ITA

CARLO FRANZA - UNA FERMACOSCIENZA DELL’ESISTERE
UNA FERMACOSCIENZA DELL’ESISTERE

E’ una di quelle mostre che diventano vera rarità nel sistema nazionale del mostrificio contemporaneo, e pertanto visitarla diventa un segnale importante per capire anche in che direzione può e deve andare l’arte contemporanea. Arte assoluta, arte fuori da ogni stereotipo, arte mistica, arte sacrale, arte divinatoria, alla maniera dei “lari e penati” che gli antichi romani avevano in ogni abitazione.

Queste tavole acquistano pertanto un senso mirato e forte, capace di sconvolgere ogni parametro di raffronto e confronto, ed un anche un clima di sofferto stupore che infrange ogni edulcorata maniera e manierismo. Sembrerebbe essere tornati indietro di secoli, per leggere questi “fondo oro”, con le loro ossidazioni e le piccole pietre talvolta inserite nel contesto.

Kuturi, napoletano, che ha guardato molto alle accoglienze di Lucio Amelio e agli artisti della sua scuderia, procede oggi a passi sicuri lungo una novella via francigena.Molti celebri artisti del contemporaneo hanno utilizzato il fondo oro, Lucio Fontana, Yves Klein, Remo Bianco, Ettore Spalletti, Giuliano Grittini, ecc.; tra questi anche Kuturi figura singolare del panorama artistico italiano dell’oggi, che mantieneuna posizione assolutamente individuale, sviluppando un corpus di lavori che coniugano le memorie dell’arte antica e moderna, da Piero della Francesca a Giorgio Morandi, a Lucio Fontana.

Quella di Kuturi potremmo definirla un’arte senza tempo, che assorbe la profondità della storia superandone la struttura cronologica e la movimenta muovendosi al confine tra bidimensionalità e tridimensionalità, fondendo tra loro pittura e scultura, tattilità e immagine, nell’immersione luministica dello spazio espositivo. In mostra nell’ex Studio di Piero Manzoni un’installazione di icone, che l’artista denomina “ossidate”, tableaux dorèe, espressione di un minimalismo ascetico capace di consegnarci una visione che si svela sulla traccia di impercettibili tensioni suggerite da un segno da una luce, decantate nella struttura e nel colore.

La posizione di Kuturi nell’arte contemporanea è fra le più difficili, in quanto si delinea sulla traccia di un severo impegno estetico e morale. La sua ricerca procede per vie interne, con una continua messa in gioco della sensibilità e della coscienza, verso il traguardo di una verità poetica che, appunto, in quanto tale, è innovativa e rivoluzionaria.

Le opere di Kuturi sono un’avventura nel campo dello spirituale. Anche nella forma del dittico e del trittico sapientemente modulato – che ci riporta alla ripartizione del campo pittorico delle pale d’altare rinascimentali – trasformata in un doppio campo monocromo la cui oggettualità è evidenziata dal corpo edalla profilatura dei bordi con foglia d’oro, la materia riflette la luce, rendendo così l’opera sensibile alle condizioni dell’ambiente che la circonda e richiamando alla mente la spazialità spirituale e senza confini delle tavole medievali a fondo oro.La luminosità della foglia d’oro che, come un raggio sottile, adorna il recinto delle icone, evidenzia ulteriormente la qualità tattile del colore steso in superficie, una caratteristica sensibile che, insieme al nitore delle forme assolute dei dipinti, caratterizza profondamente tutta l’opera di Kuturi.

E’ pur vero che l’artista esplora le potenzialità espressive del colore -in questo caso l’oro-attraverso una pigmentazione percettiva e viva, risultato di un procedimento in cui la pittura è mescolata a pigmento puro e gesso. L’impasto è poi steso a strati successivi e infine abraso, in modo da rendere la superficie pittorica allo stesso tempo con un senso di vissuto e carica di atmosfera e luminosità. Il colore così applicato intraprende un dialogo sensibile con la luce e ammorbidisce e smaterializza la geometria delle forme.

Nonostante la predominanza della monocromia dorata, l’arte di Kuturi affonda le radici in una profonda tradizione analitica perché l’accordo formale scaturisce dalle inesauribili vibrazioni della scoperta, il tessuto filosofico si compone nel costante esercizio di unaferma coscienza dell’esistere.

Prof. Carlo Franza
Storico dell'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea
 
ANDREA B. DEL GUERCIO - LA FOGLIA ORO ERA UN FLORILEGIO...
RICCARDO NOTTE - SULLA NUDITÀ DEL SEGNO NELL’OPERA DI KUTURI
MARCO SCARPA - ECO DI UN INFINITO
PAOLO RICCA - PER VEDERE CI VUOLE TEMPO
ANTONELLO PELLICCIA - SINFONIA VISIVA
FILOMENA DI STAZIO - CICATRICI
GIAMPAOLO ROSSI - ELOGIO DELL'ERRORE
MARIO DE LEO - GEOMETRIE DI LUCI
DANILO GIUSINO - ISTANTANEE DELLA MENTE
ALESSANDRA DI CAMPLI - LA SEMIOTICA, IL SACRO E LA BELLEZZA

ENG

ANDREA B. DEL GUERCIO - THE GOLD LEAF WAS AN ANTHOLOGY ...
The gold leafwas an anthology of verdigris, gradations of colour that opened up a new vision

1.It is becoming ever rarer to meet authors who live independently on the side of the art system, who produce their works defining their own system of expression and creating a cycle of works in tune with contemporary culture. Compared with the past and closely related with the long crisis in the Italian economic system, the whole patrimony of artistic creativity as well as the system of private galleries and public exhibition spaces has undergone a drastic reduction in the number of operators, and seen thecollapse of the contemporary art market among large strata of the population. In fact, the fall in numbers and the crisis in collecting, never diffuse in Italian society, herald a further impoverishment of the entire patrimony of Italian art for the future. This marginalisation has concerned only the initial phase of the museum and exhibition spaces and an iconography approved by custom and popularity. Parallel to this, it has been noticed that contemporary art has attracted more attention from and presence of the financial system in the last decade.Within these difficult social and cultural dynamics, unusual and isolated artistic figures, not always and not even properly recognised as actors in the expressive system, represent a precious signal of vitality, for their creativity attentive to and correctly positioned with regard to the processes of contemporary communication. The fact that art also flourishes outside the institutional rules of the academies and the market has always been a mark of continuity with the primary principle of artistic activity in human society. It is the task of the different art professionals and institutions to play an active rôle in acknowledging this. In this framework of attention, I accepted the invitation of AntonelloPelliccia, architect and colleague in Brera, to become acquainted with the work produced in recent years by KUTURI, on show for the first time in the serious environment of the Protestant Cultural Centre in the centre of Milan. The attention that the Office for Culture and Tourism of the Naples City Council has turned to KUTURI, by lending the P.A.N. (Naples Palace of the Arts), offers an important occasion to develop and finalise the artist’s creative dimension, collected in this publication, marked by numerous critical reviews from different cultural points of view and orientations.

2.Even in the phase before first observing the work, I was curious about the attention that the artist paid to the question and the complex valences and values contained within the original experience of the icon. In the history of Western artistic culture, the icon was a fundamental hinge between the contemporary period and the beginning of the concept even of the artistic image in Christian experience. In fact, I have foundthe enactment of an expressive process orientated toward capturing the function of the work in relationship to the central aspect of bearing witness, and to the determination to impose a perception in an exclusive, not a narrative, manner.The way his creativity is orientated suggested his wish to carry out a reflection on this structural datum in the definition of visual languages, and a suggested reprocessing seemed immediately intriguing, raising my curiosity to make contact.

3.A look at KUTURI’s firstworks gave me confirmation that here was a particular form of re-visitation and re-processing of the concept of the icon. Of the original form remained the shape and the size, the search for an internal tension, the supporting structure and the character of “precious object”. Each artifact set out in the exhibition was not part of a narrative succession but was an independent subject, each with its own power of attraction and specific perception.My understanding of his work could not follow a development but obliged me to concentrate independently and autonomously on each creative entity: this observation was in the nature of research and discovery, of careful enquiry into a distinct visible reality, always reinforced by unusual internal details. The choice of a stringent form of presentation, with “methacrylate box frame”, further emphasised the indication to protect the content, to defend the work’s internal æsthetic unity. The choice of ‘enclosing’ the board and its ‘world’ within which lumps and fractures are distributed, provides a structural emphasis of the definition of the icon itself as precious.

4.This first cycle of icons was followed by further works distinguished by their unusual expressive forms, at the centre of the exhibition in Naples today and of this publication. These reflections arose after seeing these works, and a meeting with KUTURI. The biographical information thus acquired revealed that he has been constantly in relationship with artistic culture in a manner that is absolutelyautonomous with regard to the system by which it is organised: this independence, however, has not meant dissociating himself from information but has developed through select comparisons; those that stand out are his association with artists in Lucio Amelio’s Gallery in Naples, the enlightening encounter with Arman in Paris and his contacts with the Brera Gallery in Milan. Most probably, the research carried out in defining the ‘contemporary icon’ has its basis in the whole season of the ‘second avant-garde’ and particularly in all those different artistic Movements, from Pop to Minimal to Nouveau Réalisme, that opted towards defining the artifact-image of art. Yet on this wide basis of æsthetic thought, KUTURI has inserted an internal alchemical type of process, an existence open to unforeseeable developments, while maintaining the ‘iconographic fixity’ of the icon. Substituting a “chemical reaction” to the management of colour, started off a search for the un-programmable internal vitality of matter itself, concealed in and drawn out by contamination; each gold-covered board becomes the production place for an experiment, a space for the development of an æsthetic process. KUTURI has in fact studied all the steps behind the culture of the ancient icon, the careful choice and use of the board, the preparation of the stucco, the use of egg-yolk and beer, the layering of the gold leaf and finally the study of the pigments and their use; it is from this heritage of knowledge that the whole cycle of contemporary icons arises. To the stability that comes from an immobile repetition of acts and techniques, KUTURI contrasts, with the same instruments, innovation and research, instability and evolution; it is above all the stones from which the ancient pigments originate that stimulate the chemical reaction and the alchemical processes, the acids added and the organic materials: ‘Then came the turning point, a mistake, the divine touch, the invisible hand that overturned the tin of turpentine that ran all over the gold leaf carefully laid. “What a nuisance! I’ll leave everything and close the shop. I’ll see about it tomorrow.” ‘The following morning there was the revelation: the gold leaf was a blossoming of verdigris, with shades of colour that disclosed a new vision. That was when all the experiments with every possible type of acid and solvent started...’ A chance incident that sets off a journey, a process in the atmosphere of work in regress that defines contemporary culture in art; a proceeding thatdoes not renew itself, following alchemical practice, but that lives on experimentation refined by time: ‘Time may be compared to a universal “acid”, that corrodes the “basis” of Nature’s forms, especially if these “bases” are built by man in the form ofsymbols and meaningful contexts.’ (Riccardo Notte).

5.The great sculpturesThe exhibition in Naples, undertaken with the enthusiasm produced by a return to his cultural origins, very present in the definition of alchemy by experience, shows the risky development of new adventures in expression and the choice of unusual forms; the closed and protected dimension of the box frame, unimaginably embellished by the exemplary use of methacrylate, does not seem to contain KUTURI’s curiosity and desire to experiment. His latest works are a large Altar-piece, two Sculptures, a Polyptych and a plastic installation –artifacts based on a widening of the culture and values within the historic dimension of the icon, and I would add of the sacred culture of Christian origin, so persistent in the Orthodox Church. The Cross, the Polyptych and the Tomb, among the central icons of the liturgy, between life, death and resurrection, are re-visited and re-interpreted, I would suggest even enriched by the dialectic valences that his artistic sensibility has ‘unleashed’. Going through the exhibition, one absorbs the atmosphere released by the immediate force of the materials employed, distinguished by the theological centrality of light, by its reinforced vitality and interference in space; the geometric-symbolic dimension that comes about is highlighted by the gold patina, but the large surface of a non-iconic altar-piece is also progressively impacted by a magmatic and swarming oxidation. KUTURI concludes the path he has traced distinguishing it with the element of transgression proper to one who faces death with the value of rebirth, of superseding the present, of an artist who sees hope in creativity, inclining towards those new forms of thought that only a bitter irony and possibly playfulness can suggest.

Andrea B. Del Guercio
Professor Chair of the History of Contemporary Art Brera Academy of Fine Arts, Milan
RICCARDO NOTTE - THE BARE SIGN IN THE WORKS OF KUTURI
MARCO SCARPA - AN ECHO OF THE INFINITE
PAOLO RICCA - SEEING TAKES TIME
ANTONELLO PELLICCIA - VISUAL SYMPHONY
FILOMENA DI STAZIO - SCARS
GIAMPAOLO ROSSI - IN PRAISE OF ERROR
MARIO DE LEO - GEOMETRY OF LIGHT