Between the mesh of the material

by Pierre Restany

A mystery resides permanently in the field of art: the transformation of matter into poetic energy. This is what happens in the work of Mario Martinelli, whose art is a kind of alchemical process in which the tension towards the form transfigures the material, allowing the work to reveal a new meaning. Martinelli began unweaving the canvas to which he had normally applied paint at the end of the 1960s, and reconstructed it through close contact with its tangled fibres in a web of Dionysian beat and Appollonian look. [...]

The thread and the shadow

Maurizio Vitta

At the beginning it was woolen, and created polychromatic yarn weavings, with warm changing figurations. Then the artist used iron wire, interlaced in regular, netlike geometries.

Thread represents traces, trails, prints, and is thus a pale sign of a course to follow, a reasoning we have to shape. Just like lines, threads have no thickness nor depth, but only the dimension of length. Thread is a one-dimensional sign that points out orientation, an axis, but does not point towards a direction.

Martinelli has built his shadow poetics on the theme of thread [...]

The transparency of the shadow

Paolo Ruffilli
Lucian of Samosato, the second-century Greek writer and sophist, often wrote in his philosophical and literacy works on the subject of 'shadows' and their complex and ambiguous quality which belongs both to the world around us and to the world beyond. His laughter at the vanities of the world continuously resounds in his Dialogues, short episodes set in the sky in the depths of the ocean or the after-life, where mythological and religious characters are astutely depicted in human terms. In particular, his favourite character, the cynical philosopher, Menippus, tells us that "after we die, the shadows are the accusers, witnesses and proof of what we have done in life", and that "they inspire complete faith, because they are always with us and never abandon the bodies". [...]

About the supremacy of arabesque

Enrico Baj

When a painter paints, they do it on a canvas. Thus, painting relates to the textile world where it encapsulates colours, shapes and imaginative figures.

Nowadays a painter would stick together, or assemble substances and colours in what is known as “collage”. I have myself glued together plenty of ribbons, laces, braids, strips, crochets, ropes, twines, hinges, tripes and any other sort of artistic weaving and embroidering.