On Saturday, 5th March Menhir Arte Contemporanea in La Spezia opens a solo show of Gianfranco Zappettini, one of the main characters of Analytic Painting.
The exhibition, curated by Alberto Fiz, is built around the artist's recent production from the last three years and demonstrates the great rigour of his artistic research which, despite its deep roots in the seventies is able to change itself, investigating the linguistic structures of painting as a medium.
The works of Zappettini maintain their ability to stimulate the perceptive faculties of the observer unchanged; in front of his recent creations the viewer needs to break free from the constraints of an overflowing visual system to get a renewed awareness of his sight. In 1974 the artist wrote: "It is exactly that level of perception that leads to a new way of seeing, no longer bound to an illusionistic representation, but only to the reality of the surface and therefore also primary," according to an observation still valid nowadays where the observer faces pictorial means in relation to their functions.
More than a painter's atelier, his studio is a workshop where materials are industrial, where alongside with dried resin or PVA, glue or wall colour cans, appear rollers of different measuresr, together with tools for spraying paint.
From all this environment, painting expresses itself in an objective way and, through the annihilation of every form of gesture and psychologism, it provokes a deep reflection about the pictorial mean, where the application of industrial colour on the weft and warp of canvases creates a process that much exceeds the sum of the executional elements. The painting is not static nor mechanic, it undergoes, instead, a process open to unpredictability, despite the artist's control, despite what puts in a relationship "two worlds: one tangible and intangible, the other physical and metaphysical" as Zappettini himself said, is the verification of the means of expression and the daily, apparently anonymous work.
This aspect appears even more evident observing the recent works where the overlapping of wallnets – fibreglass nets normally employed in construction, shows a tactile and sensory component, in a context where geometric figures such as circles or lozenges are hiding.
As Alberto Fiz explains "physical elements such as light, colour and matter are what modifies the perception of works that never reveal themselves completely, paradoxically protected by their own semantic practice."
In support of the exhibition a catalogue with texts by Alberto Fiz will be presented.
Born in Genoa in 1939 (and currently living in Chiavari), Gianfranco Zappettini, held his first exhibition in 1962 at Palazzo Rosso in Genoa where he met the architect Konrad Wachsmann and the German painter Winfred Gaul. After taking part in the major exhibitions about the situation of painting in those years, in 1977 he was invited to Documenta 6 in Kassel, and in 1978 he participated in the exhibition Abstraction Analytique at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris. Among the recent solo shows in public spaces, he presented his works at CAMeC in La Spezia in 2007 and in the same year, at Forum Kunst in Rottweil, Germany (with Paolo Icaro), in 2012 at Lucca Center of Contemporary Art and in 2015 at Janus Pannonius-Vasarely Museum in Pécs, Hungary.