DI-VISIONS di Gerardo de Simone

Massimo Turlinelli is an observer of the world. The spectacle of Nature is what most fascinates and intrigues him: an incessant source of wonder, mystery, knowledge. The central point of his artistic research lies in the combined process of perception and representation: a way of translating into images, into works of art, the impressions captured by the eye, remedied by the mind, relived intimately. The root of his language is in the painting of French post-impressionists and Italian symbolists: the vision is recomposed on the support through a long, methodical, studied application of pencil and pastel touches (whose selective color range is reduced to graphite and three fundamental colors), point-like signs that acquire recognizable concretion through their calculated aggregation, like a dust chaos that gradually becomes shape and color. Collecting the intuition of the Impressionists, who had made lines of pure color the basic lexical units of an unpublished, revolutionary expressive alphabet, Seurat and Signac deepened their research on visual perception with a scientific-positivistic imprint, strengthened by contemporary developments optics and organic chemistry (think of Chevreul's 'color circle'), creating pointillisme. Pointillism, often lengthened in brush strokes filamentous, evocative of waves of energy, it was adopted in Italy by the divisionists, such as Previati, Segantini, Pellizza da Volpedo, and by the futurists, then bewitched by Cubism on the way to Paris. Divisionism, which is the movement to which Turlinelli is intimately closest and of which he is a sort of follower, had two souls, often intertwined with each other (even in the same artist): one turned to nature, to its rich, varied , polychrome and multiform phenomenology, and to the symbol (hence the popular appellation of symbolists), to the transcendence of the visible towards another meaning, in line with the fervor of spiritualist currents between the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; the other aimed at reality, at the social, in the key of human solidarity and denunciation (the Fourth Estate of Pellizza is the best known manifesto). A stranger to this latter component, Turlinelli has remained indelibly shaped by the first: symbolist naturalism, heir to the 'religion of nature' of the romantics, which consequently elects the landscape as the main genre (painters such as the aforementioned Segantini, Longoni, Nomellini are among his tutelary deities). A great protagonist of nineteenth-century painting, the landscape had much less favorable fates in the following century, without however ever dying out or giving up trying new ways. Landscape, as a contemplation of nature, is, in essence, a question about the world, about its visible appearance (what we see and what we can try to know). Appearances real or deceptive, persistent or evanescent, realistic or fantastic: Turlinelli's visions include naturalistically identifiable views (flat or hilly scenarios, now gently undulating, now neatly 'combed' in rows) and metaphysical images (projected shadows, long and enigmatic, of dechirichiana memoria) or 'surreal' (trees with rising foliage, separated from the trunk, inspired by Magritte). With respect to these sources, fundamental both in artistic and philosophical terms, Turlinelli deepens the experimentation on the point of view, indeed on the points of view on the world: now lowering the horizon line to reduce the territory to a thin strip, leaving the prevailing field to the sky, now looking straight up, among the branches whose linear tangles draw abstract textures; now 'flying' and observing the flow of the landscape from above; now enhancing the chromatic range and resulting in results on the border between atmospheric suggestions (of sunrise or sunset) and visionary transfigurations. In front of the world, Turlinelli remains suspended between enchanted amazement and cognitive rationality (the latter is also captured in the frequent use of square formats and the golden section, of Renaissance-Enlightenment influence): a philosophical ambition interpreted lightly, which suggests Calvino, also for the inquiring curiosity of the visible (remember for example Palomar: the 1s generally correspond to a visual experience, which almost always has as its object forms of nature), and which presents significant assonances, and we believe not accidental, with Jean-Michel Folon and Tullio Pericoli, with whom Turlinelli shares, in addition to the love for the landscape (observed from above or in any case from unorthodox perspectives), the origins of the Marche.