2002 - Federico Leoni

Federico Leoni, Enrico Lombardi - Cnosso - Nel ventre dello sguardo, in Lo spazio

ritrovato, exhibition catalogue, Bologna 2002

Every discussion of Enrico Lombardi’s painting has to start out from the observation that it is only accidentally, only apparently figurative. It aims elsewhere, in fact: it aims at a place to which only the figure can provide access, certainly, but that essentially surpasses the figure, and that surpasses it as its origin. This original place, this excess that is at the origin and that is of the origin, is the gaze. What you see, when you look at Lombardi’s canvases, is your own gaze caught in the act of penetrating them, lingering over them, stumbling over them; or trying to find another way in, looking for another entrance and, inevitably, getting lost, remaining there as if in suspense. Each of these canvases is, therefore, a mirror. An elementare and enigmatic machine, that is, into which your gaze penetrates, or attempts to penetrate, and then is reflected and comes back, transformed, to you who are looking. But your gaze is no longer yours, now. It is the gaze of someone else, whom you don’t know. Each of these canvases is a mirror, and therefore a labyrinth. Knossos is the name of this series of works, and Knossos was the name of the ancient palace which is the mythological origin of every labyrinth. Knossos is the maze of roads, of possible routes that lead inside without ever reaching what it is in there that they are aiming for: it is the architectural deception, the trick and the trap, the path that wavers, the step that grows uncertain, lost, in the end impossible. It is the peripeteia of the continually reflected gaze, from surface to surface, from view to view, from vanishing point to vanishing point. Insistence of the gaze on itself, endless possibilità and impossibility of its taking in the things, the landscapes.