Nuvolo in New York – The sky in a cloth

2 min.

At the Di Donna Gallery in Manhattan, the success of the fabric of the Tiferno artist in his first American retrospective

by Giuseppe Sterparelli

There is little blue in the New York selection by Germano Celant in exhibition at the new and very active gallery of Emmanuel Di Donna; that of Cuciti a Macchina (Machine Sewn) by Nuvolo, poetic alter ego of Giorgio Ascani (1926/2008), which is a material sky, still grey in places, it is the horizon of tangible things and of an Italy that had then emerged from the war (we are in the mid-50s), but that still had to think about what to do with what had been.

Well everyone knows, when there is less, the mind becomes a child, and the kid who was born in a family of printers in that moment had already created a different world, with the passage of silk screenprint to the pictorial environment of the one piece.

In the three rooms of “Nuvolo and Post-War Materiality”, exalted for the vitality of the sculptures by Ettore Colla and Pietro Consagra, we concentrate on a different area of his production, not the fruit of his loved screen-printed canvas, but of another mechanical means; a Vigorelli pedal sewing machine to which he inserted a small electric motor.

A range of works that were born out of the same thirst for research and which is immersed in the life of everyday objects, in textiles which are not other than scraps of cloths bought in Porta Portese and worn by him, or the fustian, stretched on the canvas or united in a collage, even, orderly, in which the pattern of the piece is often vertical and seems to move in a rhythmic succession, set to music in controlled improvisations.

Introduced by a series of material works, among which Bianco by his friend Alberto Burri stands out, the Cuciti by Nuvolo find a comparison with other great names of the Twentieth Century, incorporating themselves in a historical plane but in any case, alive and not academic, from Fontana to Fautrier, from Tapies to Manzoni, participating with a monochrome programmatically entitled Achrome, up to Mimmo Potella with an Ode a Villa, the poet who wrote of Nuvolo as he did of Burri among the first to find the seeds of a completely new art.

In particular, the so-called Daini (Deer of ’59) stand out where the leather cut-outs of the deer give place to irregular geometric structures, to follow with the eyes along the unpredictable sewing up to Diagramma (Diagram) of 1962 one of the works from the permanent collection of the Pinacoteca of Città di Castello in an additional special elaboration made of only lines of thread sewn onto the canvas to describe a nude line, as a kind of elevation.

The new and fortunate lucky American placement, carried out with the help of the association  (presided by spouse Liana Baracchi and son Paolo Ascani) doesn’t seem to forget its origin and context from which all was born and in which they are clear as in the words of the same Villa “the feelings of the prodigy of the illumination, of the invention the instinct of brilliance”.

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