Lampoon – ArtNoble Gallery, Milan: an implicit critic of what has been painted up until today

By Eugenia Pacelli

Painting today as seen by Martina Cassatella, Roberto de Pinto and Emilio Gola. Group exhibition curated by Antonio Grulli at Matthew Noble’s gallery – ArtNoble Gallery

Said, read or seen with Martina Cassatella, Roberto de Pinto and Emilio Gola

How many times when we want to say something, many ways of expressing it come to our mind. How may times, after saying it, we say to ourselves: I could have said it in a different way, it would have sounded in another way. Yet the message is still one, all we mean is one thing. But the listener is different and it becomes something else each time each time it is said, read or seen.

This is what happens with the works of three artists newly graduated from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Milano, Martina Cassatella, Roberto de Pinto and Emilio Gola, on view at ArtNoble Gallery in Milano until the 24th of November. The medium is one: paint. The ways they chose to tell it: three, expressing their personal voices and experiences. The message one: we can do painting without being afraid of being wrong. This is what paint means today: boldness. The courage to confront oneself with the antique medium that is never too old to reinvent itself, or better, for being used to say one’s personal story in a wide range of possibilities, all valid.

The curator Antonio Grulli makes us aware of how what it means to paint and how challenging it can be to be a painter nowadays: «every painter is an affirmation of his own way of painting but also an implicit critic of what has been painted up until today». Yet, the three young artists are not afraid of saying it their own way says Grulli, “silencing what is no longer capable of talking», finding a new way of speaking, existing. What they share is «a common spirit», continues the curator. Other than the school they graduated from, the three have a shared background: they work in the same studio in Via Piero della Francesca in Milan with another artist-friend, Filippo.

Martina Cassatella (San Giovanni Rotondo, 1996)

«Martina’s paintings are made of hands, light and hair». Antonio Grulli explains how these three elements are combined differently but are “all used to investigate how shapes become plastic, the color becomes source of light and the abstract line becomes a figure capable of destabilizing and communicating to the pictorial surface, creating intense ghostly figures»

The ghosts being the reminiscence of a memory suddenly revealing itself in a tangle of subtle lines, in a dim yet powerful mystical light, coming from within the canvas and expanding, narrated through the gentle gestures of hands poetically combined. Hands that of the human body are one of the most communicative parts, capable of silently yet effectively speak their own language. Like buddhist mudras, the hands’ position invites to overcome the space between the canvas and the viewer, being both warmly welcoming and surprisingly spectral just like when dealing with the unknown.

Roberto de Pinto (Terlizzi, 1996)

Roberto’s paintings are inhabited by figures à l’hombre d’un abri, being the artist’s alter egos in the Mediterranean setting. Large and sunburnt figures, sweating, changing colors when hit by too much sun, caught in everyday-life moments such as shaving, mostly in moments of laziness, «probably due to the heat», explains Grulli. Bodies in alI their sensuality, sensitivity and reactivity.

Parts of bodies amplified by close-ups that make the viewer come inevitably closer and closer to them, as if they were there laying under the same sun, experiencing the same heat, covered by the same shadows, not being able to look at the whole due to nearness. The ancient technique of the encaustic is a central part of his work, as the curator explains: «the techniques he uses, encaustic and pastels, becomes erotic of the skin, of the tans, of the shadows on the bodies».

Emilio Gola (Milano, 1994)

«Emilio is point, line and surface». Intricate bodies, what he calls ‘the gears of humanity’, occupy the whole space of the canvas crowded with shoes, books, confetti; it’s not about the single objects  that lay in his studio but it’s wholeness, what it later becomes. The human figures are the people Emilio met: friends, friends of friends that came by the studio.

The drawing from life is the paradox, as he catches the freedom of the poses his models assume. His paintings create a sleepy atmosphere, mysterious in it’s unknown time and setting. The painting techniques shift just like the eye going through the narrative substrate on the canvas, changing from greasy paint and chalk to different way to layer colors.Bodies and objects entangle themselves in a search for their own balance, or their new identity, being the sum of them all.

«Three and new ways to say painting, without guilt and without inferiority complexes compared to other languages», concludes the curator Antonio Grulli.