NP ArtLab



The selection of works presented here seeks through the emergence of surface anomalies, visual outbursts, pictorial crises, to announce a catastrophe. A visual tension is created where the symptom saturates the expectation of becoming, without then concluding, pausing in foreboding. The partial opening of the images, the dripping, seething matter embody this suggestion.

It was common practice for miners in the past to enter the belly of the earth accompanied by a chick in a cage in order to know when the air was too saturated with firedamp, a highly flammable, colourless and odourless gas often the cause of explosions in mines, which could be perceived by the small bird that began to shake and quiver its wings in its presence. This practice meant that one could somehow prevent, see coming, catastrophe.

Just as the divinatory wings of the chicks quivered in the face of calamity, these paintings come alive with unnatural and premonitory implications, on the verge of detonation. Set in a space used as a chapel, cramped, crude and poorly lit, they are immersed in an environment charged with sacredness and at the same time close to the memory of mining caverns. This dual reading unfolds in the citation of figures taken from both sacred iconography and profane imagery, emphasised in the gazes of madonnas and bodies subjected to the crisis.

Leonardo Dalla Torre