Text by Ludovico Pratesi for the exhibition Crucifixions and Other Springtime Landscapes. Galleria Giacomo Guidi, Rome, 15th May −15th September 2012

A space that dreams itself.

Art is the engine that changes reality. [1]

In an important text published in 2003, Alfredo Pirri stresses the need to invest art with a moral responsibility, to aspire to an art which ‘on the one hand evaporates from things, and on the other falls back onto the world like a baptesimal rain’ [2]. This precise order takes on new strength in its current historical situation: the strength of art seen as shared environment, as a vector of sense, and as a carrier of different, other, points of view. Charged with this responsibility, Pirri has made an articulate and complex intervention, a parenthesis of reflection in the form of a poetic declaration, which has its genesis in the idea of wanting to connect two moments in the life of the work of art: the moment of invention and that of exhibition. By way of a distortion, and knocking down the barriers between private and public, Pirri has literally rebuilt his Via del Mandrione studio, adapting it to the architecture of the gallery. This is a space that dreams of itself: it is designed to both host Pirri’s own works and to periodically host the work of other artists, in a rhizomatic process which creates an agorà, a laboratory for vision fertilised by dialogue, a space inhabitable with a poetic force which is positive, dynamic.

The works I exhibit are shapes and materials which open up like a flower after hibernation. They are the result of a winter spent alone, in a studio in which nobody has set foot, or hand, or eye, or mind.[3]

Alfredo Pirri’s latest works return to paradigms developed previously, working on the conjugation of light, colours, space and material. He displays a conscious balance, achieved within the logic of a ‘luminous language’[4] whose vocabulary is made up of essential shapes, fragments of scattered objects reassembled to become icons of the everyday, archetypes of a lightness lost and then found again. A lightness akin to the Portuguese saudade, a feeling of creative nostalgia derivative of a modernism which has lost some of its ideological weight without, nonetheless, losing its ethical structure. The encounters between works maintain the intimacy of silent, secret dialogues, fleeting meetings which will last only for the duration of the exhibition, and in the space of these encounters open boxes turn into secular crosses, places where light finds material and christens it, revealing its fragile yet pulsing, joyful heart. These are light and gleeful pieces, which hint to relationships formed between poetic, literary and symbolic concepts; and they dwell within an harmonious, conscious space, a space which points toward a constructive attitude capable of conducing a minimalist sensibility towards sensuous, evocative horizons.

My work happens right there, in that confused moment that happens on the threshold, in the disorientation that makes it necessary to unite things in an elsewhere, a more interior elsewhere, one which won’t let itself be prey to the gaze.[5]

Ludovico Pratesi

[1] A.Pirri, On the Responsibility of Art, in Alfredo Pirri. Dove sbatte la luce. Mostre e Opere 2003-1986. Milan: Skira 2004. p. 25
[2] Ibid., p. 26.
[3] A.Pirri, Crucifixions and Other Springtime Landscapes, published for the exhibition by the same name at Galleria Giacomo Guidi, May to September 2012.
[4] A.Pirri, in Dove Sbatte la luce…, p.181.
[5] Ibid., p.194