Francesco Parisi. Oils, pastels, engravings 2006-2009

curated by Giuseppe Appella

On display are the most recent developments in the pictorial activity of Francesco Parisi, who is also known for valuable and original evidence in the field of printmaking technique, where he excels at the international level. The exhibition, curated by Giuseppe Appella, features oils and pastels executed in the three-year period 2006-2009, in which the artist continues that cultured path of meditation and reinterpretation of late Romantic Symbolist art, especially from the Central European area, which has highlighted, from the very beginning, his gifts of authentic nonconformism. The series of paintings and pastels-many large, some in the form of diptychs or triptychs-betray the all-literary matrix of Parisi’s art, nourished by many in-depth readings. Whether he engraves or paints, whether he cultivates his passion for literature as an avid reader or by composing books by hand in precious private editions with print runs never exceeding ten copies, Parisi’s cultural interests focus on the themes of Dionysism and myth as a vehicle for accessing full self-knowledge, on a journey to the uncertain and obscure territories of the psyche. Each of the works on display represents a stage in this journey. As is evident in the openly declared symbolism of the nudes or in the more insinuating and subtle symbolism of certain arcane landscapes that Giuseppe Appella places at the center of the exhibition: formal syntheses or image cuts of real places transported by contemporaneity to a dimension outside of time. Campidoglio, Circus Maximus, Villa Torlonia and Augusteo, become, with Villa Borghese, Foro Italico, Villa Pamphili and the representations of the Grottarossa Valley, places of myth. Even in his pictorial production, Parisi uses absolute mastery of techniques to overcome the appearance of reality and bring to light those panic and ancestral elements of life that are at the center of his research. The incessant study of Symbolist art, with particular reference to the Italian and German Secessions, lead the artist to experiment with and recover, as in the case of woodcuts, techniques and methodologies that had largely fallen into disuse, as in the case of dry pastel, proposed in the traditional version on paper but also in a new and innovative version on canvas that allows for unusually large pastels.