2008 Vayu

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08

Vayu

Vayu, like Odradek, Fiori and Insiemi Instabili, belongs to a group of works in witch the multiplicity of parts “lacking a clear, recognizable order[read more=”Read More”less=”Read Less”]- as the artist says – seems to respondd to a pure need for growth; almost as if they were following their own secret impulses, expanding in the direction of least resistance”.
The form – the infinite, varied form through which life manifests itself – is the result of this impulse that knows no calm, driven by an overwhelming generative will that seems to have no goal other than reproduction.
In Vayu the twenty parts, with similar forms but different sizes, are scattered on the floor. The title is a Sanskrit term that can be translated as “wind, air, current.” These are jars, containers without bottom, so that paradoxically they can contain nothing. Vessels destined never to be filled, whose form evokes and at the same time negates the empty-full dialectic that is part of the form and function of any container. Crossed by air, these jars evoke the void and, at the same time, the impossibility of its representation.[/read]

Vayu. Terracotta, 20 elements, variable dimensions, 2008 [S0027]

2008 insiemi instabili

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08

Insiemi
Instabili

Insiemi Instabili, like Odradek, Fiori and Vayu, belongs to a group of works in witch the multiplicity of parts “lacking a clear, recognizable order[read more=”Read More”less=”Read Less”]- as the artist says – seems to respondd to a pure need for growth; almost as if they were following their own secret impulses, expanding in the direction of least resistance”.
The form – the infinite, varied form through which life manifests itself – is the result of this impulse that knows no calm, driven by an overwhelming generative will that seems to have no goal other than reproduction. The cones of black terracotta of Insiemi Instabili are arranged in pairs, as if attracted by a magnetic force that urges them to make. The expand on the floor surface, in scattered order, in keeping with a movement that changes each time in relation to the host space. “There are no givens, only events and movements… Reality is not composed of things that essentially are and accidentally become – the artist says, speaking of these works – but of processes, i. e. of an essential becoming… Things are not in time, they are time.”[/read]

Insiemi Instabili. Terracotta, 140 elements different sizes, 2008 [S0024]

2008 Fiori

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08

Fiori

“There are no givens, only events and movements… Reality is not composed of things that essentially are and accidentally become[read more=”Read More”less=”Read Less”]- the artist says, speaking of these works – but of processes, i. e. of an essential becoming… Things are not in time, they are time.” A becoming that unfolds before our very eyes in Fiori, a colony of hybrid objects in continuous transformation that are captured and fixed for an instant inside a process of ongoing metamorphosis.[/read]

Fiori. Terracotta, 24 elements 9x11x20 cm ca., variable sizes, 2008 [S0023]

2008 Latte nero

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08

Latte
Nero

Latte nero is an environmental installation composed of 83 parts in white terracotta that remind us of the form of the female breast,[read more=”Read More”less=”Read Less”]though they are hollow and reveal a dark chasm. Similar but of different size, the individual parts are arranged along the wall, apparently without any order. The work’s title refers to a famous poem by Paul Celan that begins with a disturbing oxymoron: milk, the symbol of nourishment and life, is reversed into its opposite, into denial of food and therefore death. In the work by Ascari, the contrast takes the form of the opposition between the fullness, the turgor of the form, and the black void it reveals: a void that is not just subtraction, but a dizzying attraction towards the infinite.[/read]

Latte Nero. Terracotta, 84 elements variable dimensions, 2008 [S0025]

2008 Odradek

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08

Odradek

Odradek is composed of many parts: small ones, in red terracotta, that remind us of something that we cannot say, perhaps a top, something that seems to have lost its function.[read more=”Read More”less=”Read Less”]The title, not coincidentally, refers to a famous short story by Kafka that has to do with a forgotten object said to be extraordinarily mobile; it eludes the grasp, its form seems senseless, yet complete in its own way. Like Kafka’s Odradek, each part of this installation can roll, producing a subtle sound “like the voice of one who is without lungs.” Odradek, like Insiemi instabili, Fiori and Vayu, belongs to a group of works in which the multiplicity of parts “lacking a clear, recognizable order — as the artist says — seems to respond to a pure need for growth; almost as if they were following their own secret impulses, expanding in the direction of least resistance.” The form — the infinite, varied forms through which life manifests itself — is the result of this impulse that knows no calm, driven by an overwhelming generative will that seems to have no goal other than reproduction.[/read]

Odradek. Terracotta, 235 elements, variable dimensions, 2008 [S0026]

2007 Come fosse in ascolto

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07

Come Fosse
in Ascolto

The dialectic relationship between order-disorder, expansion-contraction, density-rarefaction, like the generative vitality of the form, are elements also found[read more=”Read More”less=”Read Less”]in many sculptures in iron or terracotta made by the artist starting in 2006: Metameria (Metamerism), Come fosse in ascolto (As If Listening), Latte nero (Black Milk), Odradek, insiemi instabili (Unstable Sets), Fiori (Flowers), Vayu, Omphalos, La freccia the colpisce it bersaglio vola per sempre (The Arrow that Strikes the Target Flies Forever). But also in very recent works, like the installation created for the Museum of Modern Art of Ascona, entitled Memoriale volubile (Fluctuating Memorial). All of them are composed of a series of similar but not identical elements, in terms of form and size, whose number and arrangement varies, also in keeping with the place where they are positioned. In all these works, the unavoidable relationship with space makes them take on different aspects, demonstrating a flexibility, a capacity to adapt, that is part and parcel of the generative will that dwells inside them. Their components tend to multiply in a movement that without compromising individuality unites them in an ongoing metamorphosis.
Both Metameria, an iron sculpture composed of 23 parts, and Come fosse in ascolto, made of 21 parts in white terracotta, are organized on a plane, on a longitudinal axis, in order of decreasing size, symmetrical to a central element, or “in a rhythm of crescendo and diminuendo,” as the artist says, borrowing terms from the language of music. Both focus on the question of symmetry and its disruption, the dialectic between order as a principle of stability and disorder as a generative factor. Besides, both suggest similarities with imaginary organic structures, although there is no actual intention of mimicking reality: the point is not to represent – in the sense of re-producing – anything that exists, but to bring into being forms that reveal their shared belonging to an imaginary organic world. In Come fosse in ascolto there is a balance between the single parts that almost has a musical shape: from the low central note of the central element to the gradual ascent of pitch, in two opposite directions, towards the ends. The reference to sound in the title can also be connected with the form of the elements that make up the sculpture, which recall strange auricles and suggest the idea of a mysterious listening device.[/read]

Come Fosse in Ascolto. Terracotta, 21 elements 550x55x30 cm approx., 2007 [S0020]

2007 La Freccia che Colpisce il Bersaglio Vola per Sempre

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La Freccia che Colpisce
il Bersaglio Vola
per Sempre

The idea of center as origin, the place from which infinite directions depart, or the infinitely small vanishing point, is found in the iron scultpure Omphalos,[read more=”Read More”less=”Read Less”]a series of ink drawings with the same title, and La freccia che colpisce il bersaglio vola per sempre, a sculpture in white terracotta whose four parts are, in turn, composed of a series of concentric sub-parts sloping towards the inside to form a sort of visual vortex. Omphalos is a word from ancient Greek meaning “navel,” but also umbilical cord, the center of the Earth. The omphalos is the center of the human body, but it is also, significantly, a scar that bears witness to the moment in which we were separated from the maternal body that hosted and generated us; it is the tangible sign of a separation, but also of the conquest of an independent life.
In La freccia che colpisce il bersaglio vola per sempre the concentric circles attract the eye, sucking the gaze towards an infinitely small inner point, triggering a visual vortex. This tiny point is not conceived as the center or the extremity of the world, just as it was not seen as such in Omphalos. Instead, we can say that it is precisely “this vortex,” “this rotation” in a rhythmical movement of being and non-being, of visible and invisible that belongs to all things, and is seen as the extreme meaning of the world. The relationship between these works emerges, then, as tension, a struggle between two poles: not as laceration, but as the intense intimacy, the mutual belonging of the two rivals.[/read]

La Freccia che Colpisce il Bersaglio Vola per Sempre. Terracotta, 4 elements variable dimensions, 2007 [S0021]

La Freccia che Colpisce il Bersaglio Vola per Sempre. Paper model, 2007 [S0021]

La Freccia che Colpisce il Bersaglio Vola per Sempre. Terracotta, 4 elements variable dimensions, 2007 [S0021]

1986 Di Terra

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Di Terra

The unforseeable quality of a work of art, the impossibility of deducing it from what already exists, is the conceptual link which connects, in spite[read more=”Read More”less=”Read Less”]of their different formal and linguistic features, Ascari’s installation works with those of the subsequent period: in this phase, the artist’s attention became focussed on painting and sculpture and the problems which each of these modes of expression involves, preserving the active relationship with the surrounding space as an element across which each work weaves relationships going beyond the simple representative intentions. Everything may he called into question and is quite consciously called into question since the death of every transcendental basic underlying the world of the senses entails the complete autonomy of the senses and thus places art above all else. It is in this context that works like the four large sculptures have their being as pure events on the gross material plane: sculptures in terracotta, alabaster and glazed terracotta, presented at a personal exhibition by the artist at the Palazzo dei Priori in Volterra, and the subsequent works Probabile Blù, Questo quello e, Due volti e uno, Se la spassa nel fuoco, Fortepiano, Cratere, Di terra, Carbone + carta, Carta + Oro + tela, Tela Cartone + Ossido di ferro, Combustione. All of these works are characterized by an ambiguous methodology, a result of the mutual encroachment of sculpture and painting.
The unity of the works in this cycle tends to break down, to open up on all sides, to become a difficult, problematic issue. It becomes a ‘presence’ which exploits all of the unknown, scattered deposits of meaning in the work; a depth is created from the materiality of the named elements which are thus liberated and raised to a higher level of being; there is a primaeval obscurity present in the work which is not dissipated bat rendered visible through a process of unfolding or ‘unwrapping’. Unlike an object whose being is subsumed in its use, exhausted by its practical value, the work declares itself and the material of which it is made. Alabaster, iron, wood and glass, light transformed into colour, manifest visibly their material natures; elementary being becomes illuminated and in the ‘occurrence’ of the work, the background appears to be attracted by the day; the night of the elements proceeds towards the light. The secret vitality, the force and mystery of the work derive from the ‘nothingness’ from which it emerges: a void without ontolological statics which has been projected from the plane of being and identity onto that of methodology to become a function, an index of the achievement, through time, of completeness. In his presentation of Ascari’s personal exhibition at the ‘Uta Van Marwyck’ gallery in Munich in 1984, Vittorio Fagone referred to ‘cultivated’ reflection: ‘A cultivated style of painting belonging to the modern visual arts in which the experience of dynamic space in the enivi-ronment has a clear value and leads to a vitalistic conception of painting as space in which relationships are created. Seen from this perspective, the analysis of the painting’s domain becomes the site of recognition of transparency and semiotic traces, an area in which specific fleeting memories may be deposited, a space in which signs may appear, mutable but charged with meaning… Ascari’s painting… generates the impression of a spatial dimension open to a view of the world through memories without boundaries and open-ended bearers of meaning. The act of recognition in which the observer is engaged establishes a mobile boundary around the painting, conferring on its contents a clear, but not closed, legibility’. Within this process of evolution, in the works which emerged from his activity from the end of the 80’s onwards, Ascari seems to have focussed on painting as a self-stifficient domain, emphasising above all the pure colour values which, while maintaining a dialectic relationship with the iconic contents of the painting, have become the dominant features of his most recent works. The structural features emerge from coloured fields, as in a continuous process of blossoming, circling through the colour in a ghostly dance which seems literally to mime the elusive aerial currents of the world. Pigment applied to the wall using the ‘frescatura’ technique is peelednaway and applied to the canvas where it interacts with a subtle network of minate inscriptions which, while preserving their individual nature, seem to become imperceptibly transformed into the voice of the paint itself, the low indecipherable murmur of coloured organic matter: literally, whisperings from another world which impinges on our own, emerging from the obscurity of its origins and proceeding towards the light.
The pigments, the iron and other materials which make tip the work, lose their individual properties, become transmuted into a rhythm which emanates from their closed impenetrable world: this is the remote realm, far from the noise and hast/e of the world, yet connected with it, where the subtle voice of colour has its domain.
The earth, the most terrestrial component of the colour, is brought into close focus as the continually renewed richness of a physicality which, enigmatically, has a history, natural rather than historical, rendering it a constantly replenished deposit of possible interpretations. The inner depths of matter gape for a moment, the elementary plane of being is illuminated and the work gleams like a flash of lightning before the folds of darkness close over it once more.[/read]

Di Terra. Terracotta, 400x50x50 cm, 1986 [S0003]
from left to right
Carbone + Carta. Mixed technique on paper, 140×87 cm, 1986
Tela + Carbone + Ossido di Ferro. Mixed technique on canvas, 138×86 cm, 1986
Carta + Oro +Tela. Mixed technique on canvas, 138×86 cm, 1986

2012 Opera Ultima

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12

Opera
Ultima

(english version coming soon)

1) Opera Ultima come Work In Progress. Opera in tensione. Tendente ad essere. Opera in corso d’opera.
Incompiuta. In agonia. Lavoro di cui venire a capo. Finalmente.[read more=”Read More”less=”Read Less”]2) Opera Ultima come Capo-Lavoro. Non primo di tutti i lavori, il più eccelso di un’intera
opera d’artista, ma ultimo lavoro d’apprendista. Opera Ultima come fine d’un apprendistato.
3) Opera Ultima come Caput Mortuum. Come ciò che, da ultimo, resta. Parte finale d’un lento processo.
Feccia oscura, inerte. Residuo, senza utilità. Scoria, caput mortuum, merda. (Questione ulteriore se da quest’ultima, dalla merda, possa trarsi oro).
4) Opera Ultima come Opera Aurea. Comunque, mai al di qua della sua bellezza. Oro-oro. Anche letto alla rovescia, oro. Al di là dell’utile, comunque.
5) Opera Ultima come Opera Senza Utilità. All’Utile inassegnabile. Essenziale. E inutile.
6) Opera Ultima come Opera Vana. Spazio. Materia sottratta alla materia per fare il vuoto, per creare proprio quella cavità, il vano necessario. Vuoto che accolga, vano che racchiuda.
7) Opera Ultima come Esorcismo. Scongiuro tentato contro la paura del vuoto. Del nulla.
E, assieme allo sgomento, alla paura che comunque permane, irresistibile l’attrazione per ciò che non è dato conoscere. La tentazione estrema.
8) Opera ultima come Eskaton.[/read]

Opera Ultima. Terracotta, variable dimensions, 2012 [S0031]

1986 Di Terra

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86

Di Terra

Il carattere ‘originario’ dell’opera d’arte come evento non deducibile dall’esistente, rappresenta l’elemento concettuale forte che collega,[read more=”Read More”less=”Read Less”]pur nel diverso assetto linguistico e formale, le opere installative a quelle della fase seguente: l’attenzione dell’artista si focalizza sulla scultura e sulla pittura e insieme sulle questioni che tali linguaggi comportano, mantenendo attivo il rapporto con lo spazio come elemento con cui l’opera intreccia relazioni al di là di qualsiasi intenzione rappresentativa. Tutto può essere rimesso in questione e viene, dunque, consapevolmente rimesso in questione poiché la morte di ogni fondamento sovra-sensibile del mondo sensibile comporta l’autonomia del “sensibile” e perciò dell’arte sopra ogni cosa. Le opere sono esito di una processualità, nell’orizzonte di un sapere materiale e finito, e incorporano in sé e nelle proprie strutture le forme della riflessione. È in questo orizzonte che ‘accadono’ come puri eventi, come “vane forme della materia”, opere quali le quattro grandi sculture in terracotta, alabastro, terracotta invetriata, presentate a Volterra in occasione di una personale dell’artista a Palazzo dei Priori o come quelle dello stesso periodo: Probabile Blu, Questo quello è, Due volti e uno, Se la spassa nel fuoco, Fortepiano, Cratere, Di Terra, Carbone + Carta, Carta + Oro + Tela, Tela Cartone + Ossido di ferro, Combustione. Tutte sono fortemente contrassegnate da uno statuto linguistico ambiguo, esito dello sconfinamento reciproco tra scultura e pittura. L’unità dell’opera tende in questo ciclo di lavori a frantumarsi, ad aprirsi da tutti i lati, a farsi improbabile e problematica. Essa è “presenza” che si serve di tutti i giacimenti sparsi, ignoti, fluttuanti; profondità che è designata come materialità dal nome degli elementi, che vengono come liberati e innalzati nella loro essenza; oscurità elementare che si fa presente, non dissipata, ma sciolta e resa visibile; essa è dunque uno “schiudersi”, uno “sbocciare”. A differenza dell’oggetto che scompare nel suo uso, rinvia al suo valore utile, l’opera annuncia ciò che è, ciò di cui è fatta. L’alabastro, il ferro, il legno, il vetro, la luce divenuta colore nella pittura, rendono visibile e presente la loro natura e la loro materia; l’elementare si illumina e quando l’opera “avviene” il fondo è come presente, come attratto verso il giorno: la notte degli elementi procede verso la luce. La segreta vitalità, la forza e il mistero che pervade l’opera è quella del “nulla” da cui procede, un nulla che si è deontologizzato e si è convertito dal piano dell’essere e dell’identità al piano metodologico di una funzione, di un indice che si applica al divenire storico della finitezza. Presentando una personale di Ascari nella galleria “Uta Van Marwyck” a Monaco nel 1984, Vittorio Fagone parlava di riflessione “colta”. “Una pittura colta – diceva – dell’esperienza della moderna arte visuale dove le esperienze dello spazio dinamico dell’environment hanno un chiaro valore, si aprono ad una concezione vitalistica della pittura come spazio di relazione. In questa prospettiva, l’analisi del campo pittorico diventa luogo di riconoscimento della trasparenza e delle condensazioni di segnali minimi, zona di deposito, mentale e fisico, di concrete memorie sfuggenti, spazio di apparizioni di segni, all’apparenza labili, ma carichi di un forte potere di indicazione di senso… La pittura di Ascari… produce in noi l’idea di una spazialità aperta ad una visione del mondo per memorie senza contorni e per segni non sigillati. Il processo di riconoscimento nel quale è impegnato chi guarda va a stabilire un confine mobile che dà definizione al campo della pittura e chiara, ma non chiusa, leggibilità, ai segni di cui questa è affollata”. Dentro questo percorso, nelle opere che segnano la sua attività a partire dalla fine degli anni ’80, Ascari sembra aver privilegiato la pittura come luogo autosufficiente dando la parola, soprattutto, ai valori puri del colore che pur intrattenendo un rapporto dialettico con gli elementi segnici, diventano protagonisti assoluti di queste ultime opere. I segni zampillando dalla materia colorata, in una continua fioritura, volteggiano nel colore come in una danza di fantasmi ossia, alla lettera, di “apparizioni” che mimano nei loro geroglifici gli aerei e spesso inafferrabili sensi del mondo. Il pigmento colorato applicato al muro secondo la tecnica della frescatura viene strappato e riportato su tela interagendo con una trama sottile e minuta di segni che, pur mantenendo la loro specifica natura, sembrano impercettibilmente trasformarsi nella voce del colore, nel brusio sommesso, scomposto, indecifrabile della materia organica colorata; sono, alla lettera, bisbigli di un altro mondo che si fa presente, e che, dall’oscurità elementare da cui proviene, procede verso la luce.
I pigmenti, il ferro e tutti gli altri materiali che costituiscono le opere declinano le loro proprietà trasformandosi in un ritmo che si dipana dal loro mondo chiuso e impenetrabile: in questo luogo remoto, lontano dal rumore del mondo eppure con esso implicato vive la voce sottile del colore.
La terra, l’elemento tutto terrestre del colore è “prodotto” ossia portato in primo piano come la sempre rinnovata ricchezza della fisicità che, enigmaticamente, ha una sua storia, non storica, una storia “naturale”, che si dà come sempre rinnovato deposito di possibili interpretazioni. La profondità della materia per un attimo si schiude, l’elementare si illumina e l’opera “momento di folgore” avviene come un balenio di luce su cui il buio subito si richiude.[/read]

Di Terra. Terracotta, 400x50x50 cm, 1986 [S0003]
Da sinistra a destra
Carbone + Carta. Tecnica mista su carta intelaiata, 140×87 cm, 1986
Tela + Carbone + Ossido di Ferro. Tecnica mista su tela, 138×86 cm, 1986
Carta + Oro +Tela. Tecnica mista su tela, 138×86 cm, 1986