Van Gogh. I colori della vita

Padua, Centro San Gaetano
10 October 2020 - 11 April 2021

Attilio Forgioli
Flowers and embroidery

Clots of paint, smudge of butterfly wings, dust of the morning damp that opens up in space to become embroidery. Then the flowers Van Gogh sometimes painted, in vases or beside a wall. Those flowers he painted on a table, lit up in the evening hour. The subject of flowers was an appeal that from time to time knocked at the painter’s door, especially in the two years spent in Paris, when his education by the Impressionists, and more so their legacy, rubbed powerfully onto his canvases. The colour of flowers was one of the more certain ways to emerge from the dark depths of the Dutch years, and the reds, yellows and blues slowly lit up. All those colours that were to be clots of life and ganglions of atmosphere lit up, preceding as on the road to Damascus other apparitions that were soon to appear and be like rainbows in the air and seals put on the ground that moves and breathes.

I immediately thought of Attilio Forgioli when I decided I would also like Van Gogh’s love of floral still lifes to be represented. But then to say still life makes no sense, because in those flowers there is the flicker of life, of gold opening up. Forgioli has loved Van Gogh since his early youth and so knows very well what we are talking about. He knows the road very well. The pastels he is doing in these months on this subject are beautiful and will open the way to the paintings that will come and indeed are already starting to come. The material of which Forgioli’s pastels are made is one of an ancient beauty, on which time is deposited. It is the same material with which some of Van Gogh’s trees, wheat fields or starry skies were made; or baskets of flowers for the Sunday service in church. It is both a humble and sumptuous material, which cannot be created by anyone but can be shaped only by the hands of a real artist.

exhibition curated by
Marco Goldin

Padua, Centro San Gaetano
16 January – 26 February 2021