In nessun luogo (nowhere/anywhere)

by Elena Castiglia, May 2020

“In nessun luogo” is the first exhibition hosted by Sottofondo Studio and an occasion to discover the newest work by Bernardo Tirabosco. For his solo exhibition, the artist developed a project inspired by his nearly-obsessive contact with the studio throughout the pandemic year. In the pursuit of physical and mental refuge, a need emerged to master his own space, create a safe environment, and know its every corner. He moved throughout the rooms in an extremely intimate way, becoming part of them and feeding a need to constantly reimagine their use. Like the mysterious character of Kafka’s The Burrow (with whom the artist partly identifies), the act of observing his environment allowed Tirabosco to discover a part of himself, though never completely or satisfactorily, and never completely safe. The link between the spatial issues of confinement and protection led the artist to deconstruct and rethink architectural elements through a semi-scientific process which involved the discovery of new media.

Through the use of various bright colors, shades born out of his experiments on the materials themselves, he projects a playful yet strongly symbolic dimension. Upon entering the exhibit, the viewer is immediately in relationship with the paintings of the Sintesi series (2020) which offer an almost botanical daydream, echoed by the plants that flank them. Then, a series of sculptural elements entitled In nessun luogo offer a reinterpretation of our idea of space led by the artist through the use of unusual materials such as soap, and forms linked to tradition. Finally, the exhibition route culminates with canvas drapes of abstract patterns which combine painting techniques with the use of wax, as if to create a second skin for the environment while imposing themselves as autonomous and evocative elements.

If, on one hand, the specific aspects of place were fundamental to the birth of this process, then on the other – as the title suggests – the artist projects us into an unknown dimension with past architectural forms and artistic techniques which, however, cannot be found in a specific place.

Art as a poetic science

by Tiziana Tommei, September 2018

The first time I saw some of Bernardo Tirabosco’s work – a selection from a series of aquatints – I realized I was seeing the work of an authentic experimenter. One of those artists able to courageously throw himself into the work with patience, faith, and abandon. Several years have passed, and my opinion hasn’t changed; in fact, it has become layered and concentrated confronted with a body of work possessing unusual coherence for an emerging graduate in the field.

Painting, sculpture, installation: a full versatility, underlying a lively and tenacious attention for the materials and for his own reactions in the application of techniques and studies that haven’t just been learned, but metabolized, absorbed, and translated in a suggestive tone which is never banal – apparent in works such as “Atom. Sphere” and “Slight Atom. Sphere” (2016). The clearness and scientific manner with which Tirabosco moves in his creation corresponds with the meticulous and punctual formal research that characterizes his work both superficially and substantially. In reality, at the root there is first and foremost a way of intending and approaching art which is capable of merging two opposites: poetry and science. When you look at one of his works the first is sensed, to then discover that the basis of the creation are really chemistry, physics, and biology.

Organisms. Bodies made of lead, wood, or paper, but above all entities derived from the combination of substances and materials governed by actions which are frequently reiterated and constantly monitored (in this sense, the previously mentioned “Atom. Sphere” comes to mind, but also graphic works such as “Esoscheletro” and “Carapace”, (both from 2015). There are no improvisations in the artistic concepts of Tirabosco: each of his elaborations is the result of innumerable studies, attempts, and applications. In this economy, even variables cease to exist in the moment in which he moves forward with what is fundamentally pure experimentation, moving from academic dictation which has been integrated through knowledge and experience. It is astounding that this whole attitude of analysis and rigor should result in a dimension fed by abstraction, lyricism, and dream. They are works which magnetize and include, not recounting, but wrapping the viewer like a cerebral and dense music.

There is one last founding aspect to be elucidated: the tension with the third dimension.

From hanging works to mixed techniques, the two-dimensional is always unhinged and bypassed in favor of an accented orogeny or by an underlying dynamic tension that runs along taut cords without ever combusting “(In Sospeso).”, (2017). There isn’t acceleration, but weighted and vigilant presence, betraying a scientific humanism which is still (but not for long) partly in its shell.