Electro Glide in Blue
Curated by Irene Sofia Comi
January 28th > March 3rd , 2021
A deep blue in front of us crosses the present time: it’s here and elsewhere. We can see harmonious shades of colours, deriving from a single matrix. Hermann Bergamelli’s works are accurate and surgical. At a first glance they seem to be careful to the aesthetic surface, yet something escapes us.
If we get nearer, chiaroscuro effect is pure painterly matter: it is still here but its power challenges the third dimension and the compound colour scheme, thus we will be drawn into it.
In front of the almost minimalist immensity of the artist’s fabric compositions, we catch a glimpse of an intense and meaningful blue, that is mysterious, yet virtuous.
Going beyond the surface, the artworks displayed in the exhibition Electro Glide in blue recall transparencies, shadows and unspoken actions, showing an essential truth. Works such as Verde verde nel blu blu and Blu di verde, or even Verde e blu nel blu, represent an access door to a different time, missed decoding of a hidden alphabet. Bergamelli’s blue is a spiritual blue, recurring as well in compositions like Rosso di verde, where it is not the ultramarine blue that overwhelms, but the intensity of the dyes that register a contrasting situation, which is about to explode. What distinguishes the colour chosen by the artist is the intrinsic intention of the process of creating the colour itself.
We stand in front of spiritual, meditative and abstract works, yet fatally linked to the material, tactile and optical expressiveness of the surface, composed thanks to a process that is both manual and mechanical. Timid is the sewing machine with which Bergamelli makes most of his works, but able to manifest itself in the gesture.
When creating the “Stratificazioni”, the artist sews a dense network of hidden thread, which joins the single juxtaposed fabric fettuccine, creating a sinuous and decomposed movement, rich in full and empty effects, exploring the limit between pictorial depth and the sculptural texture.
In the most recent series, entitled “Immersioni”, Bergamelli juxtaposes fabrics that generate space-time sinks, where the seams become thin and minimal horizon lines, zero degree in the definition of absolute space, as happens in Rothko’s paintings or in Sugimoto’s pictures.
The only exception to sewing occurs in the “Compressioni”, born from the crushing in a grip of sections of fabric, held together by an almost zen balance of opposing forces.
They are mosaics rippled by a moist, lively and organic saltiness, which seems to belong as much to a landscape of a distant planet as to the sensitive and human interiority hidden in the depths of the bowels, in a hand-to-hand combat between man and external action, between the ability to control and acceptance of a primordial impotence.
The act of sewing is definetely a fixed point for Bergamelli, and has accompanied him, though in different declinations, since the beginning of his career. Together with an inexhaustible reference to literature, it helps him to recognize the path of his own inner labyrinth, fueled by conflicting feelings, and by the struggle for an elusive independence that sinks into an inevitable and inexhaustible cyclic nature.
In evoking a mysterious and universal order, the chaos and the care of everyday life crystallize on the canvases, which through compositions and excerpts of fabrics rise hieratic, and stage the rhythm of an unknown time: a time that does not provide answers, but dig deep.
Bergamelli’s works represent an uncertain human condition, in a precarious syntactic balance, placed between chaotic rituality and linear order. An artistic practice that is poured into a hand to hand combat with the work in progress, which becomes proof and synthesis of an empirical and physiological process.
The repetitive action of machine sewing occurs again in the dyeing phase of upholstery fabrics, through the immersion of the pieces in colouring additives or pigments of natural origin, such as spices, flowers and plants, then fixed with the action of vinegar and salt.
The combination of these operations gives life to overwhelming works, the result of a daily and organic action that is formalized in three solutions, each with a different degree of depth, given by the colour, the sewing thread and the fiber of the fabric.
Thus the finished work is nothing more than the derivation of an active intention, dictated by overlapping times and dimensions, in a morbidly endless process.
Every single work seems to be dictated by strict rules, yet it never seems to end.
It communicates relentlessly with the matter which in turn, in an equal dialogue, is free to express its chaos within a temporary order, carefully researched by the artist.
“Stratificazioni”, “Compressioni”, “Immersioni” are three independent and distinct realities, but cyclically inexhaustible and interconnected: they represent the result of a coherent and compact research, always true to itself, which interprets the reality as an endless inner search.
Pass for cryptic emotions, Bergamelli’s works are windows overlooking the world and open to all possible domains.
In a continuous wandering, they guide us in search of a suspended horizon that never comes. Just like life that approaches and does not reveal itself, a tough mystery.
Irene Sofia Comi