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Enrico delle Torre
“Percorsi” opere 97-07
Lorenzelli Arte, Milano (IT)

On the far back end of a typical Milanese courtyard, off the bustling Corso Buenos Aires, lies Lorenzelli Arte, a contemporary art gallery who has its focus on both promoting great international masters as well as the works of artists that have been forgotten by art critics and the media alike. The courtyard outside may be cheery and bright, but once inside, the viewer immediately realizes that ARTE is serious business. The interiors are intensely minimalistic, with white walls, light grey maisonite tiles, lots of space and an ample amount of skylight coming from the open glass atrium above. Three white columns can be found in the room with the atrium, There is even spacing between each painting hung on the wall; the rooms are divided by a pair of steps and a half-wall, thereby providing easy flow throughout the gallery as a whole.

The current exhibition is a 10 years retrospective by Italian contemporary artist Enrico della Torre (1931 – ). At first glance, his work seems to be dull and too restricted. Sure, there were abstract compositions, reminiscent of modern artists such as Mondrian and Ben Nicholson yet there was something about it that lacked the ability to be free. The colors were dull, for the most part. Every line and shape was too symmetrical, too perfect and gave me the impression that the artist wanted to so desperately to color outside the lines, but had a hard time committing such a crime. But why? He obviously lacked the in-your-face kind of creativity and I wanted to race through the exhibition, make some mental notes and leave.

It wasn’t until I saw a few works that used diagonal and wavy lines, shapes of all sizes and colors and paintings with borders that I began to understand where della Torre was coming from. He seemed to be working with what is conventional (ie. geometric shapes, primary colors, symmetry) and adding his own twist to it. This isn’t exactly what I’d like to call a revolutionary breakthrough, but it was getting somewhere. There were also a few pieces towards the end of the exhibit that I like to describe as, “Trying to be representational, but not really”. These were abstract pictures that included shapes that could symbolize ladders, stars and moons – objects that were in the process of morphing into what they ought to be. Interesting!

According to della Torre’s artist statement, it seems that with every show, he tries to explore a dimension of ambiguity and uncertainty. He transforms every possible definition into a doubt, every construction into a fragment and in a moment of temporary aggression (at either him or his work) a continuing instability is developed inside oneself; where it can flow and prevail one’s well-being on every level. Basically, the art is there to make you think deeper and question why things are the way they are, and how they can be different.

Italian art critic Francesco Tedeschi probably sums up the motive behind della Torre’s work the best by concluding his artist with the following: [paraphrase/translation] “This day in age, we are living on an absolute, where della Torre’s show, in all its clarity, remains far from every logical abstract of rationality or of spiritual metaphysicality.”


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