Melancholy and Catastrophe. Enzo Gagliardino’s Painting

On the borderline of every complete representation – image or text -, melancholy faintly sings a song. Everything is empty, every effort has been in vain! World lays cold: its lost stuctures fly away in a heavy and swollen sky. The feeling of an upcoming catastrophe has been always living in this corner of our consciousness. In this place, what we had always hoped has never come true.
Existence seems like an empty container. History remains a mechanism that keeps on signifying, incessantly and cruelly. The wedges that were familiar to us are now incomprehensible. They have raised the walls of an abstract knowledge in order to defend, at least to all appearances, a wasted city.
The duty of Art has always been the enlightening of our perceptual limits, of the shadow lines of our being. This game has always been dangerous, dissolute. A deep digging which can become a vice because it nags, intimately, the categories of our thinking and feeling capabilities – our habit.
In order to bet in this difficult game, painting language has always recovered his antique and enigmatic thickness. Art has discovered masses of colour and has obsessively revisited figures and volumes. Painting has dealt with lack of perspective, with symbologies historically justified or arbitrary planned.
This regained depth has never restored contemporary art in the languages that gave birth to it. Beginning from the moment of this choice, distinguished from representation, painting exists in a fading world. Its objects abandon every pragmatic content in order to show only the universally accepted aspects of perception. The wastes of the originary scene often become an exploding substance, ready to shine on an epifany for the senses they were hiding. Form arises spontaneously from a painting act that does not designate otherness. Form is the warrantor and the interpreter of hanging worlds, of the rules of the game and their own acceptance. In this painting, history isn’t but the knowledge of the continuous replacement and adjustment of our rapresentation models on our thinking categories.
Enzo Gagliardino has chosen the repetition of an essential formal vocabulary. Walls, windows, structures, chimneys appear in his works in recurrent but unmotivated way. As if they were trying to reproduce, in the essential patterns, the arbitrariness of living and settlement in the contemporary society: anonymous outskirts and alienating buildings in modern cities. They seem to obey only to the geometry that, in our society, defines and limits our everyday life.
Opacity of some colours contrasts with amplification of other shades. Some dyes skim over fluorescence: exploded colour, always filled in the recurrent forms, seemed to proliferate under black and white. Colours grow up like an added value: terrible vestige of every development. They already belong to a possible past, to a perturbing modernity antique; they don’t carry connections with previous tradition or possible justifications.
Painting as tèchne is reduced to a simulacrum. It’s the last atrophied, numb testimony of persistent modulations in a monotonous vice, in an absurd game. Painting survives like an obstinate work of a refugee, in a future scene of technological desolation.
Every message is banished and if there even was a possible sender, never a word would join its destination. The city appears: empty, distressed. Every visitor can only ascertain the catastrophe that development carries like a burden. In the meanwhile, beyond the walls, the mistery of nature and humanity blows up its clouds like sails.

Ivan Fassio

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