Giandomenico Semeraro – Disegni sul reale

Consistency and unpredictability – or, rather, unpredictability and consistency – may
well be foundation stones of artistic practice. The converse is represented by those
who can truly say that they have produced the same work throughout their entire
career, and here Braque inevitably springs to mind in comparison with Picasso. It is
nevertheless true that, when discussing such a body of works, we can talk about it as
one big oeuvre yet to be completed. It goes by the name of artistic quest. We shall, I
believe, be all the more correct if we assert that it is no purely formal quest but rather,
if anything, an incessant, all-round process of poetic and intellectual probing. I recall
Willem De Kooning exclaiming, when a major retrospective of his work was opened
in the United States a few years prior to his death: “I feel like a sausage, sealed at
the top and sealed at the bottom.” This precise stylistic code, which is undoubtedly
one of great freedom, including the responsibility that always goes hand in hand with
freedom, belongs to Gabriele Giorgi, as this publication makes clear. If there is a
term that strikes me as hovering constantly over him, and definitely in these Disegni
sul Reale of his, it is lightness – pensive lightness, to borrow Calvino’s expression. It
otherwise proves difficult to appreciate the scope of the different forms of expression
in which the artist engages at the same time: painting rather than installation or vice
versa, photography alongside poetry. For he is all these things put together. In any
case, the question does not arise, for his stance is clearly, radiantly humanist in that
it shies away from the single, monotonous specialist note sounded repeatedly. If
we think of Alberto Savinio – the last of the great humanists – we cannot go wrong.
However, let us keep the term that I cited above constantly in mind as a distinguishing
feature, or as a guide to viewing. A sculpture placed on view at the XII Biennial of
Sacred Art at the Sanctuary of San Gabriele, devoted that year (2006) to the Risen
Christ, springs to mind. Risen was the title of the work, which was, in itself, of the
utmost simplicity: a rectangle surmounted by a circle, both in iron, with a strip of cloth
hanging from it. Mundane, perhaps, but taking on life, verve and spirit as soon as a
breath of air came from below, “liberating its flesh.” While we are on the subject: a
silhouette that hovered in the air. Indeed, silhouettes are the very subject that arises
in connection with these Disegni sul Reale, silhouettes – but not only silhouettes, of
course – that for me reveal Giorgi as an intimate landscape artist. In these drawings,
swiftness and precision spring undeniably from the underlying design, all the more
markedly so the subtler the dialogue that is established among outlines, curves,
surfaces and color, among photography, computer art and painting. Being a multiple
palette, it has to be handled with great care, precisely so that the airiness of the plan
is retained. In this respect, and given the linearity, it strikes a great chord for me with
the Dominazioni video (2005-2006), screened during the Stanze Segrete exhibition
that I curated in 2006 for the Conventino di Monteciccardo. It was based on mere
drops of water arranged on glass, the water taking the place of the stone used initially
– and subsequently, – used: the same trajectories identified, now undoubtedly wavier,
abiding by the naturalistic root stock onto which they are grafted, almost as if created
by parthenogenesis At this point, photographic re-production turns into full-fledged
production, to be seen as a linguistic summa, with the result that knowing which came
first takes on only secondary importance, because a new, more conscious landscape
emerges. But what is it that brings these light, vital stills from an eye that refuses to
come to a halt so close to us? Quite simply color, which must perforce be pure, bright,
intense, almost electric (as, indeed, it is). It is thus worth stressing, at this juncture,
the way the artist’s hand – in these works in particular, but in the entire body of work,
as well – re-establishes an identity of its own that high technology tends to keep at

a distance, detached. Here, yet again, Giorgi displays his unpredictability. His forms/
colors find the perfect mode and place for setting themselves down and are so deeply
rooted in it as to give us its unmistakable, vital point of view, which we, under his
guidance, naturally tend to complete, to grasp in its entirety: we truly face a window
open onto and into the world, seen in the warm, human, sympathetic perspective that
Gabriele Giorgi has the ability to create afresh every time. This becomes crystal clear
in the aerial views first and foremost, the ones where the eye can range through a
wide radius, if anything dwelling on and stressing the array that they present, marked
by human intervention. I mean by the work of man: farmed fields, of wheat, olive trees
and vines, their configurations, which are, or ought to be, so familiar to us, but whose
otherwise ineffable dimensions we can at last grasp, supplied by the air flying past
and time going by, experienced differently by each observer, within him- or herself.