Ninety years of “creative madness”

During the nineteen forties I started travelling the challenging and beautiful road of art. Through my personal experience and the experience of masters and colleagues from all over the world I have been researching the different languages originating in artisitic expression, from figurative art in the nineteen forties, informal art in the fifties, Pop Art in the sixties as well as Opt Art experiments and the image splitting techniques of the seventies. I also researched the geometric forms of the nineteen eighties and the rediscovery of references to classical art which surfaced in the nineties and in the twenty first century.

Along the way I have collected, experienced and tried a variety of techniques and materials: collages, oil and acrylics, colored sand, ready-made objects, paper, wood, steel, and finally cold light. From my point of view, these were all suitable elements and when juxtaposed, they enriched my artistic expression.

To meet my creative needs I dedicated myself to sculpture, to conceptual installations and to writing artist books. Critics have defined me as “ a creative nomad”, acknowledging the response to my inner impulses.

Over recent decades I have become more in terested - almost obsessed - by the geometry of the square. Following its debut in the seventies, and the statement in my “Tribute to Albert Einstein”, it has evolved into geometrical envelopes at times illuminated with cold light.

In 1984 I accepted the invitation of Giorgio Di Genova and Giovanni Carandente to present my work in a personal exhibition at the 41st Venice Biennale. Afterwards I presented my first works based on citations of classical art, with specific reference to Renaissance and Baroque art which I linked to geometries, through the “envelopes”. My goal was to unfold formal perfection and to deploy it towards wider imaginary spaces.

I have carefully analyzed the extraordinary statues of Bernini’s Fontana dei Fiumi in Piazza Navona, and in 1986 my most important pieces were exhibited in Rome, at the “Navona Square" exhibition, presented by Mario Novi at the gallery La Medusa.

The following year I was inspired by Michelangelo’s figures in the newly restored Sistine Chapel; my geometric interpolations and extrapolations were shown at the exhibition "Dalla Cappella Sistina" presented by Italo Mussa in Viterbo (Galleria Miralli) and later in Rome (Galleria Cà d'Oro). Subsequently in 1987 both exhibitions were combined into a single exhibition at the Palazzo dei Diamanti di Ferrara nel 1987.

In the year 2000, while fully inmersed in my research and perhaps swept by the special climate of the events of the Jubileum, I was inspired by the baroque angels of Ponte Sant'Angelo in Rome, commissioned to Bernini in 1667 by Pope Clemente IX. Coming face to face with classical art once again, I inserted geometrical and light elements to underline its formal perfection.

I strongly believe that the study of masterpieces of the past which lies at the basis of any artistic research, including the most modern fields, without fear of reworking the experiences of other artists.  Picasso wrote: "A mediocre artist imitiates while a genius copies”. I would also add: "Great artists invent”. But invention has to be the born of past experiences.

The pieces I have created over the years constitute an assembly of techniques and technologies:  acrylic, enamel, collage, a variety of materials and cold light are projected as luminous and subtle transparencies meant to open up new horizons for expression, part of the visual projection which renders a piece sacred, thus sublimating the “creative madness”of the artist.

At ninety I continue to study, to research, to flesh out my ideas. I go after the reassuring coherence of numbers, the aesthetic mystery of Phidias’ Golden Mean, the development of modern graphic techniques, the research of a universal DNA, the great history of monotheistic religions, and much more.

This is true creative madness...

mario padovan
December 2016

(Translation Angela Zawadzki)

Venetian Landscape, 1957.

Le tableau retrouvé, 1963.

Surface 0043, 1969-70.

Red 00372, 1979.

E = mc2 - Tribute to Albert Einstein, 1979.

Study for Navona Square - Rivers' Fountain - The Nile, 1987.

Navona Square 00897, 1987.