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Giorgio Di Genova

The way of painting of Renzo Eusebi is a logic consequence of his previous experience of "draped bas-relief" , as I defined them a couple of years ago, when I stated their remote derivation from the use of materials of Burri’s Sacks, without neglecting the ascendancy as regards certain cuts and breaking of the canvas taken from Fontana. Now that Renzo’s painting has become more compact in a sort of monochromatic use of materials, Burri’s and Fontana’s foundations have been strongly metabolised but, through an attentive critical reading, they are still traceable, though strongly reabsorbed.

At present the painter’s exuberance has found the most congenial field in the mixture of chromatic pigments and different materials, by often mixing them with vitreous substances, so obtaining a magmatic way of painting with rich and different thickness, almost always uneven, and studded either with sparks of other colours, or with holes similar to the depressions which appear on a surface of inorganic material which becomes thick and sticky when the small bubbles it has made explode.

Eusebi’s present monochrome works in red, violet, blue, yellow, black and other colours have the hard consistency of materials which have been dried after boiling them or, if you prefer, of the earth crust which formed from the cooling down of the primordial white hot magma. For this reason they give off an underground tension which still reminds the warmth permeating them, an aspect which differentiate them totally from the cold material of the Cretti by Burri, which become almost icy in the black and white version.

But other aspects make Eusebi’s production of the moment different from the one of the great artist from Città di Castello. Burri, as a man from Umbria, was endowed of a strong sense of the land and he took inspiration from the land for his Cretti, which were, in fact, veined by the cracks, as it happens to the dry and muddy fields when they are drained by the sun rays. Our painter from the Marche, who now considers himself from Bergamo, turns to the solar magma and gets from the spectrum of its radiations almost all the colours of his monochromatic scanning. I say "almost all" because the black monochromes, of course, can’t be attributed to the sun.

They, in fact, arouse lunar visions, of course the ones concerning the New Moon of the three days when the moon, though being in the sky, is not seen by a human eye, because the face looking at the earth is completely in the shade. It is not by chance that these works bring to mind the lunar surfaces that Turcato made in the period of his foam rubber production, above all the black ones, which presented a porosity similar to the one we can find in Eusebi’s black monochromes, which can be brought back to the unevenness of the moon surface.

It is the case of a purifying volteface from the neodadaistic collage of cloths of the previous paintings, about which I said: "It was as if painting, the old and secular painting, had worn a vestimentum which, because of its pleats, was enquiring about the wrinkledness due to its age".

And the cloths then were by Eusebi and this clarifies the identification of his painting with his own daily self. Now it is as if Eusebi had undressed his painting. And by doing this, he has lain his existential ego bare. It was full of emotional clots, of harshness of character, of sudden changes of mood but solid, hard and dense. And he is totally immersed in his physical nature.

Eusebi is actually endowed of a very strong and unrestrainable sense of physical nature (and his restless and sanguine temperament comes from here). He had expressed this in the long season of his works with torn canvass on which he had put pieces of cloth and ropes in the magma of chromatic pastes, but even before he had expressed this in plastic trials realised through the evolution of agglomerations of different materials and elements in which he was already looking for the satisfaction of his physical needs through the object and its tactile substance; this physical nature was then transferred into the paintings arranged by the collage of cloths and clothes, even personal, and which is now filtered in the materials of his rough monochrome painting.

Such an urgent pressure for the tactility and objectnature of the work, however, could not be exhausted on the flat surface of the pictures. Eusebi, in fact, has started again making sculptures, but with criteria and structures different from those belonging to remote times, if compared with his production and artistic growth.

In this latest season, as it has happened in painting by passing from pictures with pieces of cloth to those with clotted materials, the return to plastics is purified from the neodadaist capriciousness of certain previous experiences. With the purpose of giving order to his work, Eusebi has brushed up certain Euclidean reminiscences which he had already experienced in the past with a greater dynamism in the phase of his pointed and soaring sculptures. He has described them like this: "Pointed shapes rising towards the sky, colours on colours, spruced, daubed, almost thrown there by chance".

The pointed shapes are now recomposed in soared triangles, the discrete thickness of the former two fronted elements has now become stronger, often growing into cylindrical and squared shapes which, once assembled, restate their propensity towards the sky, propensity obtained with solutions of explicit verticalness, which is now entrusted to several elements, from iron to wood, from travertine stone to slate and toughened glass, put together so as to personalise the shapes of a free and liberal geometry, in a certain sense rediscovered, after so many concessions to informal instances and in another sense rediscovered in sand, with a neodadaist gesture. Eusebi uses sand to cover surfaces with material and, through it, to reach the chromatic variations which can give uniformity to his work and, in the meantime, give movement to the plastic stiffness and the static arrangement, with the morphologic differentiation of the elements which make up the whole thing.

If, as it was said before, the pictures made with material of Eusebi’s present pictorial research have revealed his ego, these sculptures of that ego can be considered its skeleton.

And while the present way of painting is substantially full of a lyricism which is projected on the material, enhanced in its absolute as direct expressiveness, which makes a sort of diapason among the remarks, quite popular nowadays, concerning neoinformal instances, the present fusion of painting and sculpture is a real "going back to things themselves". Of course, the "things themselves" of painting and sculpture of the non figurative side, which has crossed the almost finishing century, in order to take us to the third millennium, during which undoubtedly, even in art, there will be a lot of novelties, but not all the inheritance of the fundamental 20th century will be wasted owing to that rate of succession that history always expects and never sets to zero completely.


Giorgio Di Genova