Emilio Gola, Carousel2022. Oil and chalk on linen, 185 x 134.5 cm I Courtesy the artist, ph credit Michela Pedranti
Curated by Antonio Grulli, Three ways of saying the same thing – or to say painting – is a journey into the galaxy of an ancient art but in full renewal through the fresh gaze of three young people who chose it without delay. It does not matter if we are in the digital age, if artificial intelligence begins to challenge us even in the field of art, if masters of the brush like David Hockney they have converted to the iPad tablet. “Painting is not just an image, it is matter, it is an object in its physicality. It has always existed, even if it passes from medium to medium ”, explains Emilio. “It is the means with which we are most at ease and with which we are able to express ourselves with total sincerity: everything we want to say passes through painting”, concludes Martina.
Emilio Gola, Blue Armchair, 2020. Oil on linen, 185 x 134.5 cm I Courtesy the artist, photo credit Michela Pedranti
Instead, the pictorial languages chosen by the members of the trio are very different. Oil, chalk and acrylic used in an often unconventional way by Emilio, who looks at the rapid brushstrokes of Rainer Fetting, of the New Savages and to the English like Hockney in their link with the here and now. The rare and sought-after encaustic technique for Roberto, in love with Francesco Clemente and his “room” at the MADRE in Naples. Pure oil on canvas for Martina, in search of the transcendent and intrigued by the connections between the arts, close to the dreaming universes of Gino De Domicis and to the poetry of Osvaldo Licini. Theirs is a continuous confrontation without taboos: “Working together in the studio was fundamental to grow. Each of us is a friendly eye that observes the work of others. Each brushstroke becomes an opportunity for exchange ”, they say. “Everyone, of course, retains their own identity. And between us we are absolutely sincere, at the cost of saying bad things ”.
The itinerary designed for ArtNoble Gallery reflects the plot that unites them. “We imagined the exhibition as a dialogue between our works, in a path of slow and dilated rhythms”, says Emilio. “The space, large and labyrinthine, will be divided into rooms with curtains to mark the visit at different times and invite the observer to grasp the relationships between the paintings”, Roberto anticipates. “We have chosen a very warm lighting, different from that of the usual white cube, where visitors will gradually enter ever more intimate situations”, explains Martina: “Our works are very different in everything, even in the format. Putting them together was a great challenge for the curator Antonio Grulli, but this variety has become a strong point of the exhibition, it reflects the game that holds our individualities together in the studio and in life ”.
Roberto de Pinto, Petto, 2021. Encaustic and pastels on canvas, 30 x 30 cm I Courtesy Diego Bergamaschi Collection
Along the way we will encounter works such as Mustache by Roberto de Pinto. It is the face of a hot man, who has just taken a shower after returning from the sea: enlarged on a 180 x 135 cm canvas, he is represented while cutting his mustache, redefining his own characteristics. “Working with such large dimensions gave me the opportunity to focus on erotic and sensitive skin. It is a reddened, almost irritated skin that asks to be touched and caressed, as also the drops that fall from the man’s forehead and the freshly cut hairs that fall on the fingers “, explains the author, adding:” The protagonists of my paintings are like alter egos, fixed characters without any reference to real images, which I represent each time in different situations, like in a story ”.
The magnetic stories of Roberto are contrasted by the “apparitions” of Martina Cassatella, who takes inspiration from traditional iconography – the sacred art of the past, but also the images of oriental meditation – to work on her true passion: hands. “The great oil on canvas Capriciousfor example, arises from the observation of Twelve-year-old Christ among the doctorsone of the most beautiful paintings of Albrecht Dürer”, Explains the artist:“ Here the hands are the true center of the work: I overturned and reinterpreted them by inserting filaments and flashes that are the distinctive feature of my paintings. I chose a warm, layered light to give the image a magical atmosphere. I enjoyed creating a picture that is apparently well readable from a distance, but one that needs to be approached to really see and understand it ”.
Martina Cassatella, Allegro con Spirito, 2022. Oil on linen, 70 x 50 cm I Courtesy Rizzuto Gallery
Emilio Gola’s paintings, on the other hand, are born by chance: often from visits to the studio of friends and acquaintances, who immediately become the subjects of a life drawing. Their figures wrap and interact in ever new intertwining, rigorously independent of the artist’s will. Finally the objects enter the scene: “masses of books and shoes also ‘happened’ in the studio, which in a certain sense close the composition” becoming co-stars, explains Emilio: “My paintings tell the sense of the discovery of identity, which it often happens precisely in the relationship with others. It is a research that develops through the being together of the figures, in which things also participate: not surprisingly, books and shoes are objects that help define one’s identity “.
And speaking of shoes, it is impossible not to mention an anecdote reported by the artist during this long interview: “One of my paintings was exhibited in a bank in Milan, in via Manzoni. Reading the author’s name, Emilio Gola, a lady thought of a famous namesake of mine, an ancestor painter who was part of the Scapigliatura. So you asked if sneakers already existed in the nineteenth century ”.
In Italy sneakers only arrived in the twentieth century and fortunately this is another story. Three characters often draw the strings of Emilio’s paintings: three, like the “sailors” of Running maneuversthree like the friends of via Piero della Francesca, three like the idioms of Painting that we will discover in the exhibition.
Emilio Gola, Carosello, 2022. Oil and chalk on linen, 185 x 134.5 cm I Courtesy the artist, ph credit Michela Pedranti