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Stele, when art becomes ethernal

by Giulia Venturini

On September 7th at Palazzo Gallenga is going to be launched the exhibition Stele by Enrico Antonielli; the painter deals not only with sculpture but also with painting.

The sculptor and painter Enrico Antonielli was born in Perugia; he graduated in Philosophy at the University La Sapienza of Rome and in the 1970s he became the director of the CICoM (Center for Information and Communication of Mass of the Umbria Region). He collaborated with the roman magazine Philosophy and Society and later he attended the courses of Painting and Sculpture at the Academy in Perugia. Here he graduated in History of Art and begun to exhibit as a sculptor.


The exhibit

In the exhibition, visible from September 7th to 14th, the artist seems to move in the spatio-temporal interstices of the work, where art – the «extreme enigma» according to Malraux’s famous aphorism – triumphs for its inaccessibility, its continual moving beyond, like a moving target.
Historical and archaeological studies tell us that the commemorative, celebratory and votive function of the stele. The stele is a document in stone or bronze which commits a private or public event to eternity; the message, therefore, written or sculpted, is not scratched by time.
The exhibited works, characterized by the presence of lacerations and holes on the surface, recall fossil lakes and craters similar to lunar desert plagas; fundamental in the material: aluminum.

Mirrored Surfaces

Giuliano Serafini, international critic, expert in Burri and curator of exhibitions in Athens and New York underlines the fact that the artist performs a work of de-semantization of the archetype because only this can make the work win a significant autonomy.
The same critic also writes: «The reflective aluminium is itself a luminous emanation through which the image bounces and returns to the sender, it is an iridescent and aleatory extension on which everything passes and slides. It is a metaphor of the Hic et Nunc that denies time the opportunity to leave lasting impressions; therefore, material destined to be unable to “remember”, to entrust any memory to eternity».
The use of the mirroring surface metaphorically represents the drama of existential risk, the impassable limit between the phenomenal world and the noumen one, the solution of continuity between two irreconcilable worlds.
The interpretation of the mirroring surface defines the concept of limit, an inert instrument of the light that rebounds and reflects and, with its phenomenal reflection, it brings us back inexorably to the consciousness of our human condition, existential and finite.
The author emphasizes that his aesthetic perspective is part of the art-truth, which has a long history, which starts from the famous Portrait of the Arnolfini spouses by Van Eyck, where the painter through the mirror reveals what lies behind and beyond the perspective representation before the easel, and its presence in the room, with an extension of the space in a reality augmented to 360 °, which accounts for all the present reality at the time, including painter.


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