For Linda Carrara, the surface is the place where the pictorial event has its genesis. The surface is the subject, marble or rock, as in the two works chosen for the exhibition. The surface is also that of the paper or canvas, which assume their visual identity through a process of mimesis. It is an experience founded on illustrious precedents. In her False Carrara marble series, for example, the artist takes her cue from an ancient tradition, that of Giotto’s or Beato Angelico’s false marbles in apparently peripheral areas of their fresco cycles. The marbles have often been seen as elements with a purely decorative value, but in reality their neutrality hides secrets and powerful references. The great composite work displayed on the rear wall of the room is an exercise in mimesis set up by the artist. An exercise that lends life and evocative energy to the pictorial surface by its simple visual resemblance to another surface, that of Carrara marble. In the composition, solemn in its appearance as a great polyptych, our perceptions are led astray. The stone, with its veins, seems to become a sky furrowed by the wind, almost a great new window opened onto space. But the surface is also at the centre of another of Carrara’s recent works: these are “frottage” pieces created by placing the canvases on the rocks by the banks of the Adda. These are the rocks that Leonardo would have looked at for his Milanese Vergini delle rocce paintings. In this case, too, the intense red used for the “frottage” suggests a hypothesis of mutations: the mineral element evokes, in mysterious form, a carnal event.

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Posted on: 15 November 2021, by : Alessandro Ulleri
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