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these dynamic forms; a fixity (only an apparent one, since it assumes a perpetual and necessary motion for the enjoyment of at least a small part of it) that is made possible by the deep certainty of the ubiquitous Cartesian axes and that is the only possible means allowed to man to know and make his own – even if only partially – if nothing else a moment, a particle of the infinite flow of time: in other words, of the universe44. So then, we are dealing with a lyricism that comes about in the dialect of the tensions “between the objects [...] that seem to rotate around a central optical axis in order to find compositional positions susceptible to continuous new arrangements”45 and the rational rigour of the Cartesian axes, the value of which – almost like one of Kant’s categories46 – was perhaps derived by Veronesi from his youthful reading of the Discours de la méthode, which I mentioned at the start.

Cf. E. Pontiggia, Veronesi: il senso dell’armonia, in “Terzoocchio”, XXIII, 5 (85), Bologna, December 1997, p. 33. 2 When Moholy-Nagy resigned from the Bauhaus, his place as director of the preliminary painting course was taken by Albers. 3 Two letters from Moholy-Nagy to Veronesi are reproduced in L. Caramel (editor), Veronesi. Le ragioni «astratte», Turin 1970, pp. 19-20. 4 Cf. F. Tedeschi, Notizie biografiche, in L. Caramel - P. Quaglino (editors), Luigi Veronesi. Mostra antologica (catalogue of the exhibition held in Milan 1989-1990), Milan 1989, p. 163. 5 Cf. S. Danesi, Una proposta di evoluzione del linguaggio scenico, in S. Danesi, Avanguardie a teatro tra le due guerre. Luigi Veronesi - scenografie (catalogue of the exhibition held in Milan in 1974), Milan 1974, p. 12. 6 Cf. E. Pontiggia, op. cit. 1997, p. 34. 7 L. Caramel (editor), Luigi Veronesi. Biografia, in “Temporale”, III, 10, Lugano 1986, p. 18; C. Franza, La ricerca astratta di Veronesi, in C. Franza (editor), Le stanze della geometria (catalogue of the exhibition held in 1989 in Palazzolo sull’Oglio), Cernusco sul Naviglio 1989, unnumbered. 8 Cf. L. Serravalli (editor), Luigi Veronesi (catalogue of the exhibition held in 1999 in Rovereto), Mori 1999, p. 3. 9 E. Pontiggia, Il vuoto e l’armonia. L’opera di Luigi Veronesi dal 1927 al 1945, in L. Caramel - C. Cerritelli (editors), Luigi Veronesi. Razionalismo lirico 1927-1997 (catalogue of the exhibition held in 1997-1998 in Cantù and in Finale Ligure), Milan 1997, p. 44. 10 Ibid. In order to gain an idea of Ghyka’s arguments, there follow some titles (fairly telling in themselves) of the chapters that make up his treatise: Du nombre à l’harmonie, La divine proportion, Les canons géométriques de l’architecture méditerranéenne, L’harmonie architecturale et l’orchestration des volumes, Du rythme à l’incantation, De l’incantation à l’amour. 11 S. Danesi, Veronesi: Tipografia e réclame, in GRAFICA grafica II 1, Rome 1976, p. 9. 12 Cf. G. Lupo, Sinisgalli e la cultura utopica degli anni Trenta, Milan 1996. 13 S. Danesi, Veronesi: Tipografia e réclame, op. cit. 1976, p. 9. 14 Ibid. pp. 9, 12. 15 Cf. M. Fagiolo dell’Arco, Sull’astrattismo o razionalismo in Italia negli anni 30, in “Quinta parete”, 4, Turin, July-December 1972, p. 21. 16 Ibid. p. 20. 17 Fontana’s particular position during the Il Milione years, instead, has been defined by Crispolti as “phenomenological inventiveness” (E. Crispolti, Posizione di Luigi Veronesi, in “Il Margutta”, V, 11-12, Rome, November 1972, p. 13). 1

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L. Caramel, Luigi Veronesi. Disegni e tempere 1946-1967 (catalogue of the exhibition held in 1968 in Como), Como 1968, unnumbered. 19 Cf. M. Fagiolo dell’Arco, Sull’astrattismo (o Razionalismo) in Italia negli anni ’30. Dedicato a Veronesi, in M. Fagiolo dell’Arco - G. Martano (editors), Exposition de Luigi Veronesi (catalogue of the exhibition held in 1970 in Saint-Paul-de-Vence), Turin 1970, p. 3. With regard to this, Elena Pontiggia has written “at the end of a clearly rational path, Veronesi arrived at, so to say, a secular Pythagorism where numbers were no longer mythical or divine but were and continued to be the law of the universe” (E. Pontiggia, Veronesi: il senso dell’armonia, op. cit. 1997, p. 34). But then it was Veronesi himself who, in some of his writings, validated this interpretative idea: cf. L. Veronesi, Appunti sulla sezione aurea, Milan 1985, and L. Veronesi, Arte e scienza: le proporzioni (text of a conference held on 6 February 1987 at Macerata University for the opening of the academic year), in L. Veronesi, Le conferenze di Macerata, Modena 1993, pp. 31-45. 20 N. Ponente (editor), Luigi Veronesi. Arte come metodo 1934-1976, in “R2”, Rome, 26 January 1976, p. 3. 21 Cf. G. Ferrari, Appunti per un percorso di Veronesi, in Luigi Veronesi (catalogue of the exhibition held in 1975 in Parma), Parma 1975, p. 77. 22 Cf. L. Rognoni, La «sonorizzazione visiva» di Luigi Veronesi, in L. Veronesi, Proposta per una ricerca su “Suono e colore”, Studio Marconi Laboratorio/7, Milan, 2 March 1972, p. 3. 23 Cf. E. Pontiggia, Veronesi: il senso dell’armonia, op. cit. 1997, p. 34. 24 I am not in agreement with what is undoubtedly an acute critical analysis by Maurizio Fagiolo dell’Arco who held that “the painting by Veronesi does not represent anything: it represents itself insofar as it is a language” (M. Fagiolo dell’Arco, Sull’astrattismo (o Razionalismo) in Italia negli anni ’30. Dedicato a Veronesi, op. cit. 1970, p. 5). 25 Cf. E. Pontiggia, Veronesi: il senso dell’armonia, op. cit. 1997, p. 34. 26 Ibid. 27 Cf. E. Crispolti, op. cit. 1972, p. 13. 28 Cf. P. Quaglino, Luigi Veronesi (catalogue of the exhibition held in 1983 in Ravenna), Ravenna 1983, pp. 11-17. 29 Cf. E. Crispolti, op. cit. 1972, p. 14. 30 Caramel has warned about the temptation to artificially separate the various technical and expressive areas within which Veronesi operated, and observed that “we are explicitly invited [...] not to fall into unjustified sectarianism [...] by the artist himself in his continual attention to linguistic experiences beyond the artificial confines of ‘genres’, in a far more complex 18

dimension than that allowed by a limited attention to grammar” (L. Caramel [editor], Aspetti del primo astrattismo italiano 19301940 [catalogue of the exhibition held in 1969 in Monza], Monza 1969, pp. 15-16). 31 Ibid. p. 16. 32 E. Crispolti, op. cit. 1972, p. 14. 33 Cf. N. Ponente, op. cit. 1976, pp. 3-4. 34 Cf. E. Crispolti, op. cit. 1972, p. 15. 35 Ibid. 36 G. Marchiori, Veronesi o della coerenza, in G. Marchiori (editor), Luigi Veronesi (catalogue of the exhibition held in 1954 in Milan), Milan 1954, unnumbered. 37 G. Viazzi, Il costruttivismo di Luigi Veronesi, in G. Viazzi (editor), Luigi Veronesi, Rome 1980, p. 11. 38 Ibid. pp. 13-14. 39 Cf. A. Di Brino, Mediazione critica del visibile. Luigi Veronesi: fotografia, grafica e cinema, in P. Bolpagni - A. Di Brino - Ch. Savettieri (editors), Ritmi visivi. Luigi Veronesi nell’astrattismo europeo (catalogue of the exhibition held in 2011-2012 in Lucca), Lucca 2011, pp. 33-37. 40 P. Fossati, Veronesi fotografo, in L. Veronesi, Fotogrammi e fotografie 1927-80, Turin 1983, p. 73. 41 G. Scimè, Forme come concetti, in I grandi fotografi. Luigi Veronesi, Milan 1983, p. 6. 42 “He excogitated the infinite space [...] that he was soon to pinpoint in the form of ‘variations’: first in painting (1936), and then in xylography (1937), in series of compositions that varied a single theme in a mediated game with the same elements. Veronesi was to exhibit, in Paris in 1939, a series of painted variations devised along the lines of musical variations; shortly after he was to deepen his interest in space-time through

cinematographic techniques [...]” (G. Veronesi [editor], Luigi Veronesi. Silografie e litografie [catalogue of the exhibition held in 1960 in Milan], Milan 1960, unnumbered). 43 This had been intuited by Fagiolo dell’Arco who wrote that “Veronesi’s ‘sign’, the leitmotif of his paintings, is the parabola: the only geometrical form that opens and closes and that gives a sense of dynamism, because it is the one most full of ‘suspense’” (M. Fagiolo dell’Arco, Sull’astrattismo (o Razionalismo) in Italia negli anni ’30. Dedicato a Veronesi, op. cit. 1970, p. 5). 44 Cf. E. Crispolti, op. cit. 1972, p. 15. The fundamental value – a conceptual as well as formal one – of the Cartesian axes in the work of Veronesi was also pinpointed by G. Ballo (cf. G. Ballo, Luigi Veronesi [catalogue of the exhibition held in 1983 in Milan], Milan 1983). 45 P. Fossati, Qualche ipotesi sul lavoro di Veronesi, op. cit., 1968, p. 7. 46 I think that this is not far from the point, because the Kantian categories do not map out in an Aristotelian manner reality’s modes of being but, rather, our ways of knowing it: in other words, they are a priori functions of the intellect that determine the transcendental conditions of experience. Veronesi seems to entrust to Cartesian axes the task of “boxing in”, of blocking for a moment in a rational vision the swirling flow of a universe that is otherwise unknowable, so that they become the conditions themselves of perception of reality. What distinguishes them from Kantian categories, the function of which they basically share, is the fact that they are not innate or a priori in the mind of man, but are the rational outcome of a particularly elaborate and knowing way of thinking.

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Profile for 10 A.M. Art Gallery

Luigi Veronesi. Luce, forma, costruzione. Le sperimentazioni artistiche negli anni '30 e '40.  

10 A.M. Art, Milano - Exhibition catalogue - 14/01 - 4/03/2017

Luigi Veronesi. Luce, forma, costruzione. Le sperimentazioni artistiche negli anni '30 e '40.  

10 A.M. Art, Milano - Exhibition catalogue - 14/01 - 4/03/2017

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