Repetto Gallery in London is pleased to announce an exhibition of Pier Paolo Calzolari’s singular project ‘Muitos estudos para uma casa de limão’ featuring 22 works Torchon Arches paper mounted onto board. Calzolari realised them using salt, milk tempera, pastels à l’écu and oil pastels. Magonza will publish an exhibition catalogue with a text by David Anfam, critic and curator of Abstract Expressionism (Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2016-17) – the largest survey of its kind ever held in Europe. Pier Paolo Calzolari (Bologna, 1943), one of the most original and intransigent artists of the second half of the 20th century, began his brilliant career towards the end of the 1960s.
A profound and refined interpreter of the poetics of the sublime – more in its Baroque declination (theatrical and experimental) than the Romantic one – the artist has always played and created with the force of the elements. Hence the flame, the vegetable, salt, water, tobacco, frost and ice have become his forms and symbols. In order to outline his extraordinary creativity – both archaic and ground-breaking, remote and futuristic – we might draw on the two sacred memories of Georges de La Tour and Caspar David Friedrich (fire and ice, hot and cold, black and white), reunited here in an intimate yet impossible embrace, one both real and infinite. But in these later, new works – where salt, providing the main surface, dialogues with the milk tempera and pastel – Calzolari’s creativity manages to tap into an unprecedented pleasantness, like an extreme and lyrical melody.
Calzolari seems to counterbalance an apparent calm against his traditionally stormy, restless and experimental waters: one which in actual fact conceals great tension and a personal sense of angst. And yet, by merit of his joyful and lively colours, the result unleashed is one of a quite remarkable tenderness, of fortuitous grace. Through this previously unseen ‘painterly’ universe, brought together in a plain interweaving of kindly and refined gestures along with a use of colour which is at the same time brilliant, energetic and humble, his previous ‘brazen cry’ – having now acquired a new level of wisdom – is transformed into a multi-coloured zen chant.