Van Gogh. I colori della vita

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

Cetty Previtera
Colours of the mountains

It is well known how much Van Gogh loved the small chain of the Alpilles, which he called the Alpines. So much so that he told Theo about something that then never took place: his wish to devote an entire cycle of paintings to these small mountains. Although this did not happen, the Alpilles appear in many of his most beautiful paintings produced in the exact year he spent in Saint-Rémy: when he went out of the asylum to plant his easel in the countryside, among the cypresses and olives, and had the Alpilles right in front of him, often in the evening blue indicating distance. Mount Gaussier standing out clearly, with its angle of rock and grass like a hook. Or when he looked at them from his barred bedroom, often beyond the wheat field with the reaper in the middle.

I asked Cetty Previtera to paint the memory of these mountains so dear to Van Gogh in the way she knows. Like the swarming of numerous frayed lights she always introduces to her painting. She, a painter of the south, just as Vincent sought the colours of the south, that absolute and eternal light. She is painting mountains that are like the Alpilles and nevertheless seem to rise from an aquarium that is the Mediterranean and the elsewhere: waters in which the corals are low vineyards and the mother-of-pearl blossoming almonds. But always at the foot of those mountains.

Because in Cetty Previtera’s work the colour is a constant flow that then breaks up into eddies and resonates with silence. That descent like a flow of lava, lit up by lights and fluorescence, and although she then looks at the sacred mountain of her Sicilian land, which is at times encircled with the white of snow, she is also looking from afar at Van Gogh’s sacred mountain. And she holds it inside her, so that the painting is a natural thing. Like when from below, or rising slightly, one sees the seething red in the sky. Like when Van Gogh lost himself in the hour of sunset.

exhibition curated by
Marco Goldin

Padua, Centro San Gaetano
28 November 2020 – 15 January 2021