Opening May 21, 1991
Alfredo Romano has an outstanding and deep “material imagination”. Deep in the literal sense of the term, in that it comes from below, from underground. It would not be extraordinary to catch a glimpse of him sinking his open hands into the ground to draw from it his own impasto. An impasto that rising to the ceiling will make it explode.
“Opera al nero” (The Black Opera), 1985, iron, wood, tar, rope, 210 X 210 cm.
What could one ever project on to this black square? Nothing but the substantial image of my own space. In this black square there is nothing that prefigures or is prefigured. It is the lowest step, the mat that I tread each day before knocking at the door. Passages and “landscapes of black”.
“Pasto sordo” (Mute Meal), 1988-1989, iron, gesso, wax, aluminium, copper.
Apparently an example of good manners. A product of an enforced education, uneducative because of something missing, a wound. Not to be able to hear (but not from birth) determines another sense of space. The plates and bowls are fixed to the table. To reduce noise to silence… or once more, perhaps, the impasto of substances of meals that “have been” in the past.
For Alfredo Romano an imaginary impasto requires at least two elements or ingredients. In “Pasto sordo” we find a number of coupled ingredients (the ingredients of reality always come in couples).
These elements which are never only airy metaphors) are: hot and cold, noise and silence, but above all, presence and absence. Besides the table, tha work consists of a proliferation of innumerable (were it not for the delimiting surface) irregular squares of gesso – partially “constricted” inside the iron frames on the walls of the room. The accumulating and emptying (through the whiteness of the gesso and the “muteness” of the meal) are at the same time actions and forces in this work. Two actions that in the end are not a paradox, thanks perhaps to the secret telluric properties of the impasto.
Feritoie I, (Loop-hole I)
Alfredo Romano says: “In my work I have set out to make, from time to time, small break-throughs to preserve all of my history.” To say that the artist’s work is his biography (or mythical- biography)
is to state the obvious. However, it is unusual for an artist to consciously lend himself to a project that requires the progressive despoliation of his personal history: To look into these llop-holes makes one feel slightly “voyeur”. But there is no harm in emphasising what is the essantial element of art (and making art): to look and to be looked at.
Feritoie II, (Loop-hole II)
Suspended, two glass gratings face each other. In the centre of the space there is, in Alfredo Romano’s definition “an archive of materials fitted with felt inbetween iron shelves”. The glass gratings are the loop-holes. These are suspended in mid-air, as the wounded body of the work
(wounded by the gaze, perhaps, but also by the general idea of art as subtraction, dislocation, as a blow delivered or received from “the enemy”). An impasto that will really rise to the ceiling and make it explode.
by Cecilia Casorati