Gabriele Arruzzo, Untitled (compendio), 2012, Smalto E Acrilico Su Tela E Cornice In Legno,157×187 Cm

31.05 – 14.07.2014


a cura di Andrea Bruciati

Antonio Colombo is proud to present a double solo show by Gabriele Arruzzo (1976) and Luigi Carboni (1957), In Opposte Coincidenze.

Seen together, the works of the two artists may appear to have nothing in common. Our preconceived notions about painting, in fact, would assign them opposite roles. This project offers a chance to look at their work together, to discover shared relationships, concentrating on the logic of difference. Everything is there before your eyes: figurative and abstract, decoration and ornament, memory and recollection, form and color, detail and whole, stillness and rhythm. The paradox of this mutual, simultaneous dialectic crosses the sense of the show, where nothing is directly offered yet everything is revealed. Two distinct generations that approach the same artistic medium in a different way, though the former was the student of the latter at the Fine Arts Academy of Urbino.
Precisely the legacy and mystery of the figurative arts of that city form the leitmotiv, for Gabriele Arruzzo, of this new cycle of works where, in keeping with his usual modus operandi, the I blends with the We and the painting becomes the site of this gathering. In a calculated, flat pictorial construction, heir more to the Byzantine tradition than to American Pop Art, the artist amalgamates the elements of his personal universe with the golden ratios of Luca Pacioli or decorative schemes derived from the pavement depicted by Piero della Francesca in the Flagellation of Christ conserved in Urbino. Each of his works, like theater, thus becomes the place where History is staged: a tale of how painting self-generates in the attempt to surpass, through Art, the very limits of human existence.
For Luigi Carboni paintings immersed in color form a narrative itinerary ruled by ambiguity and based on the relationship between chance and artwork, an implicit continuity of viewer, seer and visionary. In the paintings, a very intricate plot of signs and decorations is formed on the surface. The work gathers and conveys a portion of the world through unstable, indelible inscription, constructing a complex weave of images in which figurative recognition is lost in the blur of perspective planes and the total absence of traditional spatial references. The artist sets out to challenge the border between lyrical abstraction and everyday figuration, between decorative style and intimist results, making the works impermeable to any narrative development.
These paintings, in the fullness of the various applied codes, speak of an art of plurality of opposites, where artistic invention takes on the characteristics of conceptual reflection. “Classicality and experimentation are the paradox of a mutual and simultaneous dialectic. Contemporary beauty is perceived and conceived as a composition of conflicting parts, where visual pleasure can be transformed at any time into abuse, where the quietest of objects can become vexatious, without us knowing why”, Carboni explains.

Gabriele Arruzzo is born in Rome, lives and works in Pesaro.
Among his recent solo show we report: in 2012 “Essere un’Isola” L’arca-Laboratorio per l’arte Contemporanea, Teramo  and Casa  Natale di Raffaello e Bottega di Giovanni Santi, Urbino, and “L’affossamento”, Alberto Peola Gallery, Turin, in 2008 “As Himself”, Antonio Colombo Arte Contemporanea, Milan, “Hortus Conclusus”, Alberto Peola Gallery, Turin, in 2006 “Personal Jesus”, Galleria San Salvatore, Modena, in 2005 “The Funky Revenge”, Antonio Colombo Arte Contemporanea, Milan.
Among his group show: in 2011 Hirschfactor. Die Kunst des Zitierens, ZKM Museum fur Neue Kunst, Karlsruhe, “Tra il Sublime e l’Idiota”, Sale napoleoniche Palazzo Parisani Bezzi, Tolentino (MC), “Padiglione delle Accademie di Belle Arti”, Tese di San Cristoforo (Arsenale Nord), 54° Venice Biennal, in 2010 “Fantasilandia”, Antonio Colombo Arte Contemporanea, Milan, “Premio Agenore Fabbri (2009/2010), Fondazione VAF/MART, Rovereto, in 2009 “Love me Fender”, Museo Internazionale e Biblioteca della Musica, Bologna, curated by L.Beatrice, in 2008 XIII Biennale d’arte Sacra Contemporanea, Museo Stauros, Santuario di San Gabriele, Teramo, in 2007 “SerrOne”, Biennale Giovani Monza, Serrone della Villa Reale, Monza, “Arte Italiana”, 1968-2007 Pittura. Palazzo Reale, Milan, curated by V.Sgarbi, in 2006 “Ars in Fabula”, Palazzo Pretorio, Certaldo (Florence), in 2005 “Premio Cairo”, Palazzo della Permanente, Milan, “Dodici pittori italiani, dieci anni dopo”, In Arco, Turin, in 2004 “Allarmi, zona creativa temporaneamente valicabile”, Caserma De Cristoforis, Como, “Keep’n touch”, Progetto Spazio Aperto, GAM Bologna-Airport Guglielmo Marconi, Bologna,  in 2002 “Out-In”, Centro per le Arti Visive Peschiera, Pesaro.

Luigi Carboni is born in 1957 in Pesaro, where he lives and works.
Many are his solo shows, the main important are: Galleria Spazia, Bologna; Galleria G/, Bologna; Jack Shainman Gallery, New York; Jack Shainman Gallery Washington; Galleria Lumen Travo, Amsterdam; Galleria Alberto Weber, Torino; Studio Scalise, Napoli; Studio La Città, Verona; Studio Barnabò, Venezia; Galleria Franca Mancini, Pesaro; Galleria Giò Marconi, Milan; Otto Gallery, Bologna, in 2003 he is invited to the International Art Biennal of Los Angeles, with a solo show at Patricia Faure Gallery, Santa Monica, in 2006 his works are exhibited at Sala del Castellare Palazzo Ducale of Urbino, curated by Raffaele Gavarro, in 2009 the show at Centro Arti Visive Peschiera”, Pesaro, curated by Ludovico Pratesi and in  2010 the show MACRO wall: Eighties Are Back at MACRO, Museo d’arte Contemporanea, Rome.
Main group shows: 1980: Lo spazio impossibile, curated by Marilena Pasquali, Galleria d’arte Moderna, Ancona. 1988: Geometrie Dionisiache, curated by Lea Vergine, Rotonda della Besana, Milan; Arte Italiana, curated by Flavio Caroli and Dang-Ho Liu, Museum of Modern Art of Taiwan; Acquisizioni, Galleria d’arte Moderna, Bologna. 1989: Artegiovane, PAC, Padiglione arte contemporanea, Milan. 1991: Now in Italy, Kodama Gallery, Osaka. 1992: Candencias, figure dell’arte italiana degli anni ’90, curated by Pier Giovanni Castagnoli, Museum of Contemporary Art Sofia Imber, Caracas; Museum of Contemporary Art, Bogotà; Il Teatro dell’arte, curated by Vittoria Cohen, Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Cesena. 1993: Italia-America L’astrazione ridefinita, curated by Demitrio Paparoni, Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, San Marino. 1994: Mistero e Mito, momenti della pittura italiana 1930-1960-1990, curated by Fumihiko Tanifuzi, Fukujama Museum of Art, Chiba Prefectural Museum of Art, Kochi Museum of Art, lida City Museum. 1995: L’astrazione, Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Gallarate. 1996: Ultime Generazioni-XII Quadriennale, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome. 1997: Exelixis, curated by Alice Rubbini, Melina Mercuri Foundation, Athens; Die Andere Richtung der Kunst, Dumontkunstalle, Koln. 1998: Arte italiana: ultimi 40 anni, pittura aniconica, curated by Danilo Eccher, Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Bologna. 2001: Generazione astratta, curated by Beatrice Buscaroli and Alberto Fiz, Fondazione Bandera, Varese; “Terra! Terra!“ curated by Andrea Busto, Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea Carraglio (Cn). Cross Roads” Arte contemporanea della collezione Tonelli, curated by Alberto Boatto, Polo Museale Internazionale Castello Colonna, Genazzano. 2002: “Materia d’arte” Opere della collezione della GAM, curated by Peter Weirmair and Dede Aureli, Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Bologna. 2003:“Assenze / presenze, una nuova generazione di artisti italiani” curated by Emmanuel Lambion, French Cultural Centre Le Botanique,  Bruxelles. 2004: “ W lo SPAC ” curated by Renato Barilli, Palazzo Tiranni Cagli (PU). 2005:”L’opera al nero” curated by Marisa Vescovo, Mole Vanvitelliana Ancona. 2007: “Voi (non) siete qui” curated by Omar Calabrese, Magazzini del Sale, Siena. “Generazione Astratta”  curated by Beatrice Buscaroli, Galleria d’Arte Moderna Le Ciminiere, Catania. 2008: “ Non so private ”  curated by Gianfranco Maraniello, Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Villa delle Rose, Bologna. 2009: “Plenitudini” curated by Alberto Zanchetta,Galleria Nazionale d’arte Moderna e Contemporanea, San Marino.2011: “ The Gentlement of Verona ”, curated by Andrea Bruciati, Galleria d’Arte moderna, Palazzo Forti, Verona.
In 1988 Galleria d’Arte moderna of Bologna bought one of his work, following in 1990 the buyout of Palazzo Reale, Contemporary Art Museum of Milan, and Comit, that includes three of his works in the Collection of Banca Commerciale Italiana; Banca Intesa bought a canvas and two sculture of the series “ Grate ”, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna includes his works in the Art Collection of ‘900, in 2004 on of his work is includes in the Farnesina, in 2005 two great works, one from the serie “Mappe” and the other one from the series “Bianchi Ombrati”, are purchased and included in the Collection of  Banca Unicredit.

by Andrea Bruciati

“In this world of forms everything is superabundant and, in some way, seethes.”

Plato, Phaedrus

Where the value of the autonomous language of the painted surface is concerned, we should know that already, with Alois Riegl, there is an awareness of the fundamental link between optisch and taktisch, brought to the fore by the notion of the tactile plane, a plane that does not precisely coincide with our perception of the optical plane, which deceives us into thinking we can observe things from a certain distance, but with the distance suggested by the evidence of touch. From a retinal viewpoint the eye possesses nothing in this territory, it is as if it has been dispossessed by the effect of an alienating gaze: the certainty of impenetrability is so strong that it is transformed into the sinister evidence of a brusque advance or swelling of the space itself. We are faced with a situation in which the suggestion of tactile perceptions generates shock, not meaning, even trauma; a primary impulse that – interpreted by psychoanalysis – could be compared to pictorial practices similar to those of artists like Gabriele Arruzzo. His painting is apparently inhabited by characters that in their arrangement as planar figuration, illustration or narrative, make the painted field seem independent with respect to the represented iconography, which thus lives on its own on the surface. In this sense, though it is not abstract, his research appears to be ‘figural’, to use a term of Gilles Deleuze. This distinction is introduced to guarantee a dimension of the pictorial that is not compromised by the tradition mimetic, copy-model relationship, yet does not renounce the figure, remaining on a more perceptible plane of representation. This viewpoint is shared by Luigi Carboni who finds, in the same insistence on a field bordering on abstraction, intentionally based on the power of color, a speculative exchange and expressive urgency close to those of the philosopher. His painting, that at first glance seems to be the result of a pure optical function, through a ceaseless modulation of the skin of the painting, stimulates the opposite, a precisely haptic function. This does not prevent the color from presenting itself as an endless approach of the “observing body” of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, meaning that it functions like a caress, asymptotic to the integrity of the flesh, and like an effect of edge, shock, and laceration of the plane itself.

The works shown here can be inserted in a hypothetical dialogue that happens at the citadel of Urbino, a shared homeland for the two painters, who teach in that city’s Fine Arts Academy. The ducal seat as chief historical-artistic topos from which to draw for reflection on the contemporary, i.e. on that proto-conceptual art that can amiably connect itself with the study of mathematics and the formed image (Gabriele Arruzzo, senza titolo_ compendio), of which Urbino was the cradle in the age of Humanism. A paratactic table in which postmodern iconography is unraveled through apparent contradictions, bringing to light a forgotten heritage with an operation worthy of a connoisseur or archivist, in Arruzzo the canvas becomes an incunable of images, an open-air archive. In his painting we are faced with the paradox of an iconographic representation where what stands out is the absence of the subject, and the figures display themselves only as conventions (God’s Portrait). The same control is applied to the forms suggested through a rigorous grid in Carboni, where in the apparently chaotic arrangement of the planes no room is actually left for improvisation. Experiential siege, inner battlefield for an endless conflict? These paintings gather scattered seeds, which are organized, finally free, light, colorful and filled with meaning, capable – like atoms, cells, ideas – of creating a different form (In assenza di prove).

Yet for both artists, in their specific output, we can see a sort of tribute iconographically focused by the geometric modulation of the image. Be it spatial speculation, for Carboni, or parascientific reflections that do not go beyond the intellectual role of the artist, for Arruzzo, the painted field is clearly an arena for an autonomy of language, sensorial of course but at the same time involving a free opening towards superdimensional states. In this sense, the Renaissance tradition of Urbino comes back to life in the 21st century through that dialogue with Metaphysics, where the suspension of the real combines nicely with the tight control of matter through the value conferred by drawing, whose splendor seems to be revived by both artists. Whether it is a laboratory of study, pure cogitation of the initial project of composition, for Arruzzo (La flagellazione del 5), or vibrant fibrillation of the paint substance for Carboni (Per lungo tempo), it is undoubtedly the fil rouge that assists achievement of the ultimate goal of painting, namely to go beyond painting itself. Whether the focus on the line, its reproduction (Luigi Carboni, Astratto ossidazione), or its way of being a cloisonné trail for disposophobic accumulations, it produces visual compositions, apparent arithmetical relationships, chords that contribute to the creation of a new harmony.

The shared investigation of the two artists lies in this outlook of research between representation and abstraction: in both Arruzzo and Carboni, we see the urgent need to discover a different space, aimed at creating new mental devices, open to parallel universes where forms, in their linguistic autonomy, can take on new life, a life that seethes.