ANDREA CARDIA             - Italy



PUPI AVATI racconta un'opera di ANDREA CARDIA



“In my opinion, Andrea Cardia is nowadays one of the most visionary, creative and powerful Italian artists. At a first sight, rather than to the Italian neo-expressionism, Cardia relates to the German neo-expressionism of the so called “new savages”, Richter, Polke, Baselitz who came back to the sources of their tradition proposing a new way to reread the Expressionism of the beginning of the last century; but this is just a first impression because actually we find in Cardia an anchorage to the Italian classical tradition and to the early 20th century tradition that certainly was not present in the “new savages”, and that qualifies Cardia as an authentic “Mediterranean” representative. He divided his production in a series of chapters - as if it is a novel whose end is still open - Ominidi, Donne, Paesaggi umani, L’anima scabra, that tell about an abused and doleful humanity who “dostoevskijly” comes out from the soul subsoil, but who is eternally searching for a possible redemption. His paintings are mostly dominated by huge, almost monochromatic figures, frequently seen backwards, flesh-coloured, grey, ochre, hardly brightened with few touches of red, of blue that sparks off sudden sonorities; many times they dip, they even turn upside down, expressing a tragic but contained dynamic tension; on the contrary, other times Cardia recovers a softer sensuality in some pretty figures of female nudes, rich of a dense vitality and of a material plasticity that makes me think of some wonderful crushed female bodies by that great genius of the 20th Century who was Fausto Pirandello. Anyway, Cardia’s painting relies on an almost informal gesture that commits him to a hand to hand with the matter whose out come cannot be foreseen, now of an almost meticulous figuration, now of a formal simplification that comes close to the abstraction, from full to empty according to epiphanies and cancellations that denote in any case a creative tension, always at the limit of the explosion. To sum up, fidelity to the painting – according to that coexistence of “body effort” and “mind effort” that is one of the most general assumptions of my book: effort that is obtained with oils, temperas, acrylics, but also sand or tar distributed on canvases or papers. Figurative painting, then, that means adherence to reality, but not to its slavish or photographic reproduction. It is a figurative painting that tends to go beyond or, it would be better to say, inside the bodies to probe their moods and their psyches. As you may know, it was Leonardo the first one who – through his theory of the motions of the soul – understood that, at least when the artist is a real artist, the representation of the human body is never a purely exterior representation but, on the contrary, a face but also a hand, a gesture, a torsion of the trunk can express as many emotions and feelings, I would even say thoughts, as words, lines, entire tales can do. And also that above mentioned Cardia’s pictorial gesture is solemn and heroic rather than desperate, I would say more like Michelangelo rather than Pollock; it assumes that titanic conflict between form and matter that comes from the most sophisticated Mediterranean cultural matrix – the Neo-Platonist one – rather than from the disruptive and cynic nihilism - even if full of nullifying charm - of that American culture of the second post-war period that – even if in different ways - Pollock or Kerouak referred to, and that to Cardia is – even if not completely – unknown.