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IN MEDIO COELI - Fatalities and automatisms in the works of Francesca Dondoglio, by Alessandro Mescoli, for the contemporary art exhibition at the Raccolta Lercaro in Bologna.

Updated: Jan 11

Raccolta Lercaro and Studio la Linea Verticale - Contemporary Art present "In medio coeli," a solo exhibition by Francesca Dondoglio, inaugurating on December 14 at 6:00 PM at Raccolta Lercaro in Bologna. The contemporary art exhibition's will be open to the public until January 14, 2024.

IN MEDIO COELI - Fatalities and automatisms in the works of Francesca Dondoglio, by Alessandro Mescoli, for the contemporary art exhibition at the Raccolta Lercaro in Bologna.


IN MEDIO COELI - The Wooden Cycle

The measure of enchantment: fatalities and automatisms in the works of Francesca Dondoglio

By Alessandro Mescoli

Francesca Dondoglio's contemporary art exhibition presented at the Raccolta Lercaro by the Studio la Linea Verticale Gallery is on view until Jan. 14 at the Bologna venue.


In this new cycle of works exposed at the Lercaro Collection, the Turin-based artist delves into the depths of her own drawing, further expanding its conceptual dimension, touching more or less voluntarily on some aspects of performative drawing. Francesca Dondoglio, in addition to the radical nature and original intentions of her work, introduces new elements that exacerbate some reflections by the author herself about her own work.

Specifically, within a sort of reflective and meta-analytical process, the artist rediscovers her painting, reconsidering it intimately and practicing it within a different awareness, here represented by the possibilities offered by a new medium; a new "revelation device." This cycle of works deserves credit for bringing to light an awaited and further confirmation of the poetics regarding Dondoglio's work, gradually making it susceptible to analysis. The theoretical reflections, writings, and poetic readings that Francesca undertakes as a daily exercise now draw strength from these works on wood.

The image that had derived, until now, from a conscious compositional choice now gives way for the first time to a series of unintentional contingencies not sought by the author. Some automatisms, various desired but not directly evocable situations, different resolutions of the work, can therefore occur and manifest more frequently and openly with the establishment of an "unconscious" control deferred from Francesca's will during the artistic practice. A phenomenon, in its becoming, that is not completely controllable. The mediation that makes this occurrence possible lies in the paradoxical characteristics of the wooden support, which surprisingly correspond, against all logical expectations, to greater degrees of expressive freedom despite the greater rigidity of the material medium.

Wood, as a living support, the ancestral predecessor of paper, gathers Dondoglio's pastels. Veils and spreads that distribute unexpectedly, stumbling and sliding into roughness, furrows, and knots: pre-existing signs that hold, like a breath, chromatic hues and nuances. Francesca acts, operates, and the support decides how to retain, highlighting what, by affinity, chooses to resist and remain in anticipation of fixation. Furthermore, this autonomous contingency finds manifestation in the author's distancing from the work; perhaps one of the most distinctive elements of postmodern visual culture. Various artists and theorists, including Franco Vaccari and Luca Panaro (known to the author), have emphasized, speaking of photographic and technological images (but personally, I believe it can be more generally extended to the concept of an image), how it is possible for the image to "generate beyond the predictions of its own author, leaving the impression that something escapes one's control."

Francesca's drawing, therefore, can free itself from any deterministic aspect and live according to its own trace, highlighting the structure of the sign, the knots, and the veins of the wood. Support and sap permeate and allow the life of the work and the drawing itself. Each of these elements collects and amplifies the color, solidifying and coagulating it into unique compositions, contributing to creating an unrepeatable sign generated by the grafting onto natural elements and traumatic elements of the board, where the latter recall their previous lives. Specifically, in the composition of the drawing, the reflective effects of the pigment on the orientation of the various wooden sheets play a determining role, creating minimal but necessary contrasts that reveal the innermost layers.

What happens here, parallel and further confirmation, is conceptually found in various cycles of works, on which one of the greatest international interpreters of drawing has intervened, citing the drawing itself in various inclinations. Omar Galliani, in his writings and in the poetic titles of his works, often speaks of the "skeleton" and the "articulation of the drawing," playing on the lexical meaning but recognizing to the poplar boards on which he draws the preference to "graft," merging, as in D'Annunzio's "Alcyone," the veins with the anatomies and figures drawn on them in graphite and pastel. Or again, the artist, originally from Reggio Emilia but known worldwide, ennobles and includes in the work elements external to the execution of the drawing, such as pre-existing scratches and traces of use, not determined by the author but de facto basic elements, open languages, "signs" (hence the title di-segni) in the primal and omnipotent instant of their creation.

The observer of these new works by Francesca Dondoglio finds the same dimension of enchantment to which Cvet succumbed when performing the first chromatographies, where pigments fixed or migrated from the support solely based on the intrinsic skills of the materials. According to an independent, uncontrollable design. And even in this derma, scars cannot be lacking, protagonists of a rediscovered drawing or of a trauma that owes its healing to revelation.


Event details::

  • Title: In Medio Coeli

  • Artist: Francesca Dondoglio

  • Curated by: Studio la Linea Verticale

  • Thesis by: Roberto Mastroianni - Alessandro Mescoli

  • Opening Date: Thursday, December 14, at 6:00 PM

  • Exhibition Duration: December 14, 2023 - January 14, 2024

  • Location: Raccolta Lercaro, Via Riva di Reno 57, Bologna

Visiting hours: 

The exhibition at the Raccolta Lercaro in Bologna will be open to the public from December 14, 2023, to January 14, 2024, during the following hours:

  • Tuesday and Wednesday: 3:00 PM - 7:00 PM

  • Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday: 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM / 3:00 PM - 7:00 PM

  • Closure: Sunday, December 24, and Sunday, December 31, 2023.


For further information, please contact Raccolta Lercaro, Bologna:

Connect with us:

Follow updates and previews of the exhibition on social media using the official hashtag: #inmediocoeli #studiolalineaverticale #raccoltalercaro.

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