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LUCIO PEZZOLESI’S ARTE IN VITRO
There is vibrating mark pervading all Pezzolesi’s graphic works, works that do not properly belong to the “graphic arts”, as they prevalentely consist of pen-drawings on paper. Whoever has studied at the Istituto d’Arte in Urbino in the fifties, at the time when this school was known as the Scuola del Libro (the school of the book), he means by graphic only the mark of the track the matrix leaves on the paper, which may be xylographic, chalcographic, lithographic or serigraphic as well. The result of the graphic sign differs very much from that of the drawing, and apart from being alone, it is also fragmentary, because it usually prepares works that later are carried out by the most various techniques.
Pezzolesi’s drawings, with their detailed fineness, and their chromaticism limited to the black and white, derive from a skilful exercise of the engraving technique.
From the early years of the artist’s studies, the mentioned school which by Carnevali’s action could be more compared to a medieval “scriptorium” than to a modern laboratory in the Bauhaus style, was probably felt as “limiting” by the young artist, who was equally attracted by the painting and by the abstract and conceptual sculpture.
The fact that he has now decided to put on show graphic works and drawings in Urbino testifies the persistent, deep cultural roots he has in this town.
If we observe with care Lucio Pezzolesi’s artistic itinerary, we can go back over quickly and pleasantly the several artistic stages from the end of the Sixties until the present day.
His first graphic and pictorial results remind us of the informal and abstract experiences by which the artist could find in the composition or in the light effects of the black and white the rather incommunicable reason of his art-making. In Pezzolesi’s art this stage do coincide with his first effort of using an autonomous language, more personal than that he has been taught at school, which finds its characterizing moment in whichever possible interpretation of the landscape on the footsteps of Castellani and Bruscaglia, or also in the metaphysic of the landscape itself as it is pursued by Ceci.
At the beginning of the Sixties the artist abandons his gestuality, the mark of his restless personality, in order to organize, within the structure of the module, a more mental research itinerary. This constitutes the introduction to the work that is the most binding for its ideation and realization: Tact n. 1 (in 1968). Here we have an edifice of feelings, a Wunderkammer, which through the touch evokes the instinct of surprise hiding in each of us. In Pezzolesi’s art it is always the unconscious the performer, and not the tangible and external reality. The subjective reaction in front of the things is what determines the birth of the works of the middle of the Sixties, when he showed at the IX Quadriennale his seismographies, which are placeable between the optical play and the gestaltic researches. In those years was open the debate of a useful and aesthetically autonomous art against the intrusiveness of the object market produced by the industry: Dorfles had published his researches about the variation of the taste and of the Kitsch, Argan underlined the importance of the gestaltic researches, as reaction of the art against what should not be named civilization, but base politics of images, distinguishing the Gestalt Psychology from that of the “introspection”, as the former tends to eliminate every unperceptive reference like memories, longings as well as what usually intervenes in the perception altering the pure perception. The Gestalt Psychology sets off what has been observed by the experimental psychology, that is the tendency of the human mind to put in order its images according with a scheme that the reason has precedently structured as a consequence of the cultural and historical conditions.
It is from the objectivity of such promises that the most intimate research of Pezzolesi takes its begin. His drawn graphic takes note of the grid of his thought being intent only on the reasons of the forms, as if the main task of the artist were the enucleation of the poetry of the physical laws of the aesthetic experience, literally meant as experience of the senses separated from the emotion. Now we can properly understand the titles of the works presented at the Roman exposition of the 1965: “Birth of an Image”, “The Fall of a Rain-drop”, “Imponderability”, which all adhere perfectly to their images springing from the selective operation the artist has performed in the vast field of his sensorial experiences.
The drawing is bound to arouse in the observer a kinetic sensation, nevertheless the artist sets his experiment farther than expected, and by means of different materials he comes to the serigraphy on plate, as well to the embossing technique, until the matter itself becomes dynamic.
We can say that Pezzolesi’s art shows us the incessant movement of the matter as it is given in its less visible strata; a rain-drop seen under a microscope is restlessly animated by worrying beings.
Pezzolesi is very attracted by science, and this is testified by some titles of works which date back to the early Seventies: “Analysis”, “Nucleo”, “Entropia”, “Genesis”, “DNA”, which all denote how the artist’s interest do concentrate upon the origin of things, and above all on their structure.
More recently Pezzolesi by his works seems to have put into question the basic necessity of his research, utilizing scraps like empty bottles, whose bottoms are pinned up on the picture board; we can easily advert the reutilization of a kind of Dadaism, and in the totemic cardboard feminine sexual organs we can see the reutilization of a kind of Surrealism. If the pleasure of the entomologist in the classification of the industrial relic remains unchanged, the scientific and rational clearness of the origin of life seen from the biological point of view has got confused with the birth trauma in the surrealist dream. The original proposition of the aseptic transparency totally committed to the sign has been spoiled, giving way to a redundancy of materials and messages. The artist has given up the idea of organizing the world of the forms by means of lucid and rather cold mental schemes, now the object is the focus of the poetry of the artist; in the course of the Eighties the aesthetic play has become subtler, and where there seems to be only the play and the pleasure of the manipulation game, the other meaning of the conceptual art, is also concealed, which is again sign of the distance between the arts and the world.
Urbino, 2 July 1995
(S. Cuppini – ‘Arte in vitro’ Critical introduction to the catalogue of the personal exhibition “Grafica Graphic arts 1959-88”, Casa Raffaello, Urbino, 9-24 September 1995).