Three rooms full of colors, shapes, sinuosity, on paper and fabric, fill the Russo Gallery in Rome: the exhibition set up until 19 June is Geopainting of Luca Di Luzio (Rome, 1986). It is a geography in a broad sense, that of Di Luzio; the artist accompanies us on the visit by telling the fil rouge of his production.
It starts with Maps and Flags, a research conducted between 2013 and 2014, of which several works are exhibited, larger, made on jute, smaller on cardboard, in both cases with mixed media. The inspiration came to Di Luzio during a period of artistic residency in Rotterdam, the second largest port in the world, where he saw huge boats coming and going. “I’ve always liked maps, ever since I was a child. But in this case I have moved away from real geography”, Explains the artist. “They are imaginary islands that detach themselves from the colored background. From color to shape“. The small paintings are flags invented on the model of real, geometric and colorful ones.
THE WORKS OF LUCA DI LUZIO
In the left room of the Russo Gallery we find Loka, work carried out between 2014 and 2015. The name “loka” is a Sanskrit word that means “world”. Di Luzio says: “The linked aspects of the oriental tradition are represented that look at the various worlds, animal, plant and so on, as a single universe“. The glazes of color, spread over large jute squares, create changing effects with defined but random outlines. The artist explains: “I think that the loss of control is a characteristic of contemporary painting, compared to the formal tradition. In this case it is the color that takes over and creates the shapes”.
At the ideal center of the path there is I World Atlas Image, works created between 2015 and 2020 using the artist’s body instead of the brush, thus placing the human body at the center “as a matrix of every possible world”, Explains the artist, who, in this sense, was inspired by the work of the French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty. Starting from the square inscribed in the circle, characteristic of the Vitruvian Man then taken up by Leonardo da Vinci, Di Luzio created a geolocation inside the body: each point (whose coordinates are indicated on a sheet) corresponds to an “island ”In color, jagged, sometimes in relief, colored in a way that corresponds to the colors of nature. These islands are nothing more than the physical imprints of parts of the artist’s body, a leg, a belly, a chest, an ear. The works of I World Atlas Image were exhibited in 2016 at the Macro (now Slaughterhouse) in Testaccio and in 2017 at the Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome.
DI LUZIO AND THE COLOR
The exhibition ideally ends with The state (2020-21): a series of paintings composed once again without a brush, with the help of real stamps built with the stylized shapes of numerous countries in the world, from Bangladesh to Canada, from Cuba to Namibia, from Austria to Greece. The colors are the standard ones normally used for stamps, from red to blue to black to purple, with shades due to the quantity and pressure on the pigment. The backing is Japanese paper, very light. “The state is a word that can have different meanings. Not surprisingly, I have done the work over the last two years: we are talking about national states, but also about the state of the pandemic”, Concludes Di Luzio.
A catalog published by Manfredi Edizioni has been published for the Geopiture exhibition, which contains 149 images of works by Luca Di Luzio, with an introduction by the curator of the exhibition, Marco Tonelli.
– Letizia Riccio