Claudio Cerritelli 2004, Art Critic, Milan, Italy.
OLGA DANELONE – SE DICI (¹)
From Olga Danelone’s painting, never-ending paths*****
* About the concept of play, mental and visual, concrete and abstract, Olga Danelone has put
figures and symbols that move on the painting’s surface as if they were elements ready to leave it,
towards other adventures, without waking the image be in a state or crisis, lose its identity, feel lost.
We have the impression that the game of painting, to which the artist subjects all the energies and
creative ability, is a system of possibilities that can welcome different solutions, equally connected
to the dimension of both the thought and the action: this plot consists of contacts and overlaps
where the artistic experience keeps in constant touch with the pureness of ideas, and, in the
meantime, the blending of shapes and materials.
The match that O.D. is playing – indomitable passion – indicates the risks implied in every choice,
invisible borders that are to be turned into clear vision, chess-boards of movements which become
suspended sites of the memory, tables where we can put signs as symptoms of further space
It never repeats itself, even if the formal schemes consolidate their inner rules, thus building the
belief that the imaginative space is the whole of the painted surfaces, together with the pauses
between a picture and the other, and the breaks that must be dedicated to theoretical reflections
about the “action”.
Actually, every spatial structure seems to repeat without modifying the sense of conquest of the
shapes, from a modality of presence to the other, from the abstract to the figurative, from the
imperceptible to the concrete. These swinging generate the adventures of the sight and the
possible horizons of the thought which runs and goes. Where? Towards never-ending paths.
* What makes you feel involved – in O.D.’s art – is the time inside the building of the game, the
passages that grow up one over the other, the phases that slow down or quicken the assimilation
of the colour, the differences of the light, the sensitivity of the painting as a whole. In order to reach
this synthesis a great amount of imaginative concentration is needed; and the work of the young
artist has been, along the continuous verifications of these years, an attempt to refuse the
unnecessary, the ornament and the seduction as an end in itself, considered as weak traits of
imagination, in order to focus on minimal nourishments of the colour, radical changes which are
able to suggest a maximum of spatial and temporal extension.
The surface of the work, crossed by imperceptible flows of colour-light, is often populated by little
stylized icons which remind animal-shaped symbolic figures, displaced according to a mental order
followed by the artist beyond any established rule.
It is a play of the unconsciousness, which is controlled by reason, perhaps in order to keep at a
distance the restless flowing of thoughts that crowd the mind: positive and negative thoughts,
instincts of life and death, traces of experiences and intuitions that are still to be lived, what is
known and what is not suspected to be known yet. This is the shiver of creation, the desire of
supporting it at every moment, even without knowing where it is going!
* While looking at what O.D. has painted from the year 2000 to the year 2004 we feel the presence
of fantastic elements in the frame of creative choices that are linked to the idea of measure,
number, weight. The chess-boards of the year 2000 are never strictly geometrical but hint at a
space where geometry float in the light of the vacuum. The compartments are luminous shadows
suspended in front of the sight; sometime they welcome a graphic circle but they are most of times
free to show the pureness of the pigment. The determination of abstract shapes generates the
possibility of daydreaming inside the basic structures of the space, inside some vacuums which
become full and vice versa. The sensitivity of the painting suggests stories and adventures, that the
reader has to imagine, by allowing the unexpressed part to emerge: the part that is hidden in the
pleats of the speech, under its visible peel.
The paintings of the year 2003 work in the same allusive way: surfaces that are built like cobwebs
of lines that overlap several perspective indications, thin mind traps, subtle cages of the thought in
which we can find strange entities that swing between human and animal nature.
In this research period, O. D. consolidates a web made of luminous vertical vibrations,
stratifications of lines built up on the chiaroscuro contrast, with several chromatic dominants which
absorb any other presence. It is like plunging the sight into a depth of lights: passages of lights
floating shapes, illusions of depth on the surface, strange beings similar to insects, seahorses,
details of an imaginative flora and fauna.
* These descriptions are not important, on the other hand, it is always difficult to describe painting,
but works are useful to get closer to the image climate the O.D. represents in the relationship with
the colour, that is the need to trust in the chromatic emotion which is seen as the lyric feeling of the
space: it goes beyond the technical knowledge and the severity of the execution.
It would not be possible to give a corporeal sense to the evanescence of light thanks to the project
in itself; for this reason the research of a changing rhythm of the strokes, gives the possibility to
see the work as an experiment of unknown qualities of the colour, temporary means through which
we can reach unpredictable goals, unforeseeable chromatic effects.
O. D. works in this way, even when she has got philosophical aims, that become theoretical paths
or intense inner reflections which do not take into account the time that is necessary to complete
the works. In these cases we must not forget the pleasure of painting, the need to imagine and
“making” it, the necessity to “live” it through the risk and the wait, a universe where the differences
create a changeable system of shapes that upset the perceptive habits of the reader. And the
reader has to reinforce his ability of analysing the image as an instruments to light the obscure
nature of things.
* In the notes of the artist we can catch the necessity to perceive the art like a “ visual movement
which includes all the senses” or, as it is indicated thanks to joined allusions, these imperative
orders emerge: “the senses of the art, to feel the reality, to feel what we have to= creation”.
O.D. looks at the reality on this thread, through minimal passages, that permit to catch the secret
parts which hide behind the evident space and time: these entities stay between the past and the
future through the construction of the present. The artist catches this dimension by using colours
and signs that are difficult to identify in a clear vision; this vision emerges thanks to inner
evocations, ambitions of the being, indistinguishable traces of the visible that are strictly connected
to the experience of life.
On the order hand, we cannot neglect the concept of art as a material transformation: the hands of
the artist project and realize it; they think and dream, they do not betray their ideas but transform
them without pretences.
The body and the mind of the artistic action never deceive the desire of fixing the colour as
suspended identity between fight and darkness, dullness and brightness, as a path that turns into
itself even if it repeats the same form structures.
For these reasons the present work by O.D. tends to modify its obsessions, verify the possessed
forms through their movements on the surface, as if they were making new hypothesis inside the
creative process, beyond the rules of the language.
In the recent works we reach a better awareness of that game that we mentioned at the beginning:
that system of possibilities is the most effective metaphor that helps us to understand what the
artist is focusing on, by generating a new clarification process in the transformation of the surface.
(¹) In Italian the number 16 (Sixteen= sedici) has the same sound of the sentence “if you say”, (= se
dici). Something similar happens in the work that we find on page 11: in the third table C_6 has the
same sound of “ci sei”; in English “you are here” (= you exist).
Claudio Cerritelli 2004, Art Critic, Milan, Italy.