A symphonic destiny
A wholesome fillip for the heart and soul in the recent paintings by Alberto Sughi the nocturnal, sentimental landscapes which show a direct line of descent from the previous series from 1985 and
The indisputable central theme of this period is the relationship between man and nature, a rapport rich in emotion and human potential. Sughi perceives man as central to the pictorial action, as both receiver and transmitter of the pictorial impulses.
Man is the intellectual and sentimental measure of an art of extreme sophistication and sensitivity. Sughi is a master of nocturnal light, of its strong, complex splendour, and the solid and sensuous characteristics of the atmospheric ambience. His use of combinations of greens and yellows creates a visual balance full of echoes and musical resonances. It is a melody closer to the murmuring of the spirit rather than the spectacular orchestration of some hyper-active ego. The human dimension in this work is certainly
composed of sensitivity but there is also a basis of cultural morality. Man in his solitude acquires a particular potentiality: that of never having to lie to anybody and the ability to accept the great mystery of his existence. Sughi illustrates this existence in the world through the recurrent motif of the yellow house seen through the green of nature, an omnipresent, benign nature willing to accept the human essence of direct, organic communication. The word harmony has never been applied in more complete sense: Alberto Sughi's painting is an act of global expression. Such essential vision is part of the universality of our affective culture and when I talk about emotion in relation to this artist, I use the term in the most complimentary sense. The compliment is merited as Sughi's painting represents a highly controlled emotional outpouring. For Alberto Sughi man is a yardstick by which to measure the universal. Herein lies the true nature of his solitude. Talk of nostalgie or melancholy would be superfluous as Sughi's painting has great emotional depth and there is no place for romantic abuses or excesses in a universe so dense and so well balanced. Sughi's work engenders an immediacy, a permanent sensorial present ,and if time is shackled then it is shackled not through an arbitrary decision of the artist, but because that is the way of things. These are not facts to be disputed, but rather accepted as destiny, a destiny with neither past nor future, a vibrant stasis of the spirit, a pure phenomenon of perception. I have been taken unawares by the strength of the emotions that Sughi's paintings have aroused within me. I did not expect such a reaction as I thought that I was more capable of intellectually filtering these kinds of pictorial impulses. Painting has triumphed in this particular personal debate. It has won thanks to its quality and its interior strength, but above all thanks to its sincerity, its spontaneous truth. If there is a crisis in painting today it is certainly not a crisis of the medium itself, but rather a crisis of the painted image. Rather than anecdotal Sughi's narrative is existential, a way of living in solitude. Only a extremely strong moral commitment could justify the globality of vision and immense generosity of the primary impulses. This man immersed in the dark green of the night incarnates the boundaries of our consciousness. It is up to us as spectators to sense or foresee the spatial quality of the affective communication. If Sughi's painting wants to render an image of man, of man as a measure, it also becomes a measure of our perception. Alberto Sughi's art foregoes any form of aggression or provocation. It represents serenity or rather great self-control in the expression of the basic traits of the personality. This exalts the deepest aspects of man. The artist is teaching us how to experience the very spirit of things. Should we miss the point whilst following this invitation to participate in what is wholesome exercise of the heart and spirit, then we have only ourselves to blame: not that the artist would wish to reprove us, but we would be left an acute sense of failing to make the grade. Once having entered into Sughi's universe, into the profound majesty of colour, it is difficult to return with the sensation of experiencing a moment of intense emotion. I too find that it is by no means easy to make the effort to achieve the necessary mental receptivity. I find myself at the very limits of my organic comprehension: this is the unique and exceptional strength of an art that aims to be nothing but art. One evening I spoke at length with Sughi and I know that his current sensorial serenity is the product of a long, tormented experience of life. His art lies in the overcoming of negative desires, in the love that he has maintained, salvaged or even reconquered for man and humanity. The agent of this miracle is nature itself, the nature capable of forgiving man his clumsy affronts. Nature does not exist without a clear understanding of its relationship with culture. This nature is part of us and we are obliged to treat it with extreme circumspection, otherwise the reverse side of nature, the natura naturans, will escape us, and escape us for ever.
I would like the people of today to go to see the paintings of Alberto Sughi as a purifying last resort: if the outcome is negative then it is all over.
I refuse to accept this negative solution and I find the strength for my decision right in the interior vitality of these paintings. A wonderful lesson in pure emotion.
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