Francesco Lo Savio at MART / Rovereto

Originally published in Italian by author Luigi Meneghelli. I translated the review into English for Flash Art Issue 319 March – April 2018. 

Francesco Lo Savio adamantly pursued an art that stretched the limits of the immaterial and the invisible — a search for the infinite, or “deworlding” as poet Emilio Villa suggested. The large, synthetic resin paintings that make up “Spazio-Luce” (Space-Light, 1959) feature subtle variations of color that run from the painting’s center to its edges: drowned suns that burn from within, gradually and incrementally washed out. Lo Savio once said that “light is not the result of a single image, but is rather the sum of different images in continuous movement” — an expansion of light from a circular core to the static peripheries of the surface. Filtri (Filters, 1959–60) unfolds an expanse that is as hidden as it is revealed, brought about by the stratification of semi-transparent surfaces where dynamism is no longer theory but fact.

In Metalli (Metals, 1960), Lo Savio escapes the pictorial rectangle and breaks into a tertiary dimension of grim, primary entities, bent and assembled with obsessive precision. Here, black eliminates all atmospheric data and any material significance. The work’s intersections achieve a spatio-dynamic relationship with the environment, a point of contact between artist and artwork that always interested Lo Savio.

In Articolazioni totali (Total Articulations, 1962), cubes of white, opaque cement engulf curved planes of black metal within: monolithic images reminiscent of astral “living cells” that illustrate internal and external, open and closed, light and shadow. Also on display are the models for Maison au Soleil (1962), a visionary house designed to capture the light of every hour of the day.

A bulletin board features “Projects for Architectural Junctions.” Above all, notes, drawings, and photos of anatomical figures (that had hitherto been unknown) demonstrate what is perhaps an obsession with the complexity of the human body, taking Lo Savio’s quest beyond any and every minimalist aesthetic into a realm of creativity in which light, man, and space are immersed in total dialogue.