Critico d’arte

UN’IDEA DELLA REALTA’
1973

Ciò che a Umberto Petttinicchio preme di rappresentare non è la realtà a livello sensistico, bensì la sua idea della realtà che è quanto dice il suo giudizio ma, soprattutto, il suo sentimento dell’uomo e delle cose: una realtà, insomma, che significhi il suo stesso atteggiamento nei confronti del mondo. Pettinicchio è sempre stato conseguente a questo credo. Non per nulla ha evitato i suggerimenti e le lusinghe dei linguaggi alla moda ed ha preferito indagare. E indagare è come togliere velario dopo velario per giungere al nucleo più vero, rivelatore di una situazione. L’occhio di Pettinicchio è dunque un occhio interiore che coglie scatti istintuali e sviluppi di sentimenti e sottili brividi di eros e, con essi, brandelli di memorie perdute e di esperienze vissute. Ne deriva un’immagine interiorizzata ai gradi più fondi, specchio, appunto, di quelle tensioni conflittuali che fissano l’uomo a un tempo e a un ambiente che ormai non gli appartengono avendo smarrita la loro antica misura. Questo essere umano viene dall’artista proposto come vittima incolpevole della violenza: esso è di continuo aggredito e dilacerato da forze ostili e malefiche e su lui trascorre l’alito del disfacimento e della morte.
Pettinicchio soffre del disagio del vivere e vuole evidentemente che la sua opera si risolva in un monito alla salvazione. Il suo discorso, tuttavia, non naufraga nei lidi della retorica moralistica: è pittura, e basta. E’ pittura in quanto ogni componente linguistica è stata definita in ragione esclusiva di quel messaggio. Si noti, ad esempio, come in uno spazio fisico, si inscrivano le sue linee cariche di forza, esaltate dai colori grevi e oscuri, fra i quali all’improvviso, emergono zone o filamenti di luce risentita: è la proiezione di un’urgenza spirituale che qui si attua, un gesto d’ira, o di irrisione, o anche, talora, di solidarietà e persino di pietà che vi si afferma. Poiché la tematica di Pettinicchio non è mai univoca ma varia dalle allusioni simboliche..fino alla dichiarazione grottesca. Sono tutte immagini stravolte e deformate che si collocano nel buio di atmosfere inquietanti tanto da sfiorare l’incubo, ma, proprio perché tali, sono puntuali testimonianze di una situazione e di un destino.
Direi anzi che, in virtù dei loro intrinseci valori di linguaggio, queste immagini hanno una facoltà di comunicazione e di persuasione senz’altro superiore a quelle freddamente determinate dalla volontà protestataria, non ‘narrando’ episodi con astratto furore, ma decantando in termini formali processi interiori, le fitte trame che si svolgono nei recessi dell’io profondo.
….Sono esiti, a mio giudizio, qualitativamente notevoli e premesse, comunque, al lavoro futuro di approfondimento e arricchimento. Ma esiti, anche, che attestano il senso morale di un artista che avverte la responsabilità della propria condizione al punto di far dei dipinti i documenti di una realtà patita nell’intimo, senza concessioni all’edonismo, senza mediazioni intellettualistiche.
Un discorso diretto: di complicata sintassi, ma diretto.

AN IDEA OF REALITY
1973

What Umberto Pettinicchio wants to represent is not sensitive Reality, but rather his idea of Reality, that is to say his judgement, but above all his feeling for Man and for things: a Reality which signifies his own attitude towards the world. Pettinicchio has always been coherent with this conviction. He has always avoided the suggestions and the adulation of fashionable languages and has preferred to search. And to search is like moving one veil after another to reach the truest nucleus, which reveals a situation. Pettinicchio’s eye is therefore an interior eye which gathers instinctive movements, the development of feelings and subtle erotic thrills and with them fragments of forgotten memories and of past experiences. The result is an image which is deeply interiorized, a mirror of those conflicting tensions which anchor man to a time and to a place, which no longer belong to him, as he has lost their old measures. This human being is proposed by the artist as a blameless victim of violence: he is continually assaulted and torn by hostile, wicked forces and the breath of decay and death passes over him. Pettinicchio suffers for the difficulty of living and wants his painting to be a warning for salvation. But his message does not fall into moralistic rhetoric: it is painting, and that is all. It is painting, in so far as every linguistic component has been defined as a function of that message. Observe, for instance, how in an indeterminate space, not connected to the formalities of physical space, his forceful lines are drawn, exalted by heavy, dark colours, among which zones or filaments of resentful light suddendly emerge: it is the projection of a spiritual urgency which takes place here, a gesture of anger or of derision or sometimes of solidarity and even of pity which is stated. As Pettinicchio’s theme is never univocal, but vace in the recesses of the deep ego…
They are also results which demostrate the moral sense of an artist who feels the responsabilities of his condition and makes his paintings the documents of a reality which is intimately suffered, without conceding anything to hedonism, without intelletualistic mediations. A direct message: with a complicated syntax, but direct.
What Umberto Pettinicchio wants to represent is not sensitive Reality, but rather his idea of Reality, that is to say his judgement, but above all his feeling for Man and for things: a Reality which signifies his own attitude towards the world. Pettinicchio has always been coherent with this conviction. He has always avoided the suggestions and the adulation of fashionable languages and has preferred to search. And to search is like moving one veil after another to reach the truest nucleus, which reveals a situation. Pettinicchio’s eye is therefore an interior eye which gathers instinctive movements, the development of feelings and subtle erotic thrills and with them fragments of forgotten memories and of past experiences. The result is an image which is deeply interiorized, a mirror of those conflicting tensions which anchor man to a time and to a place, which no longer belong to him, as he has lost their old measures. This human being is proposed by the artist as a blameless victim of violence: he is continually assaulted and torn by hostile, wicked forces and the breath of decay and death passes over him. Pettinicchio suffers for the difficulty of living and wants his painting to be a warning for salvation. But his message does not fall into moralistic rhetoric: it is painting, and that is all. It is painting, in so far as every linguistic component has been defined as a function of that message. Observe, for instance, how in an indeterminate space, not connected to the formalities of physical space, his forceful lines are drawn, exalted by heavy, dark colours, among which zones or filaments of resentful light suddendly emerge: it is the projection of a spiritual urgency which takes place here, a gesture of anger or of derision or sometimes of solidarity and even of pity which is stated. As Pettinicchio’s theme is never univocal, but varies from symbolic allusions…to a grotesque declaration. They all are deformed and twisted images which are placed in the darkness of troubling atmospheres like nightmares, but, because they are such, they are punctual evidence of a situation and of a destiny. In fact, I should say that because of their intrinsic language values, these images have the faculty of communication and of persuasion which is definitely superior to those coldly determined by a protesting will, not ‘telling’ episodes with abstract fury, but decanting in formal terms the interior processes, the dense plots which take place in the recesses of the deep ego…
They are also results which demostrate the moral sense of an artist who feels the responsabilities of his condition and makes his paintings the documents of a reality which is intimately suffered, without conceding anything to hedonism, without intelletualistic mediations.

A direct message: with a complicated syntax, but direct.