Marcello Mariani. Forms from the earthquake

academy of fine arts - rome

September 18/29, 2018 (h.10.00/18.00 - mon/fri)

Marcello Mariani (L’Aquila, Italy, 1938-2017), abstract artist of international standing, has become a symbol of the wounded but indomitable soul of L'Aquila after the devastating earthquake of 2009; a symbol of art that does not give up in the face of the horror, but continues to generate beauty, mending fractures and suturing wounds.

After losing his studio and home in the disastrous earthquake, Mariani could be seen walking in silence on the outskirts of the disfigured city, along deserted streets of evacuated neighborhoods. Suddenly, he bent down to collect dust and fragments of cement, pieces of broken plaster, frames saved from the disaster. He used them to create new and beautiful abstract works in which there is, even physically, all that apocalypse.

Above all in those paintings, made in 2009 and now exhibited at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome, is a sense of rebirth and hope, expressed also in light, airy, Mediterranean colors. In some ways, the reconstruction of the city began precisely from here, from these works in which the artist puts together pieces of what was destroyed to give it a sense and perspective towards the future. One can clearly see it, among the works on display, in a work unique in its becoming and declared a "manifesto" of the hope that L'Aquila, though wounded, fragile and torn, may soon resume its flight. This is also linked to the artist's constant reflection on the relationship between chaotic fragmentation and aspiration to totality.

Gabriele Simongini