Solo exhibition Catalogue, in Italian language, essay by C. Giacomozzi, at "Viotti" Gallery in Turin,
May-June 1970, ed. "Viotti" Gallery.

"Not available-out of print"

Catalogue essay

      Even if most of them are structured inside breathing landscape borders, this group of pictures by Vincenzo Balsamo is not consumed in the naturalistic articulations which, we know, are virtuosly typical of the traditional landscape. Balsamo's painting, more than celebrating visible appearances - even if it comes out of a direct experience of natural reality - is made absolutely concrete in those regions of composition which to remove all naturalistic correlation of pictorial substance.

    This does not mean that the artist wants to totally annul the objective dimension of nature: we shall say that nature represents a pretext and a justification to fix an abstractive process, whose task is to create the reversibility of formal values. This is very clearly expressed in 'Autumn landscape' (1967) where the signs of figurativity are transformed in non - figurative equivalents. A similar contraction of the original values in new acceptations can be also found in the expressive freedom of colour which shows a tendency to exclude itself from the traps of the local tone to be determined as pure autonomous organism directed towards the armony which is surely independent.

    Therefore, as there the common notions affered by nature, which could lead the theme of the composition towards the rigorous sphere of abstraction, the conseguence is that Balsamo's painting is essentially centered on the eleboration and trasformation of the object into pure form: a form which hides the didactic characters of the sensible appearance but doesn't destroy its intimate essence.

    However, even if he is immersed in the rigid climate of formal reductions every now and then the artist returns to his emotional skies and dilutes his lyrical breath in the evidence of well known reality: here we have the sudden, we could almost say uncontrolled yield of some still lives. Full of elements, made livid with colour, embedded and plugged in a quick rhythm, ground by the contractions of an 'autre' cubist geometry or again laid in widespread chromatic assonance, or limited in that measure, so typical of CÚzanne which solves the image in the compactness of the objects, collected in a single figural nucleos.

    That landscape too comes from the bottom of that poetic plenitude and shows its sibstance in the explicit narrative statements that the distilled, dramatic play of light and shadow and the lava of clotted matter lead to effects which are not totally descriptive. This happens with all compositions with flowers, open to intense brilliance, rediced to an explosion of colour.

    The painter's intelligence is consumed in a gradual, conscious trial of the essential. It must be said then that the continuous, inexhausted elaboration of the theme - which we can easily trace, especially in the more recent works - open the doors to a result which clearly reduces the role of image. Through the use of areas and masses and slow, descending strokes (both in tone and in the presence of matter) the landscape discovers its internal humors, attains an independent dimension, not subversive, which can be reflected, without prejudices, in the identified and identifiable values of reality. When the process of direct perception has been rebuilt and rectified thanks to the immediacy of the artistic practive, it is possible to determine the interpretative values of reality.

    It is not only form which concludes expression, but also colour with its tonal layers in an alternating balance of luminous densities. And matter, again, heavy and perennial, which gravitates on the masses and assimilates them, reducing the space of composition to the most extreme and legitimete formal measure.

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