Claudio Spadoni, Pitture su carta 1990/92, exhibition catalogue, Cesena 1993
Well, I would say rather that Lombardi has withdrawn into a preserve of his own, into an imaginary place but one that is concretely inhabited by poetic values with which to hold a dialogue. And perhaps a comparison. To check their solidity, their non-transitory, non-contingent character. To find in them, if possible, that breath of “eternity” which no speculation, no analytical reasoning will be able either to demonstrate, or to refute in incontrovertible terms. Perhaps it is this breath that he seeks in the fixity of the landscape, in the stagnant shadows, in the great motionless trees, in the walls illuminated by an unnatural light, and in the deserted avenues, in the deep and still waters. And in those notes of color that, if there were any need, immediately dispel all suspicion of a realistic transposition, in short of an inert naturalism. And those coppery tints, those cold tones like those of a torpid, interminabile night. And that subtle shiver of imperfection. A frayed edge, the smudge of a color, a sloppy line, a flawed perspective. Physical things. Mental things. Things that can only be said through painting; a painting that speaks of itself, of its own knowledge and its own doubts, the hazards of obscure correspondences and the lucid objectivity of what belongs to fiction. That is, etymologically, to the capacity to shape, fashion, feign. But it is a fiction fed by something laid down long ago in the consciousness, or perhaps touched on by the indefinable sensation of having encountered in an everyday, familiar image, a different presence, one that you can’t tell whether it is new or old. Something, perhaps, that has no time. Will all this be called nostalgic? If it may be, I believe that it should be understood as nostalgia for that visual way of thinking that painting has been, that painting can still be, because of its irreplaceable qualities. Nostalgia, or perhaps it would be better to say, active memory. Lombardi knows well that this place of awareness can turn into a border zone, and that painting cannot help but take on all its risks. The one, to start with, of “drawing,” in his own words, “on the immobile ground of ourselves,” in glaring contrast with the most widely touted principles of today’s art. But with the awareness that in those nocturnal places, in those uninhabited towns of his, thinking and the senses can be more alert and profound than in the noisy, diurnal spaces devoted to the frivolity and the empty splendor of the fetishes of our time.