The pearl is the disease of the shell

Salvatore Pulvirenti

Vincenzo Scolamiero

Alessandra Giovannoni

Arcangelo

Claudio Palmieri

Giancarla Frare

Pierluigi Isola

The pearl is the disease of the shell

6 Jun 2024 - 11 Jul 2024

Vernissage
Thursday 6 Jun 2024 | 18:30-22:30


Location
Kou Gallery - Via della Barchetta, 13 - 00186 Roma

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Critics
Roberto Gramiccia

Artist profile
Salvatore Pulvirenti
Vincenzo Scolamiero
Alessandra Giovannoni
Arcangelo
Claudio Palmieri
Giancarla Frare
Pierluigi Isola

Works

Not many people know that pearls are not the product of a physiological process but of a pathological event that affects the oyster when a grain of sand or a parasite is introduced into it. If this happens, the cells of the mother-of-pearl, in order to protect the mollusc's defenceless body, cover the intruder with multiple layers of pearly matter; they encapsulate it, therefore, generating a pearl that appears as the outcome of a process of isolation of the external agent and of smooth cicatrization of the 'wound' produced by it.

It is clear, therefore, that the pearl would never see the light of day in a condition of hermetic impermeability of the shell to external agents, to 'intruders'. Put differently: its vulnerability is the necessary and indispensable precondition for the genesis of the pearl itself. The metaphorical translation of this phenomenon is dazzlingly clear: fragility, under certain conditions, underlies the production of phenomena of extraordinary importance for the lives of individuals and communities. It should not only not be considered a constraint but has to do with the unfolding of each of our histories. It is the very matrix of our personal and collective successes. It is, particularly so in art.

It is not by chance that Karl Jaspers, a profound connoisseur of the relationship between psychic fragility and human creativity, used to say: 'The creative spirit of the artist (...) can be represented as the pearl that is born from the illness of the shell'. A dazzling insight that silences all the theorists of the absolute indefiniteness of the origin of art, recognising in fragility the prime mover of every significant human event. After all, Aristotle had already recognised in fragility, of which his thauma is an accomplished expression, the origin of philosophy.

This, recklessly condensed, is the core of the reflections that have fascinated me for many years and which led me to the idea of the exhibition we are presenting today in this gallery. Today Kou metaphorically takes the form of a shell that - for once - holds seven pearls: the pairs of works presented by each of the artists I decided to involve and whom I thank. Each of them specifically created a work poetically inspired by the theme of the shell and the pearl and selected a second work that has to do with the idea of fragility, instability, precariousness.

There was no intention in the original design of this exhibition to give figurative representation, to 'reproduce', so to speak, the elements identified in its title. Although one cannot deny the fascination that emanates from them. The shell, the sea, the pearl, the implicit references to female beauty that the pearls frame: a neo-romantic repertoire that holds an undoubted aesthetic-sentimental appeal. But this is not what is meant to be emphasised. It is, rather, the desire to continue to investigate with painting a subject that has so far been explored with reasoning. A painting that does not represent reality but penetrates it and knows it from within: it brings out its essence, as the best art knows how to do.

It is this angle of vision that inspired the criteria used in the selection of the artists participating in this exhibition. Each, in his or her own way, interested in proposing his or her own point of view on the world and not only on painting. These 'Magnificent Seven' are: Arcangelo, Giancarla Frare, Alessandra Giovannoni, Pierluigi Isola, Claudio Palmieri, Salvatore Pulvirenti and Vincenzo Scolamiero. Authors at the height of their maturity, with long and differently prestigious histories behind them, who share a common sensitivity to the theme of fragility.

Arcangelo, whom I have recently come to define as an 'ulissic painter' for his irreducible (magnificent) ability not only to discover but to invent visionary worlds and to propose them with shameless and seductive effectiveness.

Giancarla Frare, an artist of multiform expressive capacity, whose shadows speak of a rare ability to interact with the space/time dimension and who, on this occasion, more than others, has 'opened herself up to colour'.

Alessandra Giovannoni, on the other hand, is a master of a rapid, vibrant and antigracious figuration full of light and love for places (Rome in particular) and for those who inhabit them. Vigilant and generous interpreter of human trepidations.

Pierluigi Isola, powerful creator of a cultured figuration that falsifies all the hasty and interested detractors of the painter's craft. With all-Italian refinement, he masterfully "proceeds regardless".

Claudio Palmieri is an indomitable explorer of all techniques, materials and languages of art. Polyglot and inexhaustible experimenter. Able to invent 'everything' and remain classic 'always'.

Salvatore Pulvirenti, his is an 'other' vision, indebted to an oriental culture averse to all that is useless; interested in the search for a primordial innocence, full of poetry and meaning.

Vincenzo Scolamiero, gentle and heroic in his search for a balance between chaos and cosmos. In his painting, open to music and poetry, the 'enquiry' into the small and great things in life discloses surprising scenarios.

Roberto Gramiccia

Event 83472 updated on May, 21 2024 - 23:20