texts follow.






Max Diel “About not knowing and not wanting to go further”

Max Diel deals with constant and extended dimensions of figuration, connecting in particular to “story-telling by images” that passes through modern and contemporary times, without excluding a relation of continuity with the wider dimension of the European historical heritage. Following a process of work in regress, I believe it is useful to go back for a moment to the broader 'ancient' heritage, even if it might seem too far away not only from a chronological point of view, but also for a linguistic and visual grammars viewpoint, which characterized the development throughout the centuries and among the diverse geographic and cultural areas.

Using a critical approach that aims at personalizing the indications resulting from the perception of art and investigating through his painted canvases and his working papers, I observe that Max Diel's artworks describe that suspended time that links the present with the past. Following an interpretative process that in time freed itself from historical and scientific boundaries, I discover that every artwork records fragments of reality and images of time, according to an expressive approach traceable in the immense reservoir of art history. We can affirm that Max Diel intertwines, perhaps unconsciously, his work with 'hidden' expressive fields and with a series of minor 'fragments' belonging to the pictorial culture of all ages.

This collection of artworks can be define as 'minor', resulting from a 'disenchanted' observation, rarely developed outside of commissions, but as a result of personal curiosity. 

Predominately, these artworks have the value of a 'remark', an accidental subject of inspiration, but linked to the sensitivity of the moment to then become an accomplished art work as such.


Just like the transcription work of Max Diel, the area of interest refers to everyday life; it lingers 'briefly' on the causality of an action, a gesture or a glance, lost in the everyday life:  These images are the same that we have meet in the series of frescos and, more specifically, in the freer ‘synopses’, where freedom of expression was extensive, and, still in the boxes, in the preparatory sketches and in the small drawing books typical of 'modern times'.

Over the years and with important results even in this artistic phase, all of Max Diel's work, strictly tied to his inner sensibility, seems to want to respond – respecting the inner and the external privacy – proceeding with what we can define as “the distracted look', that is focused on understanding, without questioning, the meaning of a gesture, without wanting to know the reason of a glance, avoiding depth, registering only an attitude with no emotions related, through formal-chromatic solutions and with measured participation. Every subject undergoes a uniquely fit frame-shot never repeated for others.

For Max Diel this is mere curiosity, apparently without a real purpose, focused on catching the chromatic shades of an everyday action, chosen from millions of actions that every animated creature performs, but also of those many objects that live in the immobility of space. The painter and the watercolourist entrust the fluidities of colour to find a balance between the 'happening of a fact' and its possible development, without trying to find its sequence, settling with what the frame-shot selects from reality.

It’s no coincidence that the traditional process of observation and transcription of everyday life does not happen in a classical art studio isolated from society, separated from the everyday facts of life; Max Diel chooses to work in places and operational spaces where he can find all signals of the community, where he can capture noises and voices that give a ‘voice’ to his ‘images’ and that in turn we can ‘imagine’.






Ben Sleeuwenhoek

I found a perfect relation between the 'nature' of Sleeuwenhoek's study in Berlin and his work, between the radiance from the big windows that collect the north-eastern light and the 'clear' culture of his artworks, and further, the organization of the tables and bookcases that show an aesthetic compositional will. I could observe how the space where the artist lives and works can represent not only a mere operational place but it can also offer the perfect condition for observation and study, ultimately suggesting the idea that here it is possible to create that inseparable link between art and space into which the artist moves becoming a part of it.

Everything seems conducting to the research of a balance between different data, diversity which does not frighten its maker; the elaboration of an artwork is the perfect outcome of an expressive knowledge matured over time; every 'page', every different 'book' and every sculpture-object originate from particular processes capable of turning the occasional into a new series of values.

Through a careful check of the visual-linguistic tools, in particular by adapting collage to his expressive needs, Ben Sleeuwnhoek is able to promote the experimental dialogue between iconographic 'fragments' and chromatic influences, developing an 'encyclopedic' heritage as such. Over the years, the kaleidoscopic action of collection created a real “Archive of Art and Culture” confirming the role of collage in defining contemporary art, as happened with welding for sculpture.

I opened the anthology “Een keuze” which narrates the artistic history of Sleeuwnhoek between the 1987 and the 2001, discovering how much the relation of continuity with the present shows contamination between a real richness of ideas and the methodical and experimental process; through an attentive selection of the most different and distant iconographies, usually coming from the social capital, it reaches, work after work, a new grammar. Sleeuwehoek undertakes a work of investigation and review on the range and global dimensions of  'writing with images', re-elaborating fragments and subjects, themes and ideas giving them a completely new form with remarkable results and a layout of unquestionable greatness. Everything looks prefect, every sheet, every page and every finished book...so that the precision used it is not felt like an imposition nor the strictness a limit.

By observing Sleeuwenhoek's working place characterized by an intellectual awareness, with particular interest on the culture of materials and thus of appreciation and sharing his great sensitivity, everything seems to occur on a sort of suspended time.  For every sheets or book or sculptures it is not a matter of ‘advancement at all costs’ but a production resulting from a process of transformation characterized by a productive immobility, that never repeats itself but on the contrary self-renovates, that grinds itself adding innovative fragments like an alchemist. Time becomes a 'bubble' of creativity that continuously self-transforms, which even these most recent papers come from and are witness.

Compared to the figurative archive of the past, Sleeuwehoek keeps the unicity of a single object, focusing on it all of his attention; he chooses to linger and dedicate himself to the golden rattle, building around it a bright chromatic reality, in other words “sonorous”. This research corresponds to an additional phase of conceptual communication, where two subjects contaminate each other, stimulating a reciprocal reaction.



Claudia Desgranges. Colour ‘in motion’ and ‘expanding’ light.

A dazzling white light is perfectly distributed in Claudia Desgranges’s space-studio in Cologne, reaching every corner and underlining the polychrome aspects of the artworks on the walls, on paper and in the ongoing books; light comes down from the very high ceiling, creating different relations between natural and artificial lighting and generating an atmosphere of complete isolation.

By eliminating all external distractions, one’s attention is focused on the relationship among the working tools, the supporting materials and the artworks, in particular among those still in a  'work in progress' phase and those completed; the aesthetic fulfilment of Claudia Desgranges's art moves forward through precise ideas of inspiration, among linguistic paths and areas of intervention.  Over the years, it  self-renovates following a progressive, experimental and consistent path,  methodical and never improvised. Both white and colour are essential in delimiting the architectonic space of the studio, in clear correspondence with the expressive nature of Claudia Desgranges's artworks, all  characterized by a constantly clear organization, never improvised, but the outcome of a sought and achieved balance.

In this frame, even the use of rigid and minimal material, industrial and not handicraft, such as aluminium, seems to be a factor that produces isolation of the artwork from its context,   separating it from the wall in order to impose itself in the space and gain a separate structural purpose.  The metallic sheet, a privileged material that substitutes the canvas, hosts the visual communication processes expressing itself in between the geometric dimension of the fragment and the composition of the different parts, choosing both vertical and the horizontal spaces, exploring the sequence at different levels.

These first indications all show how much the colour has gained a central role in Claudia Desgranges's interests and experimentations, reaching a new and specific expressive importance, thanks to the perfect definition of a 'chromatic writing' system and the relation between the material and the tools, the dimensions and the widths.  The colour reaches an ideal condition and continues to communicate those new areas and values, capable of renovating itself consistently.

In fact, colour is 'in motion',  dragged along the entire aluminium surface; it is neither diluted nor splashed, leaving traces of the material dimension and a trail showing its nature; the colour is carefully distributed on the surface by an expert hand extending and expanding its specific qualities. This dragging technique with comb brushes seems to ‘shred’ the texture of the single colour, in order to show the physiologic essence of a shining nature.

In parallel, Claudia Desgranges moves from the rigid and cold surface of aluminium to the warm and absorbing paper, towards the ancient atmosphere of paper and towards the insistent creation of great art books.  Compared to the processes used within the strict and rigid metallic material, the wide zone of the Collection of Books and Papers seems to expand and free the liberating dimension of the expressive action of the artist.

The aesthetic relationship between aluminium and paper is in perfect equilibrium and it expresses itself in the creative working place, prepared to mark the exposition spaces and private collections through the vital content of colour, the result of analytic processes carried out with great sensitivity.  


Rainer Gross. The diptych suggests the opening of a book, the leafing through of pages, the consequentiality of the story ...


My first encounter with Rainer Gross’ work took place in front of two big multi-pigmented paintings.I found myself facing a large-scale diptych, similar to an inaccessible wall, in which the blending of yellow with red was predominant. I realized straight away that the surface of the painting was not traditionallypainted, nor had a spatula been used. Hisprocess was not at all related to various forms of dripping methods, although one could sense a similar mix of light and energy that tends to characterizeAmerican paintings after the 1940s, which in turn influenced the Informel movement in European art.

My studies ofhistory and art, in particular art restoration, turned my attention to the textural thickness of the color, the physical substance coming from the inside, full of life. Very rarely have I found myself speechless in front of an artwork. Even though this art referencedvariouspieces of art history, it was something I’d never seen before, leaving me astonished and captivated. I did not perceive the ephemeral and superficial sensation of “novelty at all costs” typical of a self-referential tendency.Instead, I was pulled towardartwhich was painted in a completely new way. It overwhelmed me with the strength of an altarpiece.

Our relationship continued at Rainer Gross’ studio in Cologne, where we discovered that we had long heldsimilar interests in artistic relationships, whichled us to collaborate in several different exhibits in Italy and Switzerland. The impact of my initial encounter, later affirmed by a more extensive understanding of his art, connected me with my experience of ancient paintings,especially with the techniques of “peeling off” and “restoring” the fresco cycles.

Analyzing Gross’ artwork, I discovered that there exists a “strange” relationship between the background area of the painting, which originally was detached from the colored pigmentedforeground and thenfused with fragments on the supporting surface.The first time I saw his work, I felt as if I was on the opposite side of the piece, in a condition of presence and absence, and I re-discovered the importance of that phase as well, always hidden and unreachable. This is the principle from which Rainer Gross' diptychs originate: two surfaces are “stuck together” and then detached. Onekeeps evidence of the other, but they’re also independentofone another. The opposing faces communicate and tell a storysuggesting loss between the pigmented materials and the polychrome surfaces. The abrasions reveal the piece’s initial unity. 

Starting from the fascinating notion of a hidden aesthetic reality, I then studied his process for stratifying a painting, gathering emotions in front of the accumulated crusted surfaces, adialogue of the epidermal condition of color.

The polychrome variable layers seem to be infinite as they constantly shift either because of strong conflict or dissonance. The diptych suggests the opening of a book, the leafing through pages, the consequentiality of a story.Especially during the age of woodcarvings, the diptych turns our focus to the revealing of theological truths, of which ancient art history has been the crucial witness. We cannot forget the “religious” aspect and the spiritual atmosphere that the contemporary age of painting has revealed through movement, light, and material, from Pollock to Rothko and Burri.The constancy of the diptych and its predominant preference for the square shape takes a step toward concentration and psychological tension, underlining and improving perception. 







Maria Wallenstål-Schoenberg

I am not able to 'measure' how much influence her Swedish origins and the relation between her everyday life and her art studies have had on her work or have left specific traces in the expressive story of Maria Wallentål and in her most recent artwork collection considered in this edition; but, I must say that the chromatic dimension organized by solid and material background colours, detailed in an engraved border, suggests a linguistic relation with His excellency, the Scandinavian Edward Munch.

What must be acknowledged from the artwork of the Norwegian artist – independent from the 'underlining' process typical of German Expressionism – is the presence of broad and bright background colours, defined by a strong silhouette form placed in the space. Furthermore, we must underline the monochrome scale of values characterized by an interlocking independence, maybe the beginning of an analytical and aniconic process, founded on reds, whites and greens. By observing the painting “The girls on the bridge' of 1902, we can see how much the artist is interested in representing the physical essence of the dress, using the physical strength of the consistency of the background colours; another methodological aspect also evident in 'the dance' of 1899 of Edward Munch is seen in the monochromatic surfaces through a process of  'work in regress'  that tends towards the principle of 'Giotto's bell' used in the dark monochromes of the Cappella Bardi.

From a critical experience, these details can be part of a visual-linguistic consolidated heritage, built in time, with unplanned similarities found in Maria Wallenstål-Schoenberg's work.

My first encounter with Maria Wallenstål-Schoenberg took place in a gallery completely dedicated to small dimension paintings; a big white wall separated the precious power and the lively energy of about ten chromatic dowels, forcing the viewer to follow never losing sight, revealing short movements of shapes and solutions often 'acidic'; the first perception is followed by an inner reading of every single fragments enlightening the plastic texture of the colour distributed according to an 'ancient drawing' process.

On the trail of the small paintings collection, amazed and engaged, I stopped and explored the extension of colour and shapes of the bigger canvas; in this second phase, the dimension became the beginning of an observation, then of participation and lastly of a new and further idea of expressive vitality, having the shape of confront-contrast concept. Even in the stratification of the whites, the extension of the painting space and of the forces that float and organize themselves within introduced the strength of what we can define as 'a wall of colour'. We can then realize that the big canvases of Wallenstål are able to open a series of interesting relationships with the dimensions of contemporary architecture. We can therefore affirm that Maria Wallenstål-Schoenberg's large dimension artworks, without ever losing their intensity, are projected towards the expressive field of the 'joie de vivre' in the most vivid chromatic solutions, characterized by her blues, oranges, greens and reds.

It is no coincidence that her studio in Munich, situated in the middle of a great artistic area, represents the perfect space for the achievement of the artistic doing that communicates with the spatial dimension.  The original structure of a big military barrack, with its common access area and long hallways, together with the concentrated space of the studio, represent that perfect habitat where that state of inner discretion can be found, necessary for the creation of each one of her artworks; light penetrates through a long horizontal window, spreading across equally on the three working wall  -  detailing the 'projects and sketches'  on the shelves and on the tables – an arrangement that gives maximum extension to the big artworks, so that the deep yellows and oranges can explode inside their shape.




Ivo Ringe. Blackboards of paint.

I do not agree with the worries of those who, following an apparent scientific pureness of art, do not consider the relations that exist between observation/criticism of the artwork with the author’s personality.  Without falling into a reductive list of biographic notions, I believe that, based on the direct experience he of who lives the life of the art studios,  a meaningful and very precious aspect is getting to know and introducing the perception of human values in judging the art work. In the case of Ivo Ringe, personality has an important weight that cannot be hidden or excluded when directly observing his paintings; there is a very powerful energy and a strong tendency towards enthusiasm and existential involvement, all aspects that give importance and expressive value to his paintings.

From an emotional perspective, during my first phase in approaching Ringe's work I recognized a condition of distance, a kind of independence between each single canvas and the enjoyment of the viewer; the smallest artworks, in which one’s attention focuses on the pictorial material, maybe because of its intimate making, induced my emotions to empathize with his works and determine a deeper understanding.

My visit to his studio in Cologne, followed by several encounters in Italy, allowed me to extrapolate and underline an expressive heritage resulting from a pictorial culture where the aim of the project and the organization of the mental space preserve a structural meaning. The extension of the different monochromatic surfaces, from green to rose, from black to yellow, become the support for an aesthetic-analytical process that turns into graphic solutions and plane geometries; the drafting process is based on a deep knowledge of the pureness of a pigment and its capability of expression in researching a perfect relation with the space offered.

He creates his artworks, even of great dimensions, defined as 'blackboards of paint'; these are layouts that are looking for a mental condition within space, a state of mind, and that go into the participative condition of perception. Both in the large exposition spaces of museums and in the intimate space of private collections, Ringe's artworks are witnesses of an aesthetic experience born and built on the perfect balance between passion and rigour, between energy and structure; from the monochromatic fragment to the instalment of large dimension paintings into the habitat, we are all introduced into a completely unseen space of contemporary art, a result of the encounter between the European season of the practical art and the North-American analytic art heritage. In Ivo Ringe's work, we can feel a firm aesthetic statement, characterized by a will to geometrically define positive space, but also to reach celestial constellations and geographic papers, through paths and tracks that join the deepest shelter of 'thought'. The 'board' concept, considered as a place of research and writing, specifically refers to Joseph Beyus, who was Ivo Ringe's teacher during his academic years in Dussenldorf.  When referring to the 'board' concept my intention is to go back to the values of tracing lines and defining spaces, within the intuitive relation that has always united science to art, mathematics to painting, philosophy to aesthetics.

On the basis of this analytical path, we must also focus on the titles and their sequence that characterize the artwork collection; these are suggestions that Ivo Ringe openly declares referring to states of mind and poetic emotions; the deep personality of Ringe emerges through artworks that describe the sweetness of a family portrait surrounded by a pink grid, a garden with its first buds, among the burning deserts of New Mexico, the awakening of a love, the reds and warm oranges and yellows of “A sunny day”.







Rita Rohlfing

Rita Rohlfing's art studio is situated in the suburbs of Cologne, in an area full of laboratories and factories; the structure resembles a big warehouse or a depot; the dimensions and appearance of the facility recall the tangible work experience of production and stocking.

All of these aspects reveal useful indications to correctly place Rita Rohlfing's artistic activity within the industrial culture setting, its productions and technologies.  This not only refers to the obvious need of space that sculpture normally requires, but it is linked to several matters and values that have their origin in the industrial reality: from regimented processes to experimentation, from rigour to organization, from precision, order and organization along the entire processes. On the other hand, we do know that monumental artworks together with those of smaller dimension are very often conceived and designed in the art studio, whereas the actual production happens in real workshops according to the materials chosen and the technologies needed.

Even the monographs dedicated to Rita Rohlfing show a research activity that focuses on various industrial materials with the intent to verify their expressive potentials.

She analyses the texture and the structure of plexiglass (methyl methacrylate) and its stratification in order to create, through transparency, a system of luminous variables; using an attentive selection of colours, Rita Rohlfing stimulates up to exasperation the fluorescent dimension of material, obtaining a pervasive and captivating reverberation on the space. Thanks to the lightness and the ductility of aluminium, she creates artworks where light is always the main subject investigated and the central theme of the artwork; the cut of the metallic surfaces follows a study of those shapes that redraw the perceptive dimension of space.

During these years, she carries out a large production of artworks, organized by Cycles that are characterised by the changing of shapes, colour and light.  Every collection is, in fact, differently marked by the use of these supporting materials – aluminium, steel and plexiglass – on which several variable options depend, both for dimension and for exposition spaces, between museums and private spaces: the big 'architectural' structures are placed into the landscape with the aim to create and 'exasperate' the imaginative productivity of the installation, both from a dimensional perception and emotional viewpoint, expressed by the relation between colour and light...the sandblasted aluminium slabs are distributed in space with their designed shapes spreading them apart... the plexiglass containers collect and enclose the evanescence of the light with all of its emotions...the most recent large dimension photographs printed on aluminium sheets are reflecting walls that have the main task to express the inside and the outside of the artwork, through incisions and flares, into its secret worlds and in between traces of reality, along the passing of time.

This is a creative path where the personal sensitivity is strictly tied to the study and experimentation processes, to then unfold in the production and installation phase.  Thus, we can affirm that every artwork comes from the discovery and the realization of an experimental desire where the experience of 'pleasure' slowly find its space; we can also perceive that Rita Rolfingh's artistic culture allows us to live a sophisticated and not accidental aesthetic experience, even though there exists a rigorous dimension of  geometries and the minimization of data utilized; we know that this is a territory of research that follows a specific scientific rigour that imposes her a small range of solutions, with small amount of supporting information, in which Rita Rohlfing moves with high sensibility and desire to reach the dimension of beauty.

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