2017 - Mario Corinthios

Enrico Lombardi, the Palestrina of Italian Figuration.” "Ritratti d'artista" - Roma 2017, Gangemi editore.
All the features of the Italian Figuration that, from Giotto to Piero della Francesca, lead to Carrà, Sironi, Morandi and Rosai, can be found in Enrico Lombardi, who also "take them to a highly perfect and final expression", as written by Massimo Mila, when talking about Bach, in his Breve storia della musica (A brief history of music). The art of Lombardi, who was born in the town of Meldola (Italy), graduated at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna and is both a painter and a writer, happens in a spiritual, evanescent and night mode. "The paintings of this painter from Forlì(…) are born in Meldola, among the austere gullies of crowded hills, where, while perspectives and views are squeezed in against their sides, they run long and stretched towards hermetic infinities; where a brightening solitude dyes the air" as Francesco Giulio Farachi has written. In his Spritual Exercises (Lombardi is also a yoga teacher), the artist comes to an extreme synthesis of the form, which does not give in to the praises of an empty abstraction with only an end to itself, peculiar to so much contemporary art (a "slap to the current trend"), as in "Spiritual Exercises 42” and "Keepers of the shadow"; almost a view from the inner part of the cloister of a convent, or else, the humble cell of a monk (it is as if, on the background, we could hear the sublime Erbarme dich from the Passion according to Matthew), where Lombardi silences any and all inner turmoil and reaches an ascetic art, purified from any useless frills, almost an evocation of the ancient psalmody of the Gregorian chant or the celestial music by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina ("one of those artists… who concludes and summarizes an era, quoting Mila once more). But the crystal clear nights (Novalis-like) evoked by Lombardi seem to recall also the euphonies by Tristan, and in particular the two "reprimands" by Brangäne - "Habet acht! Habet acht!" -, where the harmony grows, becomes limitless and the music swells up to an unparalleled Stimmung. Or else, what surfaces are childhood memories, as in works like "The childhood of the evening", "The last Summer evening", "Silent memory", "A cold morning", where the tops of high cypresses lean out over the wall of memories, evoking the dreamy world of "Si'r-i Kamer" (Hours of the Lake) by the Turkish poet Ahmet Haşim: “Just like that, sad lump of light, or unadorned face, on my sleeping soul like a stale lake your light floods in, and in those silent waters every single sparkle swells up shivering, as if digging a wrinkle of pain" (My spirit). Some paintings such as "The factory of silence", "Naked soul" or "New-born soul", remind us of the mysterious atmosphere of the Isle of the Dead by Arnold Böcklin, while in "Double Soul", "The difference", "Sidelong instants", "Air of glass", "Factories", where majestic arcades open onto silent and deserted landscapes of imaginary cities, scattered with pointy trees and solitary chimneys, the artist shows the same disquiet and discomfort he shares with Sironi's sensibility. In some landscapes such as "Icon 5 the rush of time", "Looking for the place", "Where thoughts go", "Announcing an event", houses and trees are depicted in the air, in their light and restless flight, like Giotto's putti in his Mourning of Christ, whereas in paintings such as "Faust - or of the abyssal gaze", "The gold of the end" o "Concentric shelter", the artist introduces us to a summary of his Weltanschauung, full of metaphysical silence, pauses, suspensions and unsolved enigmas. He has shown his work in many exhibitions, both in Italy and abroad (Bologna, Milan, Montpellier, London). In 2004 the artist was invited by Alessandro Riva to become part of the "Italian Factory", a group of artists belonging to the new Italian Figuration; in 2007 he was invited by Vittorio Sgarbi to the big show "Arte Italiana 1968/2007" and in 2009 by Marco Goldin to a major exhibition on Italian painting in Italy called "Pittura d'Italia".