Chiara Voltarel (historienne de l'art)

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In Silvia Canton’s painting, you hear music, a symphony created by violin, violoncello and pianoforte, instruments which for her are colour, brush and canvas. Colour like musical notes, brush strokes like a dance; everything is moved, in an intimist atmosphere, by reflections, sentiments, emotions and introspective interpretation.

Like a sonata, the brush strokes gush forth with fluent impetuousness, colour is sometimes an energy for the eyes and for the soul, that colour which spreads, invests and penetrates, with all its force. In other occasions instead, it seems to calm down and free itself in a light-filled and delicate lyrical and solemn intensity.

Hers is pure painting, dense, material. The brush strokes are full of energy. This is an art that lives on the idea of beauty, of a beauty made up of simple things.

Inspiring muse is nature. Insignificant details, shrubs, scrubs, river algae, trunks,  branches are transfigured, not so much in shape, but by the power of the brush stroke and colour.

In the simplicity of the subject, in the simplicity of the painting created with few means: “canvas, colour and sentiment”, as the artist likes to recall, suggest to us a number of reflections on aspects and pleasures of life, which we are losing today. The beauty of a branch, of the sparks of light produced by raindrops, of blow-holes or scrubs combed by the wind. The importance and the value of every instant in the awareness of just how fleeting these are.

The world presented by Silvia Canton captures us, envelops us like a spiral and it is inevitable that we find inside it a life, a nature which is sometimes overwhelming, pulsating, in other cases calmer, stroked by a light movement of air.

In a fabric of threads, knotty, aspects, sometimes intricate, of a renewed liberty, the sinuous lines produce a movement full of energy.

Silvia Canton’s painting seems to be crossed by the elegant climate of the Secessions, the Jugendstil, where everything looked to “living nature”, to the growth dynamics of living organisms. Her language in fact appears directed towards a highly refined linearism sustained by a decorative taste and a precious emphasis on colour. As for the secessionists, nature becomes a place of mystery and elementary forces, and art enters into a symbolist line. On her canvases, beyond the figuration, we can make out a soul. The brush stokes create deep emotions, memories, anxieties and hopes. In her paintings, we thus find shadows of dark colour, dark stains that spark moments of anxiety; in others, amid large masses of strong colour, a white wake creeps in, a glimmer of light which sometimes opens up and expands, becoming a sort of cradle, a haven of peace and serenity. And again, amid the tangle of brush strokes, we can identify presences which grasp a broader meaning of existence and life and become mysterious protagonists of a subconscious which emerges and can flow into poetry.

This is the magic of art, of an art which, we might say, flows against the mainstream, not shouted, not violent, not scandalous, but discreet, which believes in the power of painting and in the sensitivity of the human soul and hopes it will find eyes in which to consume itself.

Chiara Voltarel



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