Van Gogh. I colori della vita

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

Laura Barbarini
Diary of lights

I like the idea of a diary in painting. And most of all with the humblest medium on paper. A daily notebook. A notebook which accompanies you landscape after landscape, light after light, night after night, leaf after leaf, water after water. That which men and women did a long time ago, to support the mystery of living, so that the gaze could accompany the mystery. It moves thinking about one who has walked and looked. Who has walked and at a certain point has stopped. He is seated on the edge of a precipice looking at the valley below, with his legs dangling in thin air. He is seated on the edge of a forest or the shore of the sea. He has taken a notebook out of a small bag, or some sheets of paper, and then begun drawing or putting pigments of powder or water on that notebook, on those sheets.

I asked Laura Barbarini to keep a diary on Van Gogh’s lights. As if she could walk with him, accompany him before a wheat field, into the depths of a forest and together observe the web of signs on the leaves, the root that comes out of the ground. No copying, but rather sniffing the smell of the air, doing it with paints. Ideas, inflorescences of the atmosphere, blooms of mould or dew. This is what Laura Barbarini is doing when she scans the pages of her diary each day. Belonging to the world and disappearing, making presence and absence, the breath of the wind and the calm, equally evident.

For some time she has moved in this perfumed cascade of colours, in this streaking of skies and rusts, of flotations that are the impression of the sun and the night on paper. An appointment marked in Laura Barbarini’s book of hours, this diary kept almost in the name of and on behalf of Vincent van Gogh. Letting him speak after so many years, as if instead of the canvas he should, today, take out a small notebook and, after looking at it, after having lived, draw in colour.

exhibition curated by
Marco Goldin

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