InDivenire – Alessandra Redaelli

There is a work by Silvia Canton that could explain poetry all by itself: Il grande pesce. It is a rising tide of gold and earth in which the fragment of virgin cork that signifies the title appears as a brown wound in the centre, while all around the material it is rough and coarse. While the theme wants to make us think of the sea, the playful shades of the palette seem to lead us instead towards bare, autumnal undergrowth. It is a strong, difficult and beautiful work. Its beauty comes from its primitive simplicity which seems to tell of a primordial chaos which is not yet ordered and which boasts of important ancestry, above all of Alberto Burri. There is Burri’s rough canvas in that luminous and iridescent earth, and it is also Burri who carefully handled cork to catalyze the gaze, brown and leathery like its cracks.

The art of Silvia Canton is a fusion of wild pictorial material and elegant references to the great history of art, a fusion of instinct and control, feeling and reason. This new series centred around cork marks a crucial point in the evolution of the artist. Now that the lyricism of the previous works has dried up, Silvia Canton finds a way to give further space to her thirst for depth and reality by introducing this object. Virgin cork is a natural element that can be worked with but which is also indomitable. She loves it for its authenticity and vivacity, and often chooses fragments that still bear traces of the plant life that surrounded the tree. True nature is thus inserted into a substantiated narrative, one that is natural but which does not merely give us a snapshot of nature: instead it is a conscious path, an analysis that aims to recover the history of this piece of nature right down to its primordial elements, detailing its infinite and inexhaustible metamorphoses. The history of its becoming.

Fish are a recurring element, partly due to their religious symbolism. In addition to Il grande pesce there is the spectacular Mattanza, where the shape is reconstructed by sections and the death of a small animal appears to be suffused with solemn drama. And then there is the golden fish of Amo, which makes us think of the first fish, the father of all fish, while the red and rusty sea seems to spring from a beating heart.

The narrative moves across pictorial and genre styles, taking us by the hand back to nature’s origins, its roots. And while works that allude to chaos remind us of the beginning of nature, the origins of man are brought to us by works like Piccola Madre, where the cork is encrusted with plant residues to evoke the uterus, an embrace, while the circular pattern of the background reveals the pulsing of a red light like a small heart.

The figure always remains entrapped. Sometimes there is a sign, sometimes this is only alluded to. At other times this figure appears decisive and explicit, as in the delightful Ofelia, where the feminine face, minimal but fundamental, is hit by a blaze of burning matter.

Resilient flowering – Corrado Castellani

If we ask ourselves what the generative nucleus of Silvia Canton’s paintings is, the original matrix from which they are derived, I believe that it can be identified in the need and urgency to externalize important emotional contents that cannot find a different way of being expressed.

Feelings and moods, depicted in their variety, complexity and co-mingling, with various modulations and resonances, are the leitmotif of her work, which the exhibition displays with great effectiveness. A common thread that runs through all of the paintings, connects them to others, and gives her work an unmistakable impression.

This painting is a painting of her soul, even if the visual themes appear mainly inspired by nature and, specifically, by the plant world. Trees, shrubs and grasses create situations in which emotional experiences are reflected. They evoke a tonality of affections, which from time to time are presented as yearning or depression, wishes or hopes, enthusiasm or melancholy.

The style of Silvia Canton is nourished by echoes of Art Nouveau painting and we can also clearly identify the attitudes and motifs of Symbolist imprint. However, every reference is shown in a new, vital and lush way, far from lacking in style. In fact, the Art Nouveau flavor emerges from a profound assimilation of the informal temperament and manifests itself with characteristic and persuasive intonation.

Soft and sinuous lines release movements that are full of energy, create vortexes and whirlwinds, force fields driven by impulse and tension, thrusting, sometimes upwards and sometimes downwards, but mainly folding in on themselves, to wrap and enclose.

The modulation of brushstrokes is configured to define the stylistic figure of the artist and ranges from the controlled, defined signs of winding graphemes to joyful, instinctive gestures. What we witness is a skillful composition of figurative elements, mainly arboreal, from fin de siècle masters, with excerpts from atmospheric, anti-naturalist paintings of the late twentieth-century.

The decisive and expressive characterization of Silvia Canton’s paintings also stems from a marked sense of chromatic contrasts, from the tonal contrasts of pure colours to a light and dark dialectic that imparts a bright and occasionally dramatic intonation. A tension which generates a result of balanced forces, to which the title of one work and that of the entire exhibition allude. It is this carefully managed balance that governs the harmony of the canvas and gives it a coherence and unity this artist has never renounced.

These pictures provide the keys to their reading and suggest how we can approach them. The balanced tension that permeates through them articulates and composes the differences, and rather than dispersing them, distributes them over areas of differing intensity, collecting them at focal points that can be considered genuine poles of attraction for the observer’s gaze. The visitor is, so to speak, taken by the hand, accompanied and guided by the structure of the work itself, which offers a vision whose density is never in contrast with the happy immediacy of the encounter.

Resilient flowering – Chiara Voltarel

From the dark turbines of a hurricane they free themselves in the lights and colours of an aurora borealis and, first overwhelmed, then gently enveloped, they germinate delicate petals. Resilience is the force of life, which recognises weakness to face difficulties and almost magically, regains the ability to challenge adversity, transform pain into courage and confidence to exceed itself and emerge stronger.

Her painting is full of symbolism, which focuses on nature, an immense source of inspiration. Nature gives life and nourishment and Mother Earth is the protector of primary energies and the mother of all life forms. In genesis, the earth is defined as the “raw material” and, from this ancient concept of “mother earth” that creates all life forms, including man, the earth is understood as the source of life, it nourishes us, sustains us and has that incredible ability to transform what is impure into beautiful living creatures – flowers and plants – with unparalleled generosity, even where the existence of any forms of life seems impossible.

A large body of work captures the moment of flowering, a show that wants to be a metaphor and a pretext for expressing thoughts, intense feelings and strong emotions. The figurative element, in this case taken from the natural world, is lost and harmonised in the informal and creates poetic visions. Floating plants or plants at the mercy of events, trees or tendrils with strong roots, bend under pressure, but still find the strength to germinate and bloom. Phytomorphic elements are so delicately and pictorially refined that they become elegant arabesques. (Blossoming series; The tree of Life; The good giant, Roots, Vanity).
We can make out different suggestions. A look is turned towards the Liberty not only to capture the natural element and for the language featured in some of line of strength, sinuous line works, but also for the sense of lightness and for the attention to detail.
Thus, these paintings have an affect for the undeniable beauty of the subjects, the colour combinations taken from a bright palette and the delicacy of the nuances, in addition to their originality. When we observe these these works we also recognise a pictorial inclination to the romantic aesthetics of the sublime, for the way in which the artist stands before nature, immense and infinite, aware of her personal smallness.

It is painting of experimentation and research, in continuous evolution, both for the subjects that are followed and change and renew themselves always looking for new combinations, but also for the pictorial technique. The gestures always remain strong, the incisive and material brushstroke is almost always present, but this is associated with a subtracting action by dripping various substances, through which the canvas can be glimpsed.
Operations that create extraordinary effects of light that seems to emanate from within the picture, elements that melt, lose weight or create fragmented textures.

They are inner works, which softly whisper and speak of feelings, emotions, memories, personal experiences that are freed in gesture, in the work that is sometimes placid and sometimes more tormented.
But in this enchanting microcosm you can see the whole universe.

Silvia Canton - Artista e pittrice a Castelfranco Veneto, Italia


Via Riccati 7,
Castelfranco Veneto (TV), Italy
P.iva 03919010268

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