Toni Toniato

The silence of abstraction

Luciana Cicogna’s recent works unmistakably demonstrate, not only the artist’s ample expressive maturity but, at the same time, a line of linguistic research of exemplary coherence, capable of evolving in the direction of propositions that conjugate the specificness of the language of the great Veneta pictorial tradition and totally modern sensibility for a notion of abstraction - interpreted by her, however, as a deep-felt reflection on the natural world and her own inner life.

It is precisely this need that leads the artist to formulate a relatively lyric investigation which is in its own way quite singular, because freed of any geometric assumptions as well as any merely formalistic considerations. In other words, Luciana Cicogna’s is a declension of her own concept of abstraction which she identifies with the material itself of the pictorial process, founded essentially on chromatic etymons of resolutive visual significance.
A state of stupefaction cloaks the metaphoric development of the images, the figures of the mind and of perception, cadenced within sequential prospects following a spatial progression of imminence as well as temporal intensity. Emerging from the various chromatic panels - tuned in perfect tonal registers -are signal tangles, sinuous forms that evoke a world of precious analogies through magnetic delicacy and subtle inventiveness, and structural correspondences between elements drawn from phenomenal and spiritual reality.In substance, Luciana Cicogna’s painting tends to depict the silence of abstraction on those luminous, rigorously separated surfaces, saving it from the immobility of the various syntaxes of constructive and rationalistic authority, opening it to the dynamism of a contemplation turned to multi-universes of the cosmologic imagination.

Her “microcosms” in point of fact – the parallel is a painting on the motif of the Milky Way - are the writing of the topologies of silence, places of a meditative action on the essence of perceiving, of listening to the recondite profoundness of living things, of nature, and the world. The enucleation of these not always immediately decipherable visual notions accompanies us, moreover, to a morphology of their reception in the most pregnant significance of the interior senses, where they arrive – by alchemies, fortunately, in her, unforgotten – as senses and emotions perhaps not otherwise perceptible. What grace is at work in that lyric sorcery! It is fruit of acute sensibility, of unifying interpenetration of the imagination with fractal movements that catalyse the transformative flow of the living material in relative evolutions and declining phases. Nevertheless, the artist does not aim to deconstruct or fragment the forms, but uses them as pretexts, as urgings deriving from lucidly listening - translating them into a different existence, in the incommensurable dimensions of pictorial charm, in ideational consonance with the same spiritual temperatures as Klee and those phantasmagoric ones of Mirò.

Luciana Cicogna has oriented herself in this direction right from her academic studies with Santomaso, from whom she has inherited a special notion of the spatiality of the image, resolved by her, though, with greater vividness, also in the evocative designs of a more implicitly natural and environmental origin. The things, the hours, the seasons pass by in the iridescent climates of her colouristic transparencies, in the intensely suggestive tracings and streaks, in the skilful efflorescence of formal germinative nucleuses that unravel in light wefts of musical flowering.

Also the dimensionlessness of the painted or divided up spaces help to dematerialize the rhythms of those harmonious textures, accentuating the state of suspension that characterizes the indefiniteness of the “visions”, the moment they are transcribed on the way to their appearing first to the unitary gaze of the conscience, as well as to that discontinuous of the perception, in this way linking together the visible order and the invisible, reconnecting it to the sphere of a mirroring inner life. Her works therefore give shape to time spaces that belong to the meditative silence of abstraction, to movement of an imaginal notion that is reflected with acute intensity through inflexible exactitude and inexhaustible enthusiasm. A similar state of listening requires, in fact, the measure of that “drawn out patience” that Goethe attributes to every true artistic experience and that Luciana Cicogna, in her present pictorial recognition, shows she can transmit with a force and tension that is as expressive as it is mysterious and persuasive. Pervaded with magic atmosphere is the poetic sentiment that guides the artist to decant, square after square, the presence - never completely revealed but simply called to mind - of an epiphany of light on the horizon of a vision that transcends physical appearances, the limits of perception itself.

So those squares, those windows on the world and on nature express something that goes beyond the thresholds of seeing and feeling, becoming part of the tension between the conceivable and the inconceivable, essence of a place of interior meditation, to be placed in the work as the pressing need of an interminable research, at the end of which the appearance - in the form of these visual metaphors - identifies itself, to paraphrase Heidegger, with the original language of its truth – that is, poetically.

January 2005

translated by Patrick Knipe
trnslated by Patrick Knipe Trsnslated by Patrick Knipe