Domenico Bianchi at Salvatore Ala

Domenico Bianchi, Mad and desperate study, 1983/84, Oil on wood, 13.5 x 12 x 3 inches

The surface textures of Bianchi’s large abstract paintings jump from a gray expanse of sagebrush blown desert to a wave scudded sea blackened with octopus ink. For the viewer, it is an arduous journey, a jangled encounter with unfamiliar terrain uninhabited, primordially wild yet strangely beautiful. In one untitled paint- ing, butter cream encaustic slathers the surface with a shiny skin, elastic and white. A lone beacon centers the canvas, a jig-sawed porthole that carries the look of whitewashed wood shingles. This central anchor offers some refuge from the untenable prairie that rules outside. As a collaged element, the sculpted window is planted in the landscape, a rough-hewn outpost that glimmers with a brooding intelligence.

Bianchi titles this ambitious suite of paintings, Studio Matto e Disperatissimo (Mad and Desperate Study.) Letter-pressed to the gallery wall, a slab of carved wood hovers over the title, its skull-shaped visage branded with a hieroglyphic set of eyes and a mouth that howls the echo of Munch. The “disperatissimo” of the shamanistic skull roams from painting to painting like a jackal, the arch foe of the artist who created him. who created him.

In one unearthly passage (strains of Brian Eno can be heard) a Turner-esque fog shrouds the work, a dramatic device usually reserved for the ghostly entrance of Hamlet’s father.

But Bianchi prefers Kafka (and Pirandello) to Shakespeare, and out of the fog a winged insect settles over the porthole, awaiting further metamorphosis.

The mixed media barrage of encaustic, wood- cut, paper pasted on canvas, rubber and wood segued into the work, produces trompe l’oeil fodder for the eye. The pyrotechnics (high-decibelled like Rauschenberg’s combine paintings) culminate in a giant studio painting, a bulls- eve view of the artist at the barricades. In a literal gesture that narrowly escapes triteness, Bianchi slices la Arman) a long-legged stool and embeds it in the canvas. The stool acts as a sniper’s scope for the “painting” wedged behind it, a sitting duck so to speak. Swirling around the half-real object, Rorschach demons of the void
jitter in and out of focus. the painter’s stool and finished canvas stand alone to face the onslaught.

This entry was posted in Reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • Sign-Up to Receive Updates

    By checking this box and submitting this form you agree to receive updates from juddtully.net