Critical Essays

2016 - Galleria L’Attico, Roma
“Art not to Burn” by Fabio Sargentini

The distinctive feature of this exhibition is the use of wood as a raw material by all the participating artists. The theme does not have pretensions of originality, it is the title that makes it more tempting: Art not to burn. Adding an exclamation point can be read as a notice: do not you dare to burn it!

Each piece exhibited here has its own story.

The exhibition opens with one-stop African barn. And an everyday object at the Dogon ethnic group in Mali, but it's also a work of art as a carrier of powerful symbolic image. I do expose it flush with the wall so as not to betray its original location. I bought it in Paris thirty years ago by a primitive art antiquarian in rue de Seine with the few francs left in the pocket before leaving. I traded it on the fly to get the pointy boobs’ one-stop that attracted me to the shop window. By taxi to the Gare de Lyon and then on the train platform, with a suitcase in one hand and the one-stop hugged to the chest, I still feel the breast hardness on the side, though pleased with his possession. Meteora Nunzio class 1986, crucial year for the sculptor. The series of plaster casts, which had started three years earlier with success, was now running out. He had to experiment with other materials, other processes. At that time we were in Paris for the Festival d'Automne where Nunzio and Pizzi had been invited. I advised strongly Nunzio to go to see the Musee de I'Homme. I knew the black art collection of the museum, and I knew that he would benefit from the visit. Thus the wood, and then the lead, took in his work the place of plaster. Meteora belongs precisely to that period. It 'a sculpture that is not on the wall like plaster sculptures, all salamanders suspicious. Also it invades the space around it, on the verge of the round, but still requires a protective wall behind him. Its wide and pointed shape which recalls a shield, recurrent with Nunzio’s, is proudly stuck in the ground base in an amazing balance. On its surface is still capture pictorial traces to embellish what will disappear in the combusted sculptures.

By Hidetoshi Nagasawa I expose Pastoral of 1974 that depicts a stick in bas-relief. In all my years I have never been separated from him. For me he is this stick, a real companion. In the '90s I was in Japan along with Hidetoshi that exposed at Mito’s museum, which I had lent some sculptures. The opening night, at the dinner table, the Minemura Japanese critic, my neighbor asked me point blank: “Will you keep with you the canoe, the port and the Nagasawa stick for a lifetime? A question that took me unawares and to which I answer only now. Yes, the three sculptures are still with me. And I keep them tight!

The Pizzi Cannella triptych of 1991 is part of a unique series of paintings on wood, about fifteen, realized in two weeks of creative frenzy. What had happened was this: Pizzi, obsessed with television aerial shots of the Gulf War, had temporarily taken down the brush and had invented an indirect approach to the Framework. Visiting his study those works did not speak to me. I told him with the frankness in use among us. But there was no small problem to solve: his personal exhibition at L’ Attico had already been announced. So, what to do? The next morning I called him: "Pizzi, last night I had a dream, L’ Attico was full of paintings with your clothes from room to room... Said and done. Pizzi, challenged, and instead takes the field Canvas chooses the table surface where the oil paint dries quickly. His execution is fast as a shoot, cynical, inspired, and in a couple of weeks all is done, the exhibition is ready. Twenty-five years, this triptych It confirms the result of a moment of grace.

At least two reasons have prompted me to enter Balkenhol in the exhibition. The first, of course, was his prowess in treating the wood that takes in almost all of his creations. Second, it was a name very unusual for L’ Attico and internationally. The approach that has Balkenhol with wood is dismissive, anti Mannerist. The same happened with his countryman Baselitz with heads carved in the wood. German Expressionist School which is different from that of the South Tyrolean smooth Demetz. The intent of Balkenhol is to obtain a surface! Igneous bumpy, with scales in sight but still pictorial. As this figure painting shows, where a male face with eyes wide between two black wings as he would ask himself: "What gallery did i got into?

He was fascinated by the idea of ​​a Bengal tiger on the stage of the theater. When Puxeddu set me apart from that he planned to carve it, I supported it instantly. I also recommended to place the big tiger with the little one to escape a fixity of the statue and give the illusion that the two crossed the stage. So bitter was the disappointment when we both noted that the work was too far behind the imminence of the exhibition. So short of time do? I said to myself: "What if the Anaconda, Puxeddu exposed two years ago at the exhibition Serpentopoli crawling on the ground in front of the picture of Colazzo, will catapult this time from the top of a side white wall in black theater?". And boom, the replacement solution was found, just as spectacular of the two trade fairs in the making.
At this point all the pieces were left in place, such as wooden dice of those games interlocking than once that reveal the design. The design of the exhibition. 


2015 - Palazzo Cesarini Sforza, Genzano
“Above the horizon Earth" by Giovanna dalla Chiesa

The myth is always right: like the universe, including our planet stems from the crushing of a single body to pieces, as tells us the story of Dioniso Zagreo dismembered by the Titans, or, in other versions, by the Furies or the Maenads.
A complacency moment by watching himself on the mirror, pleased of his own completeness, then the destruction by which the totality will be sacrificed.  

But the Titans will be punished by Jupiter which will reduce them to ashes and from this 'reduction',men will originate meaning a new world dimension, no longer superhuman size and boundless, but human and limited. Observing the earth with current satellite systems, the configuration of its sparse parts, a time relating to a single surface, evokes that of a giant moored, suspended between the liquids.

On the one hand, therefore, the identification of the human body with that of the earth by means of the sacrificial act undersize and mirroring the other, with Luigi Puxeddu, incursion into the 'middle land' from which man is away, where heaven and earth are still fused as in the territory of hybrid beings we know as Dinosaurs.

The desire for unity is rather expressed as a transient size of the look that passes and touches different trajectories: Fosco Valentini's along the vertical axis on which the cosmic, as always, are located business and human discoveries in the order technical and scientific, and Luigi Puxeddu's, with immersion in otherness disorienting and burning unconscious (preconscious or prehistory) where advances only went backward to find the archetypes from which all reality, even human, originated.

Both artists play on the fragmentation of perspective, decentralization and unexpected angle surprise, which no longer allows a focused vision, but opens us to surprise and wonder. Putting the animal in the middle of the scene, Puxeddu has displaced the viewer habits as the only observer of inanimate space, returning his gaze to the contemplation of fantastic pictures, it rained bluntly, into the room.

The role of through symbolic, traditionally done by the animal between the terrestrial and cosmic sphere, he has pushed the edge man, forcing his steps to the periphery of the space. The animal is the precipitate boulder in the pond that makes splash at the sides the human presence. 

But there is a second operation, without which, this exchange of roles would be only as a forced invasion of field: the reduction in the depth of the blocks of matter to plans of the surface synthesis, where image and figure are given in their substance of 'appearances'.

The work of Puxeddu reassembled on wood consists in redrawing the boundaries of the various floors with the electric saw, and then soften with the magenta which deadens corners and crevices, where the traces of the pencil which highlighted the shape remain explicit anchor.

The tonnage of monumental sculptures is thus reabsorbed, floor by floor, until the animal's skeleton and traced by mammoth thicknesses to the size of a 'graffiti', as in an alphabet of which each specimen becomes the archetype, indicated with an article determined that constitutes it as a prototype of the species.

The transition from the third dimension of the sculpture to the two-dimensionality of painting is, therefore, quite natural. The Dinosaurs of Puxeddu are products of our imagination, brought back to life, however, through the most advanced technology systems, which can be reformulated by an artificial memory, what the human can not have cognition.

We might call them-with the status of paradoxical existence, 'genetically modified organisms', as long as you believe in a genesis before, which is first of fantasy.

For this reason, Fosco Valentini and Luigi Puxeddu positions apart on opposite views are in fact complementary. They penetrate deep into the turning time we live only from a great distance, rising 'over the horizon earth' can be fully embraced. Exclusively on this basis it will be possible to find an overall look and balance between different instances, being humble experience as those who feel the impercettibibile rotation of the planet as a wonderful opportunity and a mobile field observation in tune with the movement of their steps on the terrestrial sphere, where past, present and future are simultaneously present.

2014 - Galleria Toselli, Milano
"Luigi Puxeddu” 
by Luca Tomìo

The work of Luigi Puxeddu is not contemporaneous.
They are remote. Not only from us watching them but from the entire human race. Needless groped comparisons with prehistoric art, the rhinoceros of Durer or animals Franz Marc ... Puxeddu is also remote for the oldest of men. His works emerge from such a remote time to break extraordinarily unexpected and surprising in the timelessness of contemporary societies, civilization flows, of a simultaneous and oblique man.

Perfectly inconsistent with their time, the works of Puxeddu stand out like motionless rocks. A sculpture more natural then human. As eroded and polished driftwood on the beaches of seas at the edge of the world. Looking at these works you feel the true dyscrasia, the sidereal distance between a work of art and a soi-disant art system miming the star system. Art is another thing, and the works of Puxeddu reiterate that the only thing that really matters is the centrality of the work. The work of art understood as a principle of invention. A new humanism, which does not want and does not need the centrality of man.

It is important to know that Luigi Puxeddu works in the city where strolling casually you can run into masterpieces by Michelangelo or Caravaggio. He is their nemesis, the anti-classical, but the force he can activate is the same, that titanism that bursts from the man's struggle with matter, existential dissatisfaction, the vital momentum that matter can not contain and which are the stylistic hallmark of true greatness, man first, then the artist. Real artists do not mind about art stuff, but the essence of things in the world. Indeed, it is necessary to go further. Denying definitely art, look away, define voids, absences full of meaning. That art is a mental thing was discovered at the height of the Renaissance. Many did not even have noticed yet.

The extraordinary nature of the work Puxeddu is what I can not put into scena. It's in the void that can not be filled, the Sehnsucht of Romantics, the yearning for something that you fail to grasp ... Sorry for the irreverence but my thoughts goes to Michelangelo's Prisons ... a fight at loggerheads with brute matter in Puxeddu leaves no trace in the form of ancestral animals but whose puissance is beyond incidental forms, mere residual of a battle that is first and foremost a battle of spirit.

2014 - Galleria Toselli, Milano
"Luigi Puxeddu” by  Franco Toselli

Having a cat is already an exhibition with video.
Following the kangaroo ballet.

The giraffe is also out fit for a mast.
The tiger is a raft in case of shipwreck.
The camel and the rhinoceros are adopted.

The prehistoric animal is finally in the gallery after 2000.
Only Mario Merz has toyed with the wind.
Nature is not bearable without the man.
Art seeks the infinite not to grow.
The red color is a signal and no animal is lost.
A bit 'of clarity in the maze of the contemporary.
The exaggerated presence is a minimum for the art-.
This wonder is the visionary imprint of Luigi Puxeddu combining childhood to old shepherd Lascaux.

2014 - Galleria L'Attico, Roma
"Serpentopoli" by Fabio Sargentini

"A viper died under the wheels of a car. They took in the square and all the farmers are made around. Aldo, the locksmith, has pulled out of the meter and has measured: sixty-five centimeters. And they all have commented how long! Someone exclaimed, hey, maybe it was carried out! A thrill to me over on my back, I do not know the other, before the inert reptile. Inert, yet powerful".

This short prose comes from my little book The Pearl diver it well explains the emotional reaction that triggers in me find myself face to face with a snake or at least a thing that moves. There is fear of poison and is the repugnance toward a slimy creature, invertebrate, which can even creep into your cavity. But, beyond fear and revulsion, attraction occult succeed I need to force if Collector I always saw the snake eye-catching image. It is certainly attracted me what it symbolizes, the various contradictory meanings, positive and negative, of life and death that give it forever and which I know little or nothing. In fact the theme of a collective I decide based on the number of the works that I already own on the subject. This time, a fast mnemonic calculation told me that I was five. The other seven had to manufacture them. And I have given the task to many artists.

In Brauner's painting, La maman du poète, a little snake snuggles precisely on the head of the poet's mother. Brauner is magical, with the symbols go to a wedding. What does it mean? What the snake oversees the genesis of the poem? The other Surrealist painting, Magritte, there is actually a snake, but a black shape, sinuous shape that slips inside another black, stiff and fuzzy penetration emerges finally a little human leg ... The title, La lutte immobile, for me it was the emblem for the years of struggle between father and son.

In the same room it is exposed a painting that Di Stasio has performed for the occasion. Here again is a symbol, the snake coiled on his staff, which, they say, refers to medicine. Di Stasio is an illusionist. The central figure holding the stick with one hand and the other the juts in front of him with a finger gesture that invokes, aided by the shadow, a second snake.

In the little theater, erected at the center of the scene, there is a vertical Frongia's canvas, even this painted ad hoc. A snake clinging to the bare trunk of a tree reaches out to a closed window. One wonders: is an internal or external? Here the space is more intriguing of the snake itself.
The two sculptors had already available pieces. The Captain snake hanging from the head down, the marble head and hemp body ceiling. It is stretched to the maximum, as if falling from a tree protendesse the metal forked tongue toward an imaginary prey. Sinuous and wriggling on the contrary the anaconda in Puxeddu wood, crawling on the ground and touches the ankles causing the visitor a sort of startle. It seems alive! 

Even Colazzo made a painting specifically for the exhibition. From a dark area at the base of the picture, the snakes, or assumed, dancing rise towards the top gradually clear shewn. It is a tribute to the dawn after a prolonged darkness.
The Ragalzi work consists in the door of a double-sided door. A purely pictorial means he joins the readymade: a Persian, a shirt, an iguana. The best Ragalzi draws its lifeblood from an existential truth.
Sini is a painter newcomer at L'Attico. It has a dotted technique, meticulous, obsessive. The composition that has painted produces an optical effect of solids and voids: the cobra maze.

The tantra painting of the eighteenth century pictures a few snakes and a series of boxes arranged like a game. Dashed top there are the typical oriental architecture buildings with turrets and spiers. And from there I took the title Snakepolis.

Ontani stands at the entrance, his little head of Medusa is a dramatic business card. The face of Luigi, for once unrecognizable, contorts into a grimace very effective. The mouth is a gaping hole before whom tremble decomposed components serpaio on his head.

Finally I left the job Pizzi Cannella. There is a painting on canvas, is a combination of tableau vivant, and actual painting. The snake disappears and reappears on the opposite side of the bare back of Sonia surrounding it ideally all around. It is the imagination that compensates those watching the partiality of vision.
Suddenly I remember a chorus that sang Pino Pascali, "I am like a serpent, annually renewing its skin, but i don't throw my skin away, I just use it everyday." 

2012 - Galleria L'Attico, Roma
"Montaggio Delle Attrazioni” by Fabio Sargentini

Find the title of an exhibition or a show is a chore that touches me, pleasant rage, a few times a year. The rightly takes its time to unfold. It may be to cast light, Karst vein snidata from my diviner pointed stick. More often, though, the good idea does not flow immediately. And 'This was the case of assembly of the attractions. So he called the Russian filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein its process of assembly of filmic images arranged in sequence. And precisely what this exhibition, subject to the structural diversity of the cinema, if you do a search for the relationship between the images, paintings and sculptures in this case? "Here, the exhibition is mounted" as always I muttered to myself to dell'allestimento end. At that moment, he sgominando other titles in the running, I have taken the association with Eisenstein.
It is true that the way to set up the exhibits may not be the same after the consolidation of the installation as a new art form. It is indeed providential fig leaf, the convenient ploy of fulfillment of many would-be artists. But you can not deny that it has ennobled the idea of space, elevated from a container to the rank of art work, based on the balance of the whole of the individual elements involved. In principle it is in this spirit that to set up an events and exhibitions. 

And now let's get across into the five exhibition halls. Di Stasio's one is a real optical box where two paintings facing each other: a giant naked wanderer equipped with stick above the city at night, and the same giant become lilliputian, seen as through an inverted telescope. Di Stasio's maniacally figurative work is perfect for illusionism. In the next room there is a double portrait of Stalin painted by Del Giudice. One of the two pictures, gray-tones and strokes here and there with pink and green, depicts the Russian dictator with his defiant mustache and eyes of ice at the apex of power; while in the other part, by the toni marroni, he lies on his back, eyes closed forever, embalmed. Each call to today, I swear, is purely coincidental.
And here is the room where I put together, diners by candlelight, Kounellis and Nam June Paik. The work of Kounellis is a wall plate with two shelves, the bottom upon which rests a train, and the top where it burns the flame of a candle. It captures a distant echo of De Chirico, perhaps Magritte. The fact is that Jannis feels deeply metaphysics and surrealism and reinvents them, at least in those years, this piece is from 1970, with poor materials. And with lyrical outcomes. A few meters further on, against the wall, there's an old TV emptied by the Korean artist Nam June Paik, in which burns a solitary candle. The mass media, the most petulant and consumerist there is, acquires a soul, is spiritualized. It is an image zen. Who could conceive if not an Oriental? 

Arriving in the penultimate room, we find ourselves in India! In fact we come across a snake charmer and a cobra that juts before. This is an Ontani's painting, where he very young in the role of the god Krishna attracts forest animals with his flute. I did not see this piece for a long time: ages well as its author. As for the cobra is the latest Puxeddu sculpture. Do you remember his exhibition of all red animal sculptures last season? Now, he abandoned that red conceptual fairytale, its animals are closer to reality. It affects the suppleness of the wood, the elasticity of the turns of the dancing reptile.

Finally, entering the little theater, you have a startle. Six painted dresses, three blacks and three whites they stand vertical to protagonists. In this three-dimensional version of the Pizzi Cannella clothes reveal their essence even more ghostly. We watch them and it is as if it were reciprocated. Who is the audience and the actor who? Painting, theater and life huddle in one breath.
Et voila, the cream is whipped. Pardon, the exhibition!

2012 - Galleria L’Attico, Roma
“QUATERNA” by Fabio Sargentini

A few days ago, making the final of the season still in progress of the Attic, I realized I had to his credit a single exhibition. In October there was a full reading of the Aeneid of Virgil divided in two days with eight actors on stage and the backdrop of Di Stasio. In January, for a period of two months, it was held the exhibition Installation of attractions, also for certain theatrical ways, especially for those lighted candles (Kounellis, Nam June Paik) and those clothes paintings hanging in the audience as if they were spectators ( Pizzi Cannella). And finally Amlieto, the spectacle of Elsa Agalbato and mine, which according to critics and many of you who have seen it, succeeded quite well.
It was necessary, therefore, to round off the season a second exhibition. In this regard I thought back to the young artists I sustained in recent years. They were won bets? One thing is certain: these days the pure talent clearly not enough to succeed. But it is undeniable that Captain Montani Picozza Puxeddu, two painters and two sculptors, inserted into the boxes of an imaginary tombola, form a set of four quality.
Years ago the Flash Art magazine turned to fifty critics
art and industry experts an invitation to the names of the five best Italian artists of the last fifty years after the generation of Burri and Fontana. 11 response was that in three of the final five chosen artists were launched by myself. Besides Manzoni e Boetti, in fact, there were Pascali, Kounellis and De Dominicis.
Contemporary art is the only game of chance in which I have tried in life. But it's a calculated risk. It's not bad, is it, to have well chosen so far three out of five?

2011 - Prima Personale - Galleria L'Attico, Roma
"Luigi Puxeddu” by Marco Tonelli

Clay statues depicting ancient gods and demigods were dyed red. Even Pan, among the Indians (reminds Winckelmann), was painted in this color.

The first statues of human figures were wooden ones made by Daedalus (or in any case, according to tells Pausanias, these sculptures were dedali calls). There were wooden statues from the Egyptians and the Greeks. Even with animal figures carved in ancient times there are various kinds, and not imaginary beings: lions of Delos, the bronze horses, Roman wolves, but also the Etruscan chimeras, Assyrian winged bulls, sphinxes and Egyptian cats . Luigi Puxeddu is therefore not the first nor probably be the last artist to have carved animals, to have them carved in wood, to have them painted red. But it is probably the first to have made the three things together.

In the twentieth century it was not lacking a tradition of animalistic sculptures by Brancusi birds, spiders, Calder, Giacometti to the dogs, to cetaceans Pascali. Yet the Puxeddu sculptures in wood .intagliate (Wittkower called the cut "ablution, an act of purification, a moral necessity"), painted red cadmium and raffigu, rants Animals (more a man and a horse-tower which we will discuss) works back to be re-archaic, ancient unabashedly, with quell'insolenza and typical strangeness that an animal transmits as much wanders into an architectural space, a little house or art gallery matter.

Sculptures made to be such, without compromise then: because carved, because in wood and because life-size. And among them a man, indeed The Man (the most recent work on display and "necessary" so that the number of animals not continue without interruption): man who imitates other animals, with the indices of the hands at the sides of the forehead placed in mo 'small horns and with a dance step just mentioned. A satire, an aspiring faun, therefore, a pan, being perfectly at home in nature as they themselves, like the centaurs, mermaids and harpies after all, part human and part animal. The man Puxeddu, therefore, imitates animals and at the same time fauns and satyrs. It is, therefore, a man of the theater, a mime, a dancer (who the real sculptor appearance) which seems to be confused with those more or less hybridized beings, him, man, came in last to dominate "over the fish, the birds of the sky, over the livestock, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, "as it is written in Genesis.

I asked why he had chosen Puxeddu those animals and not others. Someone - he said - because it terrifies him in atavistic way, some other reason like a heraldic sign, others because he has seen them live and I was particularly fascinated, still others for purely sculptural reasons. And then, that small group two where a horse seems to want to jump (to eat?) The tower as in chess ...

But they are not so much the reasons behind these works to affect how the effects. If it is true, as written Carandente that "Humanism - hence the name - not cultivated the zoomorphic sculpture", it is equally true that Puxeddu presents through sculpture and carving a form of archaic human beauty of contemporary sculpture . In these works he does not hide the work of the sculptor but is enhanced, at least, thanks to cadmium red covering the works, become warmer and abstract signs and volumes, as if of the underlying wood, which is also nature, They should feel no material qualities but the work of the sculptor effects to get to form the figure. That's why we can speak of a human centrality and animal sculpture, dell'intagliare and give shape to living beings that may well be true for their generic qualities and ideals, rather than camouflage. That is why it is first said a purifying and moral quality of the carved sculpture.

Sculpture then figure, which attempt to synthesize any other figure in their due. So we do not tell you but a Reindeer Reindeer, not a wolf but the wolf, not a man but Man and so on. This explains why the horse seems to want to jump (to eat?) Tower. They are both a part of a chessboard: an abstraction of the horse and the tower that are there for their symbolic value and not functional (can ever a real horse really skip a crenellated tower?). The Puxeddu sculptures aspire to idols beings of a pantheon with no gods.

Pomponio Gaurico wrote in 1504 that the statues erected by the ancient gods were eidola or simulacra calls, those dedicated to Xoana heroes and kings andriantes, to eikela scholars, men deserving brétea, representations that faithfully reproduced the shape of the faces and limbs, if performed in sculpture, ekmagea, while the statues smaller than the human stature signa, those even smaller seals.
It will not be difficult to insert, from now on, the Puxeddu's sculptures in a sculptural scheme, as the archaic ancestry, more modern and up-to-date.

Perhaps more difficult, but not impossible, to suggest what should be the next figure to be carved in the order of creation that sees Puxeddu as the primordial artist who has now started to create his own personal Eden, since the animals to continue with man.

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