Log In

InConnection.it (Associazione Culturale)

The Cultural Association “InConnection.it” was founded at the beginning of 2014.  It is located in Orte, a hill town on the border between Lazio and Umbria, in a romantic position overlooking the Tiber with, at its feet,  a main line rail and road junction.  This position as a junction is nothing new to Orte as can be seen from the Roman remains at Seriplo, a port on the Tiber where the ancient via Amerina crossed the river below the town. The creation of this Association continues in that vein of connection between places and people, and responds to the international community’s need to participate, especially on a cultural level, in both contemporary and traditional activities.

In 2014, five events were organized.  The first was a talk by Elisabetta Gnignera, a well known expert on fashion, traditional costumes, headdresses, both modern and antique,  and author of the book  “I soperchi ornamenti. Copricapi e acconciature femminili nell’Italia del Quattrocento”;  Elisabetta’s talk was entitled “Costumes and luxury in Central Italy in the 1300’s”.  The second was a concert “Un solo cammino” by Maestri Lincoln Almada (harp) and Evangelina Mascardi (Baroque guitar) who delighted their audience with music from Latin America from the Baroque era up to today.  On the same occasion, Ernesto Zuppante, a poet from Orte recited some of his verses.  The third event was at the Convent of the Benedictine Nuns at Le Grazie on the hill facing Orte.  The participants heard the nuns sing vespers in Gregorian chant followed by poliphonic chant.  At the fourth event, held in October 2014, Marco Paolini presented his short film “Il pane e le Rose” and Robert Marioni sang  music from Castaldi (1623) and accompanied himself on his baroque guitar. The fifth event was organized together with Incontri Mediterranei:  the Christmas concert Oratorio di Natale by Heinrich Schutz was performed in the Cathedral of Orte by Evangelina Mascardi and her orchestra of 54 elements and followed by a dopo-concerto reception with the participation of Casale del Giglio‘s Banco d’Assaggi – a fitting end to a successful year.

In 2015, five events were organized:  The first, on 19 April  2015, Maestro Evangelina Mascardi gave a talk entitled “How to listen to Music” (Come ascoltare la musica);  on 5 July 2015, the Ensemble Ottaviano Alberti, conducted by Maestro Evangelina Mascardi gave a concert entitled Concerto d’Estate, at the Castello Orsini di Vasanello with Italian music from the beginning of the 1600’s.  The concert was followed by a dinner on the terrace of the Orangerie with the participation of Casale del Giglio with their excellent wines;  on 26 July 2015, Elisabetta Gnignera gave a talk entitled “Lucrezia Borgia – Icona di stile del Rinascimento” again at the Castello Orsini di Vasanello.   On 12 August 2015, in the Chiesa di Santa Maria in Viterbo, InConnection collaborated with Incontri Mediterranei in the production of Ottaviano Alberti’s “Idillio Amoroso” and finally on 20 December 2015 InConnection again collaborated with Incontri Mediterranei in the production of Ottaviano Alberti’s Concerto di Natale with South American baroque music conducted by Evangelina Mascardi and followed by a dinner with the participation of Casale del Giglio‘s Banco di Assaggi.

The Association’s Facebook page has 1.690 Likes and it endeavours to give voice and visibility to the areas of northern Lazio and southern Umbria, their cultural inheritance and their contemporary activities.

 

 

Mostra Personale M. LEVITTOUX, 8-23 ottobre 2016. Vernissage: 8 ottobre ore 17.00

locmal

 

M. LEVITTOUX

M. Levittoux è un’artista in viaggio verso un luogo che rispecchi la profondità emotiva e l’intuizione intellettuale che caratterizzano la sua pittura.

Figlia dell’artista polacca Barbara Levittoux-Swiderska, la cui arte Levittoux definisce ‘rigorosa’ in contrasto al suo proprio ‘frenetico’ approccio alla pittura, Levittoux ottenne un tale successo all’esame pratico d’ingresso all’Accademia di Belle Arti di Varsavia che poté permettersi di tralasciare quello teorico.

Con una laurea in pittura sotto braccio, Levittoux lascia la Polonia spinta da quella curiosità che contraddistingue ancora il suo lavoro: ’era come vivere in una cantina da dove si sentiva che al piano di sopra c’era una festa a cui si aveva voglia di partecipare’, ricorda dei suoi anni d’accademia. Grazie all’invito di un collega inglese, si trasferisce a Londra e s’iscrive alla prestigiosa scuola d’arte Byam Shaw, che è ora parte del Central Saint Martin.

Al Byam Shaw scopre le gioie di dipingere dal vero e una fervente atmosfera creativa. A differenza di molti altri artisti della sua generazione, però, non si lascia distrarre dalla scintillante scena londinese. Per lei, la libertà che l’arte concede rimane il valore più grande per un artista: ‘il tempo che ho per dipingere è il mio bene più prezioso’, dice.

Giardiniera appassionata, capace di coltivare verdure anche su una terrazza di Stockwell, Levittoux è un’abile artigiana, che ha imparato a preparare da A a Z le tele su cui dipinge. Stanca di quella che definisce il ‘mito urbano’ di Londra, decise ad un certo punto di trasferirsi in un luogo più tranquillo dove ‘la natura può ancora offrire sorprese’.

Lo trovò inizialmente in una casa di famiglia nella regione dell’Ariège, tra gli scoscesi Pirenei francesi, dove rimase per dieci anni, creando un giardino e una serie di stampe e acquarelli che ritraggono i residenti e la zona, e il suo amato cane, Marty.

Levittoux è una pittrice-disegnatrice. Ugualmente a suo agio davanti a grandi tele che riempie di colori accesi, o con i pennelli rapidi dell’acquarello, è abilissima nelle tecniche di stampa. Adatta con successo il suo stile ai vari media in cui lavora. Nel suo studio grandi paesaggi ad olio, come Summer Garden 160x140cm in cui la figurazione vira all’astrazione, vivono accanto a xilografie expressioniste che trattano caratteri e temi sociali, come l’attualissimo Refugee Boat 100x80cm

La tecnica xilografica, che era parte del curriculum accademico in Polonia ed ha una lunga tradizione nell’Europa nord-occidentale, è immediata per Levittoux, i cui modelli in questo campo sono, in particolare, Emil Nolde ed Ernst-Ludwig Kirchner.

Una multitude di riferimenti storico-artistici entra nella sua eclettica pratica artistica: dalla pittura luminosa ed idiosincratica del francese Pierre Bonnard all’internazionalismo espressionista di Chaim Soutine, fino al contemporaneo Per Kirkeby, un versatile artista danese che intrattiene un affascinante dialogo tra figurativo e astratto.

Levittoux rifiuta di aderire ad una tradizione artistica in particolare. ‘Se mai, vorrei creare una nuova tradizione’, dice, ‘come fanno tutti i miei colleghi. Certo che mi nutrisco anch’io di tradizione, che quello che fanno altri artisti, sia passati che contemporanei, mi stimola moltissimo … ma per quanto riguarda il mio stile, non ci penso un granché. La sola cosa che m’interessa veramente sono I miei soggetti’.

Il suo lavoro è rigoroso, al contempo risoluto e riservato. Combina l’abilità di catturare la natura attraverso un’acuta osservazione con la capacità di lasciarle parlare il proprio linguaggio, quello di luce e colore. Dipinge ora su tele già preparate che possono essere velocemente srotolate per permetterle di mettersi subito a lavorare sui motivi che l’ispirano.

Levittoux considera tutti i suoi soggetti, inclusi i paesaggi, dei ritratti e descrive a che punto sia emozionante per lei ‘lasciarsi assalire’ da ciò che vede. Parlando di un dipinto come Oak Tree (112×112 cm), che impressiona per la combinazione del grande formato e delle striature miniaturistiche, Levittoux dice: ‘ciò che m’interessa non è dipingere l’idea di un albero, ma quest’albero in particolare, con i suoi elementi distintivi.’

Quando decise di lasciare Ariège, si diresse verso sud in ricerca di un posto più luminoso e leggero. In un caldo pomeriggio estivo, mentre era in visita ad amici in Umbria, scopre il Lago di Bolsena e s’innamora della sua regione. ‘Mi sono innamorata dell’Italia come se fosse un uomo … come fanno in tanti’. Il suolo vulcanico del lago le offre terreno fertile per coltivare e dipingere al contempo.

Il fascino sorprendente dei luoghi e della popolazione rispecchiano il piacevole carattere di Levittoux, che è al contempo un cuore appassionato e generoso. Una mente curiosa e ben informata, è anche tenacemente assidua. Dopo aver scoperto una fattoria in rovina a Falconero, tra Grotte di Castro e San Lorenzo Nuovo, l’ha trasformata nella casa-studio dove, negli ultimi otto anni – giorno dopo giorno, mese dopo mese, stagione dopo stagione – ha creato tanti ritratti di persone e luoghi vicini.

I lavori fatti a Falconero mostrano un’artista che è arrivata nella culla del Rinascimento italiano dalla Polonia sovietica attraverso la praggmaticità brittanica. L’impirismo inglese è lo sfondo dell’arte della Levittoux che ammira la capacità di ‘creare immagini potenti con mezzi delicati’. Libera dai dettami del Realismo sovietico e di classicismi idealizzanti, la sua ricerca s’indirizza a cogliere la magnificenza inaspettata di piccole cose e luoghi, come è il caso per i suoi ritratti di Grotte di Castro, che sembrano esser stati dipinti in maniera aerodinamica, ma fatti, in realtà, en plein air.

La natura è la sola linea guida di M. Levittoux, che rifiuta di pre-determinare la sua strada. ‘Non mi è mai piaciuto dirigere il mio lavoro’, dice, convinta che ‘nuovo lavoro è generato da quello già fatto, passo dopo passo, diligentemente ma sempre con entusiasmo’. Levittoux percorre un luminoso camino nel quale essere artista resta ‘una scelta da confermare ad ogni incrocio’.

Silvia Loreti, Bolsena, agosto 2016

Silvia Loreti è una studiosa e curatrice indipendente che vive a Londra con suo marito, Ronan e le loro due bambine, Eva Sophia e Eleonore. Dottoratasi al Courtauld Institute, è stata Assistente curatrice nel Dipartimento di pittura e scultura del Museum of Modern Art, New York, dove ha lavorato alla mostra Picasso Sculpture (MoMA 2015). Ha insegnato e presentato i suoi lavori in istituzioni accademiche in Gran Bretagna, Francia, Italia e USA ed è co-autrice di Antiquity Made Modern: Picasso, de Chirico, Léger and Picabia (Getty Los Angeles e Musée Picasso Antibes). Soggiorna regolarmente a Bolsena sin dall’infanzia. Questo saggio è basato su un’intervista da lei condotta in inglese con M. Levittoux nell’agosto 2015.

M. Levittoux

M. Levittoux has travelled a long way to arrive at a place that reflects her emotional depth and intellectual acuity.

The daughter of Polish artist Barbara Levittoux-Swiderska, whose practice she defines as ‘rigorous’ as opposed to her own ‘frenetic’ approach to painting, Levittoux performed so brilliantly in the practical entry exam for the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts that she could disdain the theoretical side of the admission process.

After obtaining a degree in painting, she left Poland for England led by a curiosity that still defines her artistic practice. ‘It was like living in a cellar and hearing a party going on upstairs; you’d really like to take part in it but you can only hear the noises’, she remembers of those years. Following the invitation of an English colleague, she moved to London and enrolled in the prestigious Byam Shaw Art School, now part of Central Saint Martin.

At the Byam, Levittoux discovered the joys of life model classes and of a buzzing creative atmosphere. Yet unlike many artists of her generation, she resisted the distractions of London’s glittering art scene, valuing the freedom of artistic life above all else: ‘time for painting is my most precious possession’, she still says.

A fervent gardener, who once grew vegetables on a terrace in Stockwell, Levittoux is a skilled artisan who relished in preparing her own canvases and primers. After a while, she grew tired of London’s ‘urban mystique’ and sought a slower paced context in which ‘nature could still offer unexpected surprises’.

She first found it in a family house set within the arduous mountains of Ariège, in the French Pyrenees. She remained there for ten years, gardening and making prints and watercolours of the local residents and surroundings, as well as of her beloved dog, Marty.

Levittoux is a painter-draughtsman. She is equally at ease with large canvases that she fills with boisterous colours, quickly sketched watercolours and with the technical prowess required by printing. She adapts her style to the various media in which she works. In her studio, large oil landscapes, such as Summer Garden, in which figuration verges on abstraction, coexist next to expressionistic linocuts in which social characters and issues emerge dramatically out of black and white contrasts, as in the topical Refugee Boat.

The linocut technique, which was part of the academic curriculum in Poland and has a long tradition in northeast Europe, comes naturally to Levittoux. Her models here are, in particular, Emil Nolde and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner.

A variety of references informs her practice: from the idiosyncratic French painter Pierre Bonnard, whose luminosity pervades her paintings, to Chaim Soutine, whose internationalism and expressionist style are reflected in her life and art, and the Danish polymath Per Kirkeby, who entertains a fascinating dialogue between abstraction and figuration.

However, Levittoux resists following a particular pictorial tradition. ‘If anything I want to create a tradition, as do all of my fellow painters’, she says, ‘I nourish myself with tradition, I get a huge thrill from looking at other painters, both past and present … but my style, I never give it a thought. It’s all about the subject’. Her rigorous work is both assertive and restrained. It combines the ability to seize nature by acute observation with a capacity to let things speak for themselves by means of light and colour. She now paints on pre-primed canvases that can be quickly stretched to allow immediate responses to new motifs.

Levittoux considers all of her subjects, including landscapes, as portraits and describes the excitement of ‘being assaulted’ by the visible in her work. Discussing a painting such as Oak Tree (112×112 cm), which impresses through its combination of a large format with the miniature effects of engraving-like striations, she says: ‘I don’t want to represent the idea of a tree; I want this particular thing with its distinctive elements’.

When she decided to leave Ariège, she travelled south in search of light and lightness. It was while visiting friends in Umbria that, on a hot summer day, she discovered the cool waters of Lake Bolsena and fell in love with its region: ‘I fell in love with Italy as if it were a man … as so many do’, she admits. The region’s dark volcanic soil offers her a fertile terrain for both painting and gardening.

The surprising charm of the local landscape and population mirrors her amiable nature, passionate and kind at the same time. A vastly knowledgeable and inquisitive mind, Levittoux is assiduously tenacious. Having discovered a large farmhouse in Falconero, between Grotte di Castro and San Lorenzo Nuovo, she laboriously transformed it into the home and studio where, for the past eight years – day after day, month after month, season after season – she has been making large portraits of her friends and vicinity.

The work that she has made since her arrival in Falconero shows an artist who has travelled from Soviet Poland to the cradle of the Italian Renaissance via pragmatic Britain. English empiricism is the backdrop of her art, for she admires ‘mighty pictures made with delicate means’. Free from the expectations of Socialist Realism and of idealistic classicisms, she has a romantic spirit that strives to discover the unanticipated magnificence of smaller things and places, as in her paintings of Grotte di Castro, an old Etruscan village portrayed in seemingly aerial views that have in fact been painted en plein air..

Nature is Levittoux’s sole guiding thread. She refuses to pre-determine her route: ‘I never had an inclination for directing my work’, she says. She is convinced that ‘new work generates from what has already been done, step by step in diligent yet intriguing ways’. She is walking a bright path where being an artist remains ‘a choice to be confirmed at every crossroad’. Silvia Loreti, Bolsena, August 2016

Silvia Loreti is an independent scholar and curator based in London, where she lives with her French husband and their two daughters. She holds a PhD from The Courtauld Institute of Art and was Assistant Curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, where she worked on the exhibition Picasso Sculpture (MoMA 2015). She has taught and lectured in Britain, France, the USA and Italy and has contributed articles to The Burlington Magazine and Harper’s Bazaar. She is co-author of Antiquity Made Modern: Picasso, de Chirico, Léger, Picabia (Getty Villa Los Angeles and Musée Picasso Antibes). She has been holidaying in Bolsena since childhood. This essay is based on an interview that she conducted with M. Levittoux in August 2015.

Vedere anche:  http://justbaked.bakeagency.it/2016/09/29/arte-margherita-che-abita-nella-pittura/

Mostra Fotografica: Pasquale Comegna

Mostra fotografica: Pasquale Comegna 30 gennaio 2016

Mostra fotografica: Pasquale Comegna
30 gennaio 2016

Presentazione di Sandra Petrignani 

Quell’uomo solo che passa sul ponte a Londra, quel pezzo di cielo imprigionato fra due forme al Maxxi di Roma, quella ragazza in bici che attraversa solitaria una curiosa struttura a Valencia, fiori sull’acqua che sembrano un Matisse, cieli turbinosi contro prati pettinati, piani orizzontali formati dalle onde, dai diversi colori dell’erba, dal passaggio di pecore in fila: le foto di Pasquale Comegna si compongono architettonicamente e pensano la Bellezza senza tempo delle cose, della natura. Sempre la fotografia coglie l’attimo e lo ferma («Fermati, attimo, sei bello!» dice Faust ), ma si direbbe che per Pasquale Comegna il tempo non possa esistere al di fuori di una struttura architettonica. Anche i colori sono pensati da lui in forme che s’intrecciano, si sovrappongono, s’incrociano. A volte sono le città a sovrastarlo, che siano antiche come Roma, o moderne come New York, e allora si ha l’impressione di un ritratto, quasi lui si fosse limitato a guardarle. A volte si perde nella vastità del paesaggio, fra alberi e colline, fra montagne a picco e illimitate praterie, quasi le stesse sognando. Ma, a fare attenzione, scopriamo che non si perde veramente mai. In qualche modo lui, quelle città, quelle valli, le ricostruisce, crea sempre una sua personale architettura della forma data dalla realtà. Taglia, sposta, inclina, piega le linee nella vertigine di uno sguardo che non ne ha mai abbastanza della vita vera, vista e rivista: deve scomporla e ricomporla, capirla forse, plasmarla, colorarla. E noi, che guardiamo le sue foto, ci chiediamo cosa avevamo colto prima di un prato, di un cielo, di una strada. Solo un prato, un cielo, una strada. E invece, ora, ne sappiamo il rapporto con il tempo (infinito), col colore (inaudito), con la forma (inattesa). Grazie, Pasquale.

Sandra Petrignani (www.sandrapetrignani.it)

 

The Tiber: from Ostia to Bagnorea by William Davis, 1886

Thoma, Hans (1839-1924),  Orte, 1887

Thoma, Hans (1839-1924), Orte, 1887

Passing through the village of Otricoli, the ancient Ocriculum, and the junction of the Nar (Nero) with the Tiber, we arrive at Orte. The traveller by rail through Central Italy will remember to have seen this picturesquely situated town in the distance occupying the crest of a lofty elevation. He would not be disappointed were he to visit. The approach to it is striking. As the road winds upwards the houses are seen rising from the rocks as though they formed a part of them – old, weather-stained, frowning gloomily from their elevation on the world beneath. One must go back to the old Etruscan time for its origin. Even yet it retains some of the Etruscan character in its architecture. Its life is its own. One wonders what it has to do with the outside world for no modern use or invention appears to have touched it. Nor is this its only charm. The river as seen from the town is marvellously beautiful. It goes winding through the plain beneath like a silver serpent.

Ernest Hébert (1817-1908). Orte. (Now in the Musée Hébert, Paris)

Ernest Hébert (1817-1908). Orte. (Now in the Musée Hébert, Paris)

The morning hour is the hour for travel in an Italian summer. As we wind down the hill, the night mists still linger in the hollow. Following the course of the river, broken medieval towers stand up here and there on the rocks from the old belligerent days, their name and history forgotten. Still more beautiful beneath the fastnesses of Bassano, the river winds by groves of poplar, where shepherds in patriarchal fashion watch their flocks, leaning upon staves, or the peasant maiden sits spinning in the shade. So through a lovely wood, soothed by the songs of many nightingales, after passing a lazy little town called San Michele, we reach the wonderful town of Bagnorea (Bagnoregio).

The Tiber: from Ostia to Bagnorea, by William Davies (extract of the part regarding Orte), The Magazine of Art, 1886

Germanicus

In the Archeological Museum of Amelia there stands a marvellous bronze statue of Germanicus from the first century AD.  It is the result of a chance find.

Germanicus, Archeological Museum of Amelia

in 1963 when works were being carried out not far from the great walls of Amelia. The statue was in pieces but has now been carefully restored and honours the museum with its presence. The quality of the workmanship is exceptional, the size and the stance, the splendour of the armour, the grandeur and fluency of his pose – everything about Germanicus is breathtaking.   It is an immensely important statue because of its rarity, quality and integrity.  No visit to Amelia is complete without Germanicus, “ça vaut la visite”.

There is some suggestion that his splendid head was placed on the body at a later stage:

“The bronze statue found at Amelia, in 1963, was not made as a portrait of Germanicus. The original head was eventually replaced with that of the young Germanicus, whom his uncle Tiberius had designated as his heir, but who died in 19 AD. What probably happened is that the person (perhaps Germanicus’ son Caligula) who had originally been honoured with this statue was later condemned to damnatio memoriae [by the Senate], the removal of his public images to erase all memory of him, and that the costly statue was then reused to honor another member of the dynasty.

The ornamentation is very complex. On the upper part of the breastplate is the menacing image of the monstrous Scylla. On the lower part is a scene from Homer: Achilles ambushing the young Trojan prince Troilus. The scene is completed by the two Victories who converge from the sides toward the Greek hero, bringing him arms as a reward for his feat. The decoration extends to the back of the armor, where we see a religious scene in which two women dance in front of a candelabrum, symbol of the eternity of the imperial power. The pteryges, metal plates protecting the groin, are formed in the first row by lions’ heads and adorned in the second by heads of satyrs alternating with heads of gorgons. As a whole, the decorative plan was meant to epitomize control of the seas (Scylla) and to compare the honoured man to Achilles, the most valiant of all the Achaean heroes.” (As described by the Capitoline Museum where Germanicus stood on loan for six months in 2011 and reported by Catherine Schofield Sezgin, ARCA Blog Editor-in-Chief).

Germanicus and many other fascinating artefacts can be admired during the following hours:

October to March: Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday only: 10.30-13.00, 15.30-18.00

April, May, June and September: Open: 10.30-13.00, 16.00-19.00. Closed Mondays.

July and August: Open: 10:30-13:00 16:30-19:30.  Closed Mondays

Tickets: 5 euro Reduced: 4 euro

Museo Archeologico di Amelia
Piazza Augusto Vera, 10 – Amelia (Tr)
Tel./fax+39.0744.978120