Reviews » Bruno Rosada

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The first impression given by Françoise Calcagno’s work is that of force. And it is immediately followed by a profound contradiction: there is the feeling the primitive in her works, which perhaps come from the fact that the forms being composed contain something rocky, natural, but also geological. Mineral, then, but a mineral that seems to come from a remote era, primitive and primordial.

In reality all minerals are thus, but a piece of coal, an iron bar, or a stone does not make us feel this sense of their ancient origins: while the forms depicted in Françoise Calcagno’s works do. And this impression of strength, which intimidates, it is not, however, one of brute force but of something that, rhetorically, would be called might. Not power but might, which indicates also power, arrogance, prepotence, and hauteur. Not herself, Françoise, the sweet girl, but her works. It is a force that is unleashed from the inside, in the play of sombre colours with fervid glow, and it humbles you, it pushes you to the limit. The tones are suggestive, the forms rise above us, we feel immersed in them, chained, sodden with earth and time, as if within a black hole filled with concentrated, compressed energy, oppressed by something that resists the transformation into energy.

It is something inanimate but not inert, something that sits inside us living as a parasite on our psyches and our emotions. And yet, at the same time, this reality appears extremely civil and lived, the product of culture, not something that has any vital dimension in itself, but it is evident that those who are inspired by it and contemplate it, live it as something with which one has to come to terms, a bitter reality that is seen with attentive circumspection by someone who knows love. And that force changes character, and takes on the appearance of a force that I would call Michelangelo-esque. It is art. These forms, these colours are not informal in themselves, but continually change shape before our eyes with motions that we guess are real but slow, imperceptible movements, and we can say that they come about before our eyes only because we know that these movements are real, that they are really happening.

Bruno Rosada