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Pittori che scrivono

Painters who write

There have been many painters who, in addition to painting, also gave themselves to the written word.

De Pisis, De Chirico, Mirò, Courbet and further back the usual Leonardo da Vinci were also good at handling words.


There are also poets and writers of the first magnitude such as Montale, Gatto, Buzzati, Levi etc. who also devoted themselves to painting.


This is not what I want to deal with, nor with the painters who write to tell about themselves such as Hayez, who elaborated a well-constructed autobiography, or Van Gogh, who with more than 600 letters to his brother Theo made a real diary of his life.


My curiosity turns to two painters in particular, who have written real "treatises" of pictorial theory: Paul Klee and Vasily Kandinsky.


They are two painters who after centuries of figurative painting have chosen the path of abstraction: no longer what you see, but what you imagine.


Klee, never completely detaching himself from reality as a starting point, and Kandinsky, on the other hand, inventing compositions with lines, circles and geometric figures of color.


They are real books in which they argue and explain their idea of painting and provide the conceptual basis for understanding their images.


I think it is from this moment that the relationship between the "public" and the artists changes and, for a large part of the public, becomes a dialogue between the deaf.


On the one hand the artist, whatever road he takes, no longer requires the approval of the public, but only of the "elite" one, of that "tour that counts" and that will help him justify any work, building (sometimes a posteriori) a theoretical conceptual apparatus.


If this theory is hard to understand, it does not matter: the responsibility lies with those who do not understand, because they are not "in the sector", they are not educated.


On the other, the public, who believes that he perfectly understands a painting by Raphael (often not so), without even studying the life and cultural context of the artist, knowledge that, moreover, would give greater value to the reading of the work.


Or he tackles a painting in a purely instinctive way: “It doesn't excite me” or even: “It doesn't tell me anything”, without ascertaining that maybe the painting is there speaking, but we are with our ears plugged.


I would like a time in which the artist not only sought the applause of the restricted circle of those who follow money (museums, collectors, gallery owners, auction houses and speculators), but addressed the whole public, people to recreate and re-evaluate a medium of communication among the most sublime: art.


Andrea Giuseppe Fadini



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