The Lyricism of The Synthesis

Between reality and nature for the artist poet there is no contrast: there is only the tiring complexity with which nature from time to time becomes reality, lives and dies of his own years, feeds on acquisitions and legacies, to become again continuously a different reality: that is, history.

Giovanni Testori



Dolz currently seems to work “in taking away”. He is one of those artists whose temperament leads to concentrate, dry, taper, synthesize... In his work today what is not essential becomes superfluous and is not even mentioned on the canvas, or so it appears as just evoked, as labile possibility of adding: the negligible ghost of an outline left on the shore of the painting, a buoyancy, almost slipped away, of the remains of the surrounding objectivity.

The “creatures” evoked here are bulls and fish, jelly fish and birds, octopuses, shells and more, among and including moulds and patinas’ flowerings, mineral lichens and magmatic flows spread on spaces without place or time. Traces of swarming life, yet frozen in a case of archaic and motionless silence, inner “portraits” of unlikely characters as spied through a crack opened in the conglomeration of geological eras...

There is no birth and death here; there is only the beating of hearts and muscular peristalsis, tremors of scales and din of unmoved hooves. Yet the colours are mat and cold, and they point to the horizon of a desolate desert of unspeakable loneliness, while the physical body of animals and objects wears a restless rust.

The only light of these creatures, these suspended discoveries, is their overwhelming lyricism, the irresistible density of a silent poetry that is their own. It is a lyricism that searches not even the metaphor or the explicit evocation, but that is self-sufficient in its folded core of feeling and fades on the slow pulse forming the image, which gradually thickens or dilutes the contours and shapes .

As the shamanic herds painted on the walls of ancient Magdalenian caves of the Upper Paleolithic era show, which these images sometimes visibly allude, what is portrayed here is not just what is seen but is something else. Its flavour inside, its conceptual spine, the amazement of magical evocation, of emotional invocation, as it were, is a silent prayer addressed to what transcends us, to the vertigo of the unknowable. It was the result of a series of multiform ex-voto, essential and primitive, shadowy, some mysterious.

"I know that the painting will never die, because manually tracing signs is natural to man", our artist once wrote.

Therefore, the archaism that runs his visions is not so much a tribute to the distant past of life, almost tenderly and affectionately stylistic, but the strong signal, almost obligatory for Dolz, of the continuity of things of man: the tactile and perennial human forms of expression, but also - with the same intensity and with heartbeats of sensitivity perhaps even greater - a song of poetry to painting itself, to its infinite possibilities of resonance with the spirit of man.

As for the “fossil” appearance of these creatures, with the usual, acute clarity Elena Pontiggia recently pointed out in her text: “Dolz is interested in contrasting ancient and contemporary, non-life and life. In the space of the canvas he draws a shape that throbs, pulsates, breathes and that stands out on the background, rather struggles to close the matter. The fossil in nature is imprisoned in the rock, but in Dolz’s painting it is free instead”.

So for Pontiggia these are creatures who somehow return to life. Here, it seems to me that these creatures are forever fixed, to live in a dimension that is together mental and emotional, represented by the backgrounds on which they lie as emblems of a possible mythology, as traces and pieces of a mosaic of natural stories, at the confluence of human chronicles and supernatural myths. Their “fossilitude” then turns to me - as I mentioned above – as the anxious sign of the man from Lascaux or Altamira Cueva: a magical sign, a “religious” one, to propitiate, plead and beg, to bend the natural and the supernatural to our need to get food by hunting or somehow smother our thirst for the absolute.

“The visionary is the only true realist”, once ruled Federico Fellini. And half a century before, Bertolt Brecht wrote: “All the arts contribute to the greatest art of all: that of living”.

It is true that Dolz has a painting nourished by philosophical substance, of dense thought, which branches on the most subtle and sophisticated speculations. Yet his is also and primarily painting-painting in full, “physical” painting of substances and glazes, of chromatic matter, voids and solids. Painting yet never literary, scholarly although never cloying, never pedantically formed, though perfected over.

Several feelings of anxiety and trepidation, in him, turn to dictate the momentum of an act which remains suspended and questioning although supremely concluded: the intuition of an archetype.

But caution is advised, because often the resort to looking for archetypal forms, for certain artists, especially from those more ephemeral and superficial, is only a disguise of their poor inner emptiness, it only evidences a lack of sense. For Dolz, on the contrary, the archetypal, the primordial, the spring root of icon is not so much to reduce form to its primal origin and use in contemporary, but rather to discover that it carries a symbolic value, to download it, or disclose it in its semantic power, lasting, permanent, that the gesture of painting sheds lights on and enhances its more meticulous terms.

And then there is in these works, above all else, but also inside everything, just the delicious taste of the painting, the taste of a sophisticated and composite know-how, the fineness of a conscious and cultivated technique.

Of course, there is also that peculiar “subtlety”, that great simplicity, that very “upbeat” character - I said - that touches even a form of pauperism, of deconstruction, sometimes downright resignation...

But always I remember to myself, in cases like these, that, to quote Constantin Brancusi, “simplicity in art is, in general, a fixed complex!”


Giorgio Seveso