The exhibition by Roberto Pietrosanti, which opens on Wednesday 7 March at La Nuova Pesa, consists of 14 patinated brass plates and a polyptych of 9 works on paper placed in dialogue with some verses by the poet Massimo Morasso. In the articulate creative itinerary of the artist, the path put on display gives an account of the latest developments of a reflection begun as early as 1996, which has the theme of the crown of thorns at the center. The series of slabs and the large polyptych that accompanies them have a distinct material, sign and formal nature; yet they mirror each other as the two necessary poles of a single, firm symbolic dialectic.
The curator Massimo Morasso writes in the text that introduces the following: "Pietrosanti's ingenuity, nourished by love for the subject, is a critical genius. In this latter Pietrosanti, one of the places of the imaginary that has most served the iconography of Christian art, becomes the object of an excavation by way of essence. This excavation does not produce conceptual art; the gaze of the critic of the visible, who meets and re-invents things and spaces in the radiant light of his own inner vision, is the gaze of the pilgrim. It is the gaze turned towards the deep truths hidden on the surface of the reader of the Book of nature that "in the middle of the walk" of his life, through the "theological" intuition (in a broad sense) and the subtle interpretation of the crown icon of thorns of the Christ, it succeeds in raising the matter to a speculative latitude at the height of which the purely aesthetic vision finds its check. This goes without saying, before and beyond any possible actualization in the psychologistic and / or autobiographical sense of the evangelical pre-text, and of the travail in limine mortis of its protagonist. That in Pietrosanti, which never makes religious art, does not work as a model of dedication or abandonment fideistico, but rather, as a companion in the street, the reflected shadow of the homo viator that is in each of us, caught on the ideal boundary between existence and the question of meaning that dwells in it. Here, in some strange, obscure way, the raped matter that gives us these plates juxtaposed in a completely casual way - these fascinating slabs - costly stoned, hammered and cut with wisdom, and with patience, as an artisan - tells us that the thorns of Christ wound Christ as much as those who observe them, because, evidently, they are not oriented only on Christ, but also on us. A skinned and exemplary specimen of a fruitful form of the post-twentieth century Pathosformel, Pietrosanti's Via Crucis asks to be looked at in a participatory and intensive way, so as to break the closed triangle of aesthetic immanentism: the artist, his work, the spectators. In those who, like Pietrosanti, have sufficiently sharp senses to know how to listen to intellectual resonances, terrestrial space-time has secret passages, row of continuity and oscillating motions that connect the before and the after-the original and the-beyond-to-come-in a logic of relationship and genetic exchange between the physicality of matter and the spiritual breath that animates it, in force of which the work of art is not given (more, as in this case) as the product of an aesthetic resolution, but as the sign, or better, as the testimonial "remainder" of a process in progress. Like a dynamic rest, that is, a combination of ancient and future. Pietrosanti lives, suffers, observes and hears the moan of the living outside and inside of itself, and starts to dig. And the apparently crude art that is the fruit of his oscillating gesture between intellectual contemplation and plastic refoundation no longer knows what to do with the "figure", not in accordance with any kind of astrattitivist cutting mentalism,
transfiguration. In this sense, the scratches and the arabesques on paper that make up the unsettling polyptych that anyone who was concerned with reading in the consistency of a narrative order would think, alone, as the "fifteenth station" of his Way, reinforce the impression of being in front of a deliberate visual short circuit, acted by an artist who is now able to give visible body to works-non-works scarified by any possible retinal fascination. The specificity of Pietrosanti's art is to be made of transfigured matter, a matter-valve that is worth as an inspirational pick for the images of thought placed between the labile human pain and the seemingly impassive quasi-eternal natural. Because it is matter, for those who suffer life in its celestial and underground interweaving of roots,
The texts of Massimo Morasso that follow one another on the sidelines of the individual "stations" of the painful itinerary traced by Pietrosanti, arise from the attempt to imagine another via crucis, based on the belief of the Genoese poet that one can think of the sacrifice and the idea of resistance to time through the eyes of the heart.