A serene world of poetic light

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A serene world of poetic light

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As part of their efforts to present more works by contemporary Italian artists, the Italian Cultural Institute in Korea has organized a solo exhibition featuring Paolo Ristonchi, titled “A World of Poetic Light,” at Galerie PICI, in Cheoungdam-dong, southern Seoul. The exhibition will include 14 of the Italian artists’ most wel-regarded works.
A native of Florence, the artist graduated from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma in 1967. His works have been exhibited in numerous venues, including the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci and Galleria Il Milione.
Until the late 1980s, he had been known to concentrate on paintings and graphic works, but since then, he has focused on metacrolein, a crystalline substance formed by heating acrolein with potash. “This exhibition is a natural evolution of the work that I have done previously. My interest in emphasizing light and color, and mixing these two elements together to create a certain atmosphere, is more concentrated in these works,” said Mr. Ristonchi, who visited Seoul last week for this exhibition, which will run until Oct. 30.
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Mr. Ristonchi’s work also presents a link between the Italian art of the past and present. A more obvious reference to this is his work titled “Pontormo’s House,” in which a square block of metacrolein with a hole in the middle reflects faded hues of pink and mint green. Pontormo, a Florentine painter from the 16th century who is classified as influencing early Mannerism, is known for his unusual usage of color and light, where both elements penetrate his forms in such a way that, often, one cannot determine the exact location or time of the scenes he painted.
Another work from his series titled “Senza Titolo,” in which three identical-looking squares sit side by side, further showcases Mr. Ristonchi’s use of color. One side of one of the three squares is colored neon pin, but because the metacrolein material absorbs the color, when looked at from another angle, it fades into a greenish-pink. From another angle the color disappears. “I try to use color so that it seeps into the forms (the metacrolein blocks) and mixes with the light to create ‘a new kind of color’. The forms in this exhibition exist as an array of three-dimensional canvases which express the colors and the absorption of light,” said the artist.
“He represents a harmonious balance of the classic world of Italian art and a certain modern sensibility,” said Ha Jung-min, the director of the five-year-old gallery.


by Cho JAe-un

“A World of Poetic Light,” will feature at the Galerie PICI, in Cheongdam-dong, southern Seoul. The nearest subway is Cheongdam station, line No.7, exit 9. For more information, call (02) 547-9569 or visit www.galeriepici.com.
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