TELL ME THE STORY
Daniela Novello and Patrizia Novello
Date: October 5th, 2019/November 30th, 2019
Opening: Saturday, October 5th, 2019 @6PM
On 5th October, at MARTINASGALLERY, opens the exhibition Tell me the story by Daniela Novello and Patrizia Novello.
The two artists – a sculptor and a painter – present the most recent cycle of works created ad hoc and they exhibit them for the first time. The project, curated by MARTINASGALLERY, was born from the desire to investigate the combination of presence and absence, a theme which is widely explored in their research. The works – similar, but independent – show elements and forms that are perfectly recognizable and referable to the human being However, the human body never appears: it’s like a silent presence through absence.
The canvases and sculptures on display suggest a story, recall a memory, tell a place so they are able to evoke a feeling. Tell me the story becomes the natural request expressed by the viewer to the artists. With her sculptures – which we could define classic, both for the materials and for the scrupulous attention to the formal aspect of the work and the manual know-how – Daniela tells us about a human presence, using some objects and elements of everyday life. She reconstructs a domestic environment made of lead so that the visitors can pretend to enter someone else’s house and can experience to stay in someone’s private spaces. While walking around a living room with armchair and carpet, visitors will feel guarded by an intangible yet very concrete human presence. In her canvases Patrizia investigates the feelings of distance and closeness in a sentimental relationship, inserting autobiographical notes. The words, carefully painted in each work, create the suggestion of a dialogue and involve the viewer within the story mentioned by the artist. The exhibition itinerary alternates between questions and statements that sound definitive.
Tell me the story is able to reach its aim of dealing with the absence of human presence, recreating a setting through Daniela’s sculptures and Patrizia’s pictorial narrations.
TELL ME THE STORY
It is necessary to consider another point of view in telling the story of two artists each expressing different and meaningful concepts that are closely connected to each other. We need to break the mold as we have to when trying to connect the dots of a square and have only three lines to do it with. My fourth line is J. M. W. Turner. Specifically, The Fighting Temeraire, dated 1839, came to my aid to interpret both Daniela and Patrizia Novello’s works. The title talks about the heroic talent of a valiant and victorious warrior. Looking at the canvas, we can see the magnificent Temeraire that had played a distinguished role in the Battle of Trafalgar. It is depicted being towed by a paddle-wheel steam tug and looks like a ghostly and unreal presence. All white and empty, it is slipping over the cloudy water of a crowded Thames. It is followed by a colour stain characterized by a yellow sun colour, and preceded by a black steam smokestack which is the symbol of the new industrial era, the machine society. The great wooden warrior listened to the wind, its arms were strong and its helmsmen wise. Its sails were powerful, elegant and unfolded. All of this is already a memory, like a shadow. It is going to a shipyard to be dismantled from bow to stern, the five thousand oaks of its bridge, its bowels, its mainmasts, axis by axis. Everything is put on this brilliant canvas like a spell of light that is wearing off. The colour of MARTINA’s walls are candid and homogeneous, and they have to clean them all up to stage the new exhibition ritualizing absence to hold a presence. We will return to talk about Turner, but now it seems like we can feel something of the non-verbal, non-linguistic language of those who artistically express absence: the phantasmal clarity, the white void of something, of someone who has been alive and throbbing. It is the chromatic cipher of the ‘no more’ and the ‘not yet’ that we’re going to see on the canvasses. We notice the transcriptions on Patrizia’s paintings, a woman with experience and with calluses on the fingers of her heart, all seen in the wise use of her brush: That day we met, for example, is a twist, like dishevelled greyish feathers, fluffy and upset, interpenetrated, entropic and dense. Time is unstoppable. Time always puts itself in the middle of a meeting, of a moment, of an exact day when something important comes in our life. Something begins, something is born, in some particular place. Daniela’s sculptural works are sealed in a rigorous, unavoidable and definitive silence. She has a predilection for lead. She models it like Hephaestus did with bronze. Elsewhere, we discover the porous fragrance of limestone that she models as bread, with breadcrumbs, alveoli, crust and leavening. Here, sight and touch meet each other in precise forms with embroideries engraved with the lenticular detail of an ancient goldsmith. The oriental flowers on the female sheath dress, sleeveless and carefree, are contradicted by the severity of the colour. It is unavailable to crumple.
This reminds us that some lonely forgotten memories can come back perfectly intact. People, loves, and the hardest feelings are made of meat, they have occupied a place, they have been dressed and undressed, they have been surrounded by common objects such as a wardrobe, or a carpet. In simple and daily scenes from our rough and suffered lives, everything is alive and engraved in our memory and sometimes we don’t even realise that. Memory is involuntary, and art is the archaeologist who has the responsibility to give voice and physical semblance to memories. Everything around the sculptures is absolute otherness. A body, sculptural or not, begins and ends, bodies have a measure. Memories, narrations, are immense, elusive, misrepresented, magnified or diminished. Daniela is able to cut large metal surfaces according to a precise design. She knows how to express two essential things. The first one is that she can make the unseen visible, three-dimensional and tactile. The second is that she knows how to recreate environments and clothes in a welcoming daily familiarity, she finds the freudian Unheimlich, the uncanny, the Heimlich that coexists with the Un. Homeliness and assurance coexist with each other. Absence is the intruder, the coldness, tears, and the unnaturalness of our biographies, form and raise our relationships. Absence can be faced only with beauty – without ifs or buts – the single fringe of a carpet, or the pivot of a furniture sash makes absence bearable. What a victory. What a setback for Absence to be looked straight in the face, in its thousand possible faces. Lucky Absense for being admired here instead of just suffered and feared! All the works of these two artists share the overall title Tell me the story. We’re not able to explain ourselves if we are lonely. We can’t even define who we are or give it a name. We’ve been invited to enter the world. There, or maybe here, someone else is going to tell us our own story. Someone else is going to tell us that we are painters, sculptors or anything else. Somebody else will tell us if we are loved, or maybe we are lovers. We can be needed or we can need something else. We face fights, feedbacks and insights. We are able to make sense of something, everytime we can do it better. Not a single work can survive without someone else’s glance. A glance that can became an emotion, a thought, a reflection, a name, a memory. Works can tell us something about ourselves if we give them the necessary space to do it. At the end, here we are talking about The Fighting Temeraire again, even after its death. We are the ones who tell its story, and make it ours.