• 06 Feb 13

"The heretic characters live in their own communities and give us a work free from categories", so the great Antonin Artaud thought, this is a phrase that Alessandro Savelli likes to quote: his thoughts, though less extreme, are always faithful to the need for freedom and independence from categories " and his work corresponds perfectly to the words of the French writer: his work is always far from the trends, then, in a sense, eternal.Savelli is an artist who still believes in the canvas and color, in the craft of painting: that job that calls for concentration and contemplation, to express freely his emotions and his own feelings. 

With a precise painting technique, that does not leave anything to improvisation, during the moment of creation, Savelli can give free impulse to emotion, to proceed without foreclosing any possibility, ready to surprise and see what his instinct has sent to the canvas.And it is exactly this that his works create: emotions.They speak to the viewer, turning to him with gentle decision, caught his eye and carry it in distant worlds, suspended, enchanting.We willingly stop in front of a painting of Savelli.We can stop and if we sit down, preferably on a comfortable chair, in the words of Henri Matisse,we have the need to watch it calmly.Immediately we notice the perfect balance between the expressive power of choice and color of the sign and the sweet harmony.Never brutal, never violent, Savelli's work speaks strongly without attacking, giving sensations, awakening memories by stimulating the imagination.

Savelli, moreover, is certain: the art can’t be found, it is not entertainment, it is not vulgar, but is above all beauty.An ideal of beauty that does not mean - it is clear – lack of thought or lack of meaning, the work of Savelli, indeed, is not banally decorative.It does not reject the complaint and does not close its eyes to the horrors that life holds for us every day.Simply opposing the good his art fights against evil. His art is a challenge to the darkness seeking the light. In the words of Pierre-Auguste Renoir to a very young Matisse looking for confirmation: "The pain passes, but the beauty remains."

It is no coincidence that as his subject of choice, the artist has chosen the landscape.A classic theme, with a long tradition, which lends itself well to his ideal of painting.What is crystal clear seas, which are lit by red autumn woods or the cosmos full of stars, the landscapes of Savelli are never clearly identified, never respond to the logic of the view or apply with accuracy to a precise location .They are landscapes of the soul and mind ("mental landscapes" in the words of Cavadini), ready to remind us, constantly, that "what we see does not match what really is, and as Elisabetta Longari said, Savelli’s art is a painting that exposes the problematic nature of vision.The protagonist then is not the landscape, but the movement of the eye, its adventures, its paths, its perception of being in the act of painting.But the vision is complex, linked to factors not only purely optical.The poets know that there is an inner eye, an organ made up of more rarefied areas of the self: memory, intuition, consciousness, unconscious ... The vision is knowledge. "

Deeply evocative his landscapes do not reject the presence of symbolic elements, drawn on the canvas with disarming simplicity and directness. Hearts, for example, play an important role in the poetry of the artist.Simplified, designed as dictated by custom, the most common graphic symbol, they suggest, with remarkable efficiency, the pulse of life, the energy behind the creative act. Communicative act in the same plane, the moon, the rainbow or the pre-Columbian pyramid: symbols familiar to us, able to establish contact with the audience, to speak to him directly, as if to introduce the complexity of the rest of the painting.Captured the immediacy of the symbol, the eye of the viewer immediately began to wander the surface of the painting, carried by the extraordinary fabric colors that are the works of Savelli.Impossible not to fix certain choices in the canvas: purple tones, for example - so unusual as vibrant and emotionally powerful -, touches of gold - gold is not luxury and decoration but light and energy - and above all, I believe the black. The black: black declined in all possible shades of a "no color" in the work of Savelli, Sabrina Arosio as rightly pointed out in a paper for the artist, " absence but not the invisible. "And if it is to be expected in the white paintings dedicated to the cosmos, much more unexpected and therefore even more effective is its presence in a series inspired by the sea in the Maldives, where the black, dark blue, brown play a crucial role, opposing to the clearness of sky and blue water a touch of harsh reality.

The dialogue between opposite sides is, moreover, one of the main virtues of the work of Savelli.The search for a balance is not expressed, in fact, only in chromatic contrast, but also in the juxtaposition of straight lines and curves and shapes in the layout of the painting itself.Despite the apparent randomness of the dynamic brushstrokes, the compositions can be seen always rigorously geometric, even thanks to the presence of straight lines that cross the painting, sometimes intersecting to form a cross (nearly a record of his youthful studies in architecture) .Along these lines, geometric figures often appear in the flat backgrounds, necessary properties that make up the architectural structure of the painting and help to feel Savelli’s musicality.

Many critics, who have previously written for Savelli, have referred to his music. The sound and its opposite - the silence - seem to develop into the compositions, controlling the chanting rhythm of the stroke, the splash of color and line.Savelli seems to smooth the baroque tones typical of many of his paintings, to focus on pure geometry, the relationship between shapes, rhythm, exactly. And it is evident in the papers his interest in the matter and his ability to control the colors in their unexpected shades.

A production extraordinarily consistent, then, the deep motivations, built on years of experience and hard work, ever since high school and university at Brera.Research that has never made concessions to fashion, which has remained true to his idea even when the international scene turned to another kind of artistic expression, preferring the informal to the  conceptual, the installation to the painting on canvas.

For Savelli art - "this extraordinary deceit that leads to the dream" - is a means of knowledge, expression and emotion.It’s poetry ...

The skies, first of all.The skies in the production of Savelli always play a major role; those skies that in 1982 Pieraldo Marasi described as "fatally crossed by a Byzantine thrill," painted with the "desire to paint the air, a memory of space and clouds, "but also those which" tell profound experiences "and that, according to Sabrina Arosio, are" motivated by his desire to be a painter above all else, to be able to give color even to what may seem hostile. "And then in Cielo arcobaleno d’oro 1999, the gold glow, immediately denied by the dark tones, full of silence, the darkest nights, in which the stars, dark and tormented, are ready to suggest a landing point, a reassuring visual reference.These nights extend to worlds, near and far, real or imaginary places suggested by the memories and imagination, born from the memories of a private trip or an emotion.And speaking of travel, he also shows an important role in the Ciclo delle Maldive, a true account of the beautiful Indian Ocean islands.The clear and bright skies, the sea in blue and light blue, colorful backdrops and gthe sun, thanks to the wisdom of  Savelli become poetic visions, dreamy as well as sensual atmosphere.They are paintings made between 2005 and 2006, recounting a personal experience translating it into universal images, in which the line, especially the horizontal one, plays a leading role, drawing geometric shapes, which sum up the actual data, leading to almost all abstraction.To provide a help to the eye, lost in the symphonies of the blue color, is, in fact, always a line, or rather a series of lines drawn as sharp, soft or defined, stopped or continued, with the symbolic presence of a small heart.Lines dividing the sky from the sea but also breaking up the the blue, rhythm as a musical composition, and the sea in the Maldives will suggest the intensity and emotion , presenting a state of mind and an inner. The cycle of autumn belongs to the following year of the series dedicated to the Maldives. Here, then, captured on canvas the vibrant movement of a leaf, the smell of wood and a sense of the climate that changes on the skin: so autumnal accents offering visual stimuli and deeper emotions, much more enjoyable lightness of spring."On the constant factor of the antithesis between heaven and earth," Alberto Veca writes about this, "common reflection on the landscape, the theme of the cycle, the duration of things, when the perception of reality has become a protagonist compared to the real. A concept that has its roots in Impressionism, branches that tend to the informal, almost as in the painting of Savelli that are classic and modern brought together in a loving embrace, to create a timeless language, which looks at Monet (and, in a sense, Klimt, Van Gogh and Matisse).

Finally, the most recent cycle: one dedicated to Mexico, the result of a recent travel experience that has awakened in the artist a taste for the story, for the study of a civilization, its culture.Here are the maps - maps of the mind even more than maps - reflections on the meaning of history and knowledge.Again there is the passage of time. In the symbolic geometry of the Mayan pyramid there is the sense of a meeting, of a discovery which the painter wanted to present, with the help of the expressive power of his painting.

But this wonderful personal exhibition would not be complete without the papers, also dated in the ten years between 1999 and 2009.The genesis of the paper follows the logic of pictorial cycles: they are landscapes, celestial, starry nights, crystal clear oceans and travel memories.In the section of works on paper Savelli tends to severe almost clean lines, without losing the enjoyment of all that belongs to the artist's style: a real discovery, almost silently, enjoying the beauty and sensuality, more immediate works on canvas. 

Simona Bartolena




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