With the personal exhibitionPastiche, Paolo Gonzato focuses his reflection, in an evocative way, on the artistic practice of Giambattista Piranesi (1720-1778), the eclectic genius protagonist of the ‘700 who, moving between Venice and Rome, between Baroque and Neoclassicism, threw the bases not only of the taste of the generations that immediately followed him, but perhaps of the very idea of an artist who is a creator but also an architect, archaeologist, antiquarian, documentary maker, designer, merchant, impresario and forger.
The exhibition set up in the space of the Officine Saffi brings together a corpus of unpublished works, created by the artist for the occasion. Thus new works are born, decorative and architectural fragments of uncertain dating, entire ceramic artifacts rich in sediments as if they had just emerged from archaeological excavations of an ancient civilization or even omens of a dystopian and post apocalyptic world.
In addition to philosophical and historical reflection, the exhibition also aims to be an in-depth study by the artist on ceramics. The experiments with this material are also part of his broader vision of sculpture: successive stratifications on a brutalist system with sometimes a bit heavy tones.
The purple color is the unifying element of the exhibition: it links a large wall painting with protruding inserts to the ceramic works of the new research. “Purple for me is a fetish color that contains various symbolic and significant information that simultaneously evoke atmospheres, beliefs and rituals” explains Paolo Gonzato. Composed of red and blue, purple is associated with psychological and spiritual introspection: it indicates a predisposition to mental and physical recollection preparatory to a creative impulse. The study of this color finds its highest point in a large-scale work for which the artist, almost compulsively, created simple cylindrical, irregular vases of various heights and diameters, to produce an accumulation that would cancel the single piece.
Gonzato's creations are at the same time works, design objects and functional art. Different lines of temporal research also coexist in Pastiche: classical courtly inspirations overlap with extemporaneous creative forms. For Gonzato this is not a form of irremediable dichotomy of reality but on the contrary a holistic vision that allows us to imagine ourselves in one way and in its opposite at the same time.