In this exhibition at the Menhir Gallery, the linguistic operation is evident in the two Dolla series which are the most well-known and appre- ciated in Italy: the Croix and the Tarlatane.
The Croix is a series that began in 1973 as an infinite multiplication of the Points. The surface is a rough canvas that is cut into four parts. The four parts are painted and then restitched together in a way that the stitches highlight the pre- vious borders (or rather, limits) and the limits of space, as the space itself is thus rebuilt. The coloring substance is not the mere tra- ditional paint tube color. Instead, the series Croix is colored by several substances and the result is not veri- fied on the palette, but directly on the canvas. More corrosive substances act by subtraction, coloring the surface while also peeling it away. The Tarlatane series borders on the Zero Degree predicted by Barthes. The pain- ting gesture is almost nothing; the real substance is the rolled tarlatan fabric which is immersed in color or colors. The dimension of the work is less significant. In the exhibition, a roll of gauze is unrolled without a precise indication (though typically dependent on the wall height). One finds of echoes of Piero Manzoni and his Achromes works which are mechani- cally immersed in kaolin.
For Noël Dolla, however, the gesture is a point of departure rather than a point of arrival; it is almost a “one degree” that maintains a touch of coloring typical of Supports/Surfaces. Dolla does not pander to the observer — this is apparent throughout his entire body of work — and thus his work remains an exemplification of artistic truth.