A review of the unique artistic production of Gabriele Maquignaz. ART AND BULLETS. With a 28-caliber rifle, he shoots at the canvases on which he places containers of color.
In the introductory text to the catalog "Big Bang," edited for the solo exhibition of Gabriele Maquignaz (Aosta, 1972) at the Lattuada Gallery in Milan, Guido Folco writes that the artist seeks to subvert the expressive order of our time, with the courage and recklessness, admittedly measured, of the visionary. His research, starting in the last years of the last century, "stands between spirituality and overcoming matter" that underlies a sensitivity to the creative act that goes beyond the ar tistic dimension. After all, the place that Gabriele has elect or as his refuge and abode (in the silence of the valleys at the foot of the C ervino) pushes toward a profound reflection on what it means to exist. The question of creation has always fascinated human beings, both for its aesthetic c onnotations and, above all, for the more complex ones about the meaning of life. The relationship with the divine in the creative act-in our case a work of art-persists as strongly in the author who makes it as in the object produced, investing them with an equal mixture of attraction and terribleness. Welcomed by the
peace of his mountain, Gabriele Maquignaz reflects on the impossibility of man to replace God. Here, then, is the gesture exploded through the 28-caliber rifle,controlled with a steady, regulated hand as the emblem of an innovative artistic technique. It places the canvas at a proper distance,with a proper tilt and the color in containers adhering to the surface,waiting to be hit by the bullet and release their power. As Philippe Daverio puts it, an "objectively cruel gesturality (that) redeems itself in a mystical afflatus." Equally similarly, Flavio Lattuada notes that "the shot, from a violent, harmful, lethal act, becomes with Maquignaz the creative gesture par excellence, and the perforated, wounded canvas crammed with color is transformed into a passage to grasp the eternity of the universe." But here the man stops. Control is limited to intentions while chance then does the rest. Hence come to life the glimpses
uncontrolled with a spatialist flavor, from here come his unpredictable superimpositions of tonality: Maquignaz thus jousts halfway between metaphysical acceleration and informal empathy, between a renewed spatial research of a historicist kind and the expressive (in)thigh of the Gutai group, as well as of that action painting that transcends the idea of control to act in complete gestural autonomy (although we know that this was not quite so). So, the moment of creation understood in the deepest conceptual sense. Aesthetics will only be an obvious and inevitable consequence, much will be the result of manic design structuring. Everything else is art.