The title of this exhibition “WALDEN – Elisabetta Vignato + Elio Armano” is a tribute to Walden – or life in the woods, an autobiographical text by the American poet, essayist, naturalist and philosopher Henry David Thoreau. For two years, two months and two days (1845-47) Thoreau retired to the shores of Lake Walden, Massachusetts, in a cabin he built himself, to discover the true essence of life. Far from a society that made mercantile profit the engine of any human action, T. wanted to experiment if he could instead establish an authentic relationship with oneself and with nature. His account, rewritten seven times, would later be published in 1854.
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.” – Henry David Thoreau, Walden or Life in the Woods (1854)
The landscapes evoked by the writing re-emerge in an abstract and contemporary key in the works of Elio Armano. The Paduan artist has sculpted stylized and geometric trees made of rusty metal and sinuous terracotta hills crossed by deep and regular inlets. His is a mental representation of Nature, with which he expresses his sensitivity towards the environment.
The paintings of the Paduan painter Elisabetta Vignato are each dedicated to a season. She too, like Armano, prefers abstract art. The figuration of the elements leaves room for splashes of color that give the idea of time passing. “Nature shouldn’t be observed but felt deeply: and that’s where I find what I’m looking for. The difficulty lies in knowing how to draw on so much generosity and understand when to stop”.
Elisabetta Vignato – Elio Armano
01.12.2021 – 28.02-2022
Spazio Lazzari, Treviso