New paintings by Franca Marini

see gallery

Rolando Castellón
exhibition brochure, Yerba Buena Gardens Cultural Center, San Francisco, 1991

The content of Marini's paintings discloses a drama of conscious and unconscious thought set in geometric space. A palpable light meanders within the nebulous, austere, color-saturated space, creating a delicate balance between the real and the imagined. The artist infuses this elusive atmosphere with subliminal elements that are more definite than space, including words, sentences, or symbols such as arrows and boats, both of which signify direction, forward movement, energy. 

Marini's painting process involves a working and reworking; the image is built and rebuilt, changed, destroyed, finally resurrected to satisfy both the moment and a timeless need. In a gesture towards modernity, the artist adds to the edges of the square or rectangular canvas, wooden, lead, or painted fragments which contrast the rigid format of the canvas. These elements may be abstract, may contain details from old masters' paintings, or may be a continuation of the central theme. Their ambiguous presence provides outside energy to the composition and lends geometric meaning to proportions and to tangible space.

In the end, the works evoke a nostalgic calm, a distant silence left in the aftermath of chaos.