Coloured shards burn the canvas

Built in 1477 next to the Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio and then painted by Bernardino Luini, the ancient Oratory of the Passion, now an exhibition space, is like a trial by fire for those who exhibit in it. No manneristci art, no academic exercise can keep the mask on and hide from the eyes of the beholder. Knowing how to paint well does not count and can even be detrimental. The first requirement an artist needs here is the strength of his idea.

Michele Dolz exhibits a series of works he has painted in the last two years, which have enough vehemence and finality to support the dialogue with frescoed walls. His language, in fact, seems on fire with passion, punctuated by strong, stentorean colours. Yellow is juxtaposed to blue, red to black, green to blue, without ever passing through midtones. The colours cut out imaginary landscapes in which neat shapes are separated, one from another, as the pieces of color that make the windows of churches. There are no softness, nor nuances and hesitations, as the colour does not congeal in deaf and uniform masses. In contrast, large brush strokes stretched leaving the white canvas below visible, between one stroke and the other, vibrate as windows traversed by light. To these shards of color Dolz came pasing through years of more delicate and hesitant painting. Now, in front of the casting of red that, like fire, burns the canvas, the artist can finally say: ‘This is me’.


Corriere della Sera, May 21, 1998

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