Naples

Maurizio Colantuoni

The propagation of energy is the secret design that guides the path of Maurizio Colantuoni in this recent exhibition, which was comprised of six white fiberglass sculptures. Five sculptures hung on the walls, while the sixth rested on the floor, acting as a counterpoint to the lightness of the others. Over the last ten years, Colantuoni has passed through various phases of fascination for different materials, reversing, following, and changing artistic direction according to their fragility or their consistency. He has used iron or tufa to indicate primordial energy and the possibility of activating this energy among living beings. Then he added slate, aluminum, and tin to iron and to copper. He combined these materials in such a way that they were able to intersect. And when they came together, they unleashed streams, currents, forces, and connections. Now he has turned to fiberglass, a material that is light, airy, and white, like innocent dreams.

His sculptures, hung along the walls at eye level, rise rapidly into space and capture our attention. Colantuoni has given this energy, these outpourings, a neutral name, “Esponente 1, 2, 3, 4, 5” (Exponent 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 1991). But in conversation he refers to them as waves, thereby indicating that they propagate energy, which is characterized by progressive, incessant oscillations and vibrations. It is an energy that, as it vibrates, lightens the material and the volumes, as well as sculpture itself, which, by virtue of its structure, is stabile and resistant.

Colantuoni has always constructed objects that, because of the adaptability of the materials, become imaginary devices emitting unexpected connections, linking remote, indeterminate worlds. To evoke these worlds, the artist resorts to mathematical calculations that are as improbable as they are rigorous and sophisticated, or, as on this occasion, to electromagnetic allusions. His work is based on the idea of ferreting out agreements, or, as he prefers to call them, complementarities, among different, sometimes opposite, points of view. These interpret and take into account the complexity of the real world. The objective scientific method merges with the subjective gaze of art. Colantuoni’s intention is to join the semiotic reasons behind the work’s articulation and the emotions, the moral choices, and the ideological investments that run through it. Thus, sculpture becomes a privileged space for reflecting upon the complementarity of systems, upon the complexity of awareness, upon the irreducibility of the idea to univocal and specialized representations.

Angelo Trimarco

Translated from the Italian by Marguerite Shore.