Primo Marella is pleased to present la Luce Prima, Gianfranco Zappettini’s first solo show at the gallery. La Luce Prima is a thrilling project expressly conceived for the gallery venue: an unreleased installation composed of overlapping meshes merges with the iconic artworks of the Seventies, where the artist' statement becomes keener and extreme.
In over forty years of activity, Zappettini has contributed to reconstruct the pictorial framework and to provide a new reading of the working process. Born in Genoa in 1939, student of the acclaimed architect Konrad Wachsmann, he has travelled through Europe to search for those consonances based on analytical abstraction that are the basis of his work. Afterwards, he has deepened the symbolic value of the painter's method and the various elements at his disposal.
In recent years, with the series “La trama e l’ordito” (The weft and the warp), he has plumbed the ancestral significance of pictorial practice, where the surface backs into what it was at the beginning, an "opaque" space, as Douglas Crimp said, that does not reflect other worlds and refers to nothing but itself. The symbolism of weaving, which flagged in the artist’s family history, lumps together the creation of a canvas or a painting, or even a written text as contained in the word “textus”.
As Alberto Rigoni explains in the catalogue, this exhibition - specifically designed for Primo Marella Gallery - shows for the first time some meshes released by the frame and suspended in a spectacular installation as imperceptible surfaces that attract the viewer indoors: a movement towards a space, where there are still objects of painting. The same goes for the historical works, which collect this suggestion and drive the visitor to the theoretical and practical research of the Seventies.
And then - or rather, before - there is Light. With a unique and unreleased work, Gianfranco Zappettini has pushed the level of his speech even further. The pivotal artwork of the exhibition brought with it a light of Wood, indefinable and undefined color, present and yet elusive, which interferes with all the other surfaces in the area - especially the white ones. The title of the work, la Luce Prima, remains in the verge of two interpretations, which are not that different: Light comes first and is at the centre of everything, at the same time it is a primordial, invisible light but still perceptible.
White monochrome paintings, overlapping thin canvases where the only sign is an ethereal line of graphite, a reflection on the artist's gesture and thought, synthetic meshes that invite the viewer to approach, and a nearly black light that is impossible to grasp – all these different elements revolve around a cornerstone which is the signature of Gianfranco Zappettini‘s unceasing career: a painting as a tool of deeper knowledge.