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ARTIST

Alberto Colliva

CRITICAL TEXT

Pasquale Fameli

COLLABORATION

Forni Gallery

Spazia Gallery

CONFERENCE

Pier Giovanni Castagnoli

L'INGANNO DELL'IMMAGINE

30.09-04.11.2024

Starting Sept. 30, three contemporary art galleries in Bologna join forces in paying homage to a great Bolognese artist, Alberto Colliva (Castel d'Argile, 1943 - Bologna, 2023). A solo exhibition spread over three venues that traces the artist's career, from his beginnings in the 1960s to the most recent works of the 2000s, enriched by Pasquale Fameli's critical text. A natural breakdown: in the 1970s, the young artist exhibited at the Forni Gallery, later formed a strong friendship with Bottai of Galleria Spazia and, finally, began his collaboration with Studio la Linea Verticale, first with recent works and later with the historical re-enactment of Battibecco, the artist's debut on the Bologna scene. Colliva's path began, in fact, in June 1962 when, together with Maurizio Bottarelli and Franco Filippi, he opened the Battibecco atelier in Bologna, a self-managed space thanks to which the three young painters imposed themselves on the city's attention with innovative proposals aimed at overcoming Informalism. To the concentrated and dense materialism of Informal painting Colliva opposes, as early as 1960, a minimal, resigned polymaterism, scanned in weights and controlled in dosages. His first solo exhibition at Galleria Duemila dates from 1963, which testifies to the transition from the new-dada phase to a visual research focused on more complex diagrammatic articulations. These are barely hinted at landscape views, ghostly architectures burned by a light that crushes their volumes and dissolves their contours. It is from this time on that Colliva will rely exclusively on painting, initiating a personal research on the deceptions of representation, carried out, however, on the border between illusion and revelation. From 1965 the works show sharper and more defined architectures that break away from terse and homogeneous backdrops as if to 'fall' in front of the viewer. The gradual solidification of the volumes of those buildings leads Colliva to an ambiguous and enigmatic hyperrealism, from which disturbing close-up visions of jambs, interrupted construction sites, crumbling walls or postatomic rubble sutured into the openings and interstices spring forth. Indeed, in the 1970s the artist does not shy away from an internal verification of the procedures of painting, according to the analytical tendency proper to the period, but conducts it autonomously, focusing on the logic of representation rather than on the physical components of pigment and support. It is therefore an operation of metaphysical ancestry, the same that, in the 1980s, induces him to experiment with citation, in tune with the anachronisms typical of that decade. Skulls, bucrania, torsos, heads and draperies of Michelangelo's ancestry replace the rubble of previous canvases to enunciate a renewed poetics of the fragment. Colliva's subjects therefore appear unfinished, splintered or crumbled; they are outcomes of an inverted, inverted 'unfinished', aimed at translating the workmanship of the subjects themselves: the folds of the draperies shine like cellophane, while the faces appear crumpled as if made of crepe paper. But it is especially since the 1990s that Colliva brings to maturity the process of deconstructing the subjects, often arriving at their most radical disintegration: details of hieratic male faces and glimpses of barren landscapes dissolve under the thickening of a fine mist, while skulls crumble or pulverize, revealing the neutral, aseptic tone of the backdrop. It is as if Colliva now wants to reveal the trick, to remind us that it is a deception, to bring us back to the reality of the visual process rather than perpetuate its illusion.

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critical text

CRITICAL TEXT 
By Pasquale Fameli

Even in the variety of its solutions, Alberto Colliva's artistic research is all marked by the alternation between cohesion and disintegration of the image, carried out according to choices and modes that are always opposite to those of the dominant trends. It is a reflection on the status of the image carried out within the image itself, conceived as the threshold of a utopia of the visible. Colliva's path officially began in June 1962 when, together with Maurizio Bottarelli and Franco Filippi, he opened the Battibecco atelier in Bologna, a self-managed space thanks to which the three young painters imposed themselves on the city's attention with innovative proposals aimed at overcoming Informalism. To the concentrated and dense materialism of Informal painting Colliva opposes, starting as early as 1960, a minimal, resigned polymaterism, scanned in weights and controlled in dosages: in fact, the artist rethinks the support, canvas or paper, as an anti-gravitational space within which to orchestrate, without pre-established schemes, material happenings and object fragments. Radicalized in contrasts, these

instllatin view

INSTALLATION VIEW

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artist focus

ALBERTO COLLIVA 
Available works - more

Lucio Saffaro, born in Trieste in 1929, was a multifaceted figure in 20th-century Italy. A painter, poet, writer, and mathematician, he earned a degree in pure physics with a thesis on electronic computers from the University of Bologna, a city that was his residence from 1945 until his passing in 1998. One of his most well-known contributions, disseminated in Italy and abroad through conferences and scientific publications, commented on by authoritative scholars, was in the field of determining new polyhedra. These research efforts have, on various occasions, found a place in the pages of the "Enciclopedia della Scienza e della Tecnica Mondadori" (Mondadori Encyclopedia of Science and Technology). Alongside his scientific activities, Lucio Saffaro published around fifty literary works, reviewed by authoritative critics, with various Italian publishers, including Lerici, Scheiwiller, La Nuova Foglio, Mondadori's Almanacco dello Specchio, and Paradoxos Editions conceived by Saffaro himself. His first solo exhibition, presented by Arcangeli, took place at the Galleria dell’Obelisco in Rome in 1962.

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