LAC Lagorio Contemporary Art Gallery texts by G.M. Accame e A. Zanchetta

Perhaps you do not notice it immediately. The colours, the liveliness that offen distinguishes them, can in fact lead astray, but then you understand how the idea of measure, the sense of relationships, the definition of every element, everything in these works is indissolubly tied to the thought that conceived them.

A thought that sees the light together with the conceived object. An awareness of things concrete. Dal Molin’s works, the stance he takes with respect to his work, is so completely steeped in a culture that does not separate theory from practice, but conceives both as the faces of a same way of behaving. Very often in art, the work is perceived as the realisation of an idea and the distinction of times and ways is noticed. Here everything contributes to eliminating this interval.

A visit to the artist’s workshop has enabled me to become acquainted with a twenty-year old career. Particularly revealing were the works of the early nineties and, again, a subsequent series of concrete tiles. It was in fact during the course of the last decade that the artist’s work achieved a high degree of awareness and quality, with the development of already previously-implemented ideas. That idea of measure to which I have already referred, in the glimmer of the powders on wood of 1992/93, in a light that suspends shape and matter without shedding a veil over them, is delineated in all its fineness and determination. To act intellectually and manually with determined lightness is in fact a specific trait of this artist.

I believe it useful to dwell for a moment on the importance of these works, if nothing else but to better under stand the latest ones. Those painted pieces of wood manage to sum up a number of the experiences of the historical Avant-garde and concrete Art of the 1930s right up to the Minimalismo f the sixties and then immerge that experience in a personal review of classical and neo-classical memories, so as to achieve an original plastic idiom. A contemporary idiom which in contrast to complexity seen as disarticulation offers complexity seen as connection. Dal Molin applies himself to this quest in the way most congenial to him, that of a reflexive and manual approach conducted with determination and concentration. What started with the work of the early-nineties is a new form of constructiveness that now dominates the scene. The meaning of these ridges, level differences, slightly projected shadows, charted curves, are the primary alphabet of an approach that is at the bottom of the artist’s current works.

An important aspect to clear up, because is does not affect technical problems only, but also the work concept, is that of planning. In the case of all three-dimensional art, especially where the three-dimensional nature is not modelled, but built up, the effect of the plan shifts the artist’s intention. In the minimal art of Donald Judd, Dan Flavin or Sol LeWitt, what counts is the definition of the plan, the executive transcription of the idea, the actual realisation of the works must not reveal any manual trace, no accent of individual expression, to the extent that execution if often not made by the artist but entrusted to others.

In our case on the other hand, the quality of the technical execution and materials used are deeply related to and-working skills, where the hand, as I said, is rarely only executive because always driven by a thought that can change and change to work at any time. Here the project comprises general coordinates that all have to be implemented in the experience of a development that belongs to all objects. The expression, the trace of an idea tied to an emotion, is present in all works.

If we look at the tall and narrow white column of 2005, among recent works one of the most evocative of the experience of the past decade, we notice how Dal Molin concentrates on just a few elements achieved through the gradual elimination of other more redundant motifs. In agreement with the statement of Miles van der Rohe “the less is the more”, everything is concentrated into slight plastic movements excavated within a white parallelepiped. The long vertical dash, the irregular patterns, the clean cut that interrupts the elevation, the intimacy of the space that stretches out, make this work an object sospende and open to different interpretations. Here the artist addresses a recurrent theme of his, the transition from and exterior to an interior, the crossed-over slipping between inside and out that from an idea of absolute space achieves the intimacy of the conceived place.

Placing objects in space and beginning a dialogue, but also obtaining more concentrated attention around those elements. For some years now, by using intense colours and lively matches, these works prompt a double perception which to the triple dimension adds the colour of the surfaces. Dal Molin has always been interested in the quality of the materials applied to the flat parts and now, behind the indication of mixed technique, often conceals refined elaborations that go beyond traditional painting techniques. Surface treatment obviously affects the effectiveness of the pigments and colour characteristics on the very perception of the object. In what was one of his most difficult recent woks, consisting of six elements, each two and a half metres long, placed horizontally on the wall and irregularly juxtaposed, all the recalled component parts play and active role. The relationship between the different dimensions of space, the colour, the formal definition of the single elements and the configuration they all take on, all this is pervaded by that quest for internal communication with things which distinguishes this artist and results in his experience coinciding with an act of conscience.

For this reason, the works are not objects of calculation or geometry, but rather concrete ideas that define themselves in their very process of definition.

A process without pause, continually engaged in translating thoughts and emotions into shapes; shapes that are not abstract figures but witnesses of actual existence. A measure of doing that, for this artist, is the reason of existing.

text by Giovanni Maria Accame



In which various points relating to the common nature of things

are made completely clear

Shape and colour. Abstraction leads us to these two fundamental elements. In point of fact, abstraction reduces everything grammar, it proceeds from existence to the pure essence of things, freeing them of all honours and all ceremonies (featherless animal that bellows loudest). It skins the image, deprives it of muscles, tendons, vital organs, and achieves eloquence, that of the scourge which is concentration and devotion. Abstractus, “to abstract”, meaning to pull out: Giuliano Dal Molin extrapolates the bones of the limitless corpus universalis of figuration, dismembers it, devours if greedily and only stops when he arrives at the bones, primary resource of the picked body-colour, similar to bone porosity.

Considering that art is selective – more that ever when it comes to the abstract – the view expresses the intellectual judgement of the single individual. The eye fails to under stand what it is looking at. It is left to the brain to recognise the object, which it does unless deceived. In the dash of vision, the stalemate of the mind; it happened to Kandinskij in the well known anecdote in which he saw “suddenly a painting of indescribable beauty, full of inner ardour. Struck by such beauty, I quickly approached this mysterious painting on which all I could see were shape and colours. The contents were incomprehensible to me. I soon found the key to the mystery: it was a painting of mine, resting against the wall alongside”. When the misunderstanding does not exist, when it is not revealed, the brain tries to discover the object by comparing it with whatever is similar. Ego cogito me videre. In the cognitive process, the sharing of sense is not reliable, but at least credible. The emergence, the insistent attempt to “pull out” from the figurative quest suggests an equivalence with thigh-bones, shin-bones, phalanxes, ribs and vertebrae which Dal Molin submits to careful re-sectioning. Elements which combined together could provided us with a unit-entity, restoring the skeleton of painting. And yet, always less mixtilinear, except for the odd concave/convex effect, the works claim the rigor (which is resentment for nature) of awkward straight line. Another and perhaps more plausible possibility could well come to us from an architectural deconstruction, perhaps of the international style. They could in fact be architraves, roof trusses, columns of pilasters. The artist’s conviction of a space conceived as shape, which in turn itself generates the shape would thus be strengthened.

In Giuliano Dal Molin’s quests, the painless toil of the consultant proceeds from the sacrifice of the painting to the struggle with space (un peintre qui fait de la sculpture or vice versa). The works are cleaned up, purified of the cadaverous stench of the abstract-analytic ancien régime so that no ordeal can deny him the alibi and absolution of the crime. What is more, no pettifogger will be able to accuse him of transcending mathematics and geometry or torment him with the splitting of coordinated uniform reality, because these are reconciled with the “almost nothing”.

They do not seem anything, they are.

text by Alberto Zanchetta