OPR Gallery

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Viale Corsica 99, 20133 Milan

TUE-FRI 2:30-6 P.M.

Umberto Chiodi
Lucio Fontana (Collezione Ramo)

Umberto Chiodi answers questions from
Irina Zucca Alessandrelli, curator of Collezione Ramo

Give a definition of what drawing is for you.

Drawing is one of the most ancestral languages for expressing or transposing an idea or state of mind. It is an artistic practice by which to regulate, discipline, and structure a stream of conscious or unconscious thought.

By drawing you enter a state where you breathe differently, I notice this particularly with the use of the nib, which needs to be dipped cyclically, because of the short duration of the mark it produces. The instrument and the breath must in a sense tune to the same beat.  

In the concertation of gestures in a limited space, one can give meaning to time, in absolute presence.

What is your relationship with drawing? And with the history of Italian art of the last century?

Drawing is the discipline I love most among art practices.

I have the impression that the hand is a definite outlet channel for the imagination. 

Working with the sign and on the sign is like traveling meditating on the boundary of categories; it is an exercise in understanding balances, and thus in transformation. 

I am interested in the relationship that can be created between "pure" drawing and applied drawing, between the intrinsic language of the sign and the rhetoric of representation. 

Many artists of the'900 went beyond the goal of creating an image, to determine themselves in processuality, and some went to the extreme act of the complete disappearance of the work-object, out of all logic of reproducibility and market. I like the spirit of Dada contestation that runs through the entire 20th century.

I am fascinated by outsider artists who have made their feeling a belief.

Why did you choose this work from Collezione Ramo?

I selected this drawing by Fontana because of its apparent atypicality.

This is an advertising sketch for Olivetti typewriters, the design was not chosen by the company, and never exhibited. 

The typewriter, though an advertising project, remains hinted at in the background, as a tool, a medium for the expression of the imaginary. In fact, at the center of the scene is the vision, that of the writer, the poet: a pulsating, almost grotesque still life, and an angelic, buxom female figure, remembered, not present. I have the impression that Fontana has worked on a 'conceptual exaltation of the product, coming out of the ease of descriptivism.