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Mattia Moreni, Piccola immagine di legno
Material and technique
125 x 65 cm
Fabrizio D'Amico
At the centre of this oblong canvas, the clash and explosion of a clump of matter, blacks greys oranges, as if some brief, blind flight had crashed into a barrier raised without warning. The image, whose title Piccola immagine di legno (“Small image of wood”) Moreni inscribed on the back of the canvas according to a practice begun in 1960, is shot through, agitated, by the violence that is a constant feature of this artist’s work. And in fact the quiet lake of grey and green surmounting and underlying the conflagration has the sole function of underscoring its flaming virulence.
“Neo-naturalism, neo-figurativism owing to the recognized academicism of the Informal?” asked Marco Rosci, years ago, about the sudden conversion that brought Moreni, precisely in 1961, to return to “figure” painting, lacerated though it was. Again, the image at the heart of the composition – a swirl of gestures and signs recalling the impetus of American painting and also Wols, seen in the extensive retrospective dedicated to that artist at the Venice Biennale in 1958 – does not tell its story. Yet it is “closer and closer to a landscape,” as Moreni had entitled his Sempre più verso un paesaggio (1960), foretelling his future development. For in those greens and ochers that govern the space of the painting, one seems to sense a whiff of nature, and of what is found in the middle of nature.
Piccola immagine di legno
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