Ferroni & Coccetta – Exploring Light at Il-Hagar Museum, Gozo
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It was almost a year ago, that the renowned Italian art critic Vittorio Sgarbi presented his latest publication, `Dal mito alla favola bella – Da Canaletto a Boldini – Il Tesoro d’Italia V – La Nave di Teseo` at the Ministry for Gozo.
During his short trip, Mr Sgarbi had the opportunity to visit Il-Hagar Museum,Victoria, Gozo. He was accompanied by fine arts adviser, Mr Valerio Ballotta (of GBK (Malta) Limited and Obiettivo Qatar), and Mr Arialdo Ceribelli (of Galleria Ceribelli, Bergamo, Italy),
Mr Ballotta and Mr Joseph Borg, a member within the management of the Museum, recalled their first ever meeting in Italy a few years earlier and at the end of last year, they started working together in order to bring about a high-level exhibition at the Gozo museum.
The upcoming exhibition Ferroni & Coccetta – Exploring Light – is the result. It is being inaugurated on Saturday, the 13th of April at 6.30pm and will remain open to the public until Thursday, the 13th of June. This will be the first ever exhibition of Ferroni’s paintings in the Maltese Islands.
This exhibition will showcase works of one of Italy’s most important artists during the 20th Century – Gianfranco Ferroni – alongside contemporary Italian artist, Walter Coccetta.
The museum said that the exhibition will also feature his graphic arts. As to Coccetta, he is no newcomer to Gozo, since he has already exhibited his art at the Gozo Citadel in 2011.
“Il mio prossimo libro sui tesori d’Italia non terminera’ piu’ con Fontana, ma con Ferroni,” Vittorio Sgarbi announced last summer in Seravezza, Italy. Gianfranco Ferroni was a protagonist within the Italian artistic movement of the Metacosa.
Art critic Niccolo’ Lucarelli when looking into the Seravezza exhibition, commented that “Ferroni dedicated many years of his career to the presentation of a rarefied world of a few, insignificant objects, immersed in a light that melts corporeity, which works reveal his composed expectation of, (and search for), the meaning of human existence, which as an atheist, he could not have expected to find in God.”
Lucarelli explains that “the sacredness of the light in his art exposes his yearning for an unlikely miracle. It is a world of silent intimacy.” Ferroni’s works have been exhibited in many fora, notably the Venice Biennale editions of 1958, 1964, 1968 and 1982.
Sgarbi, speaking of Ferroni, last summer described him as, “a painter who in the last, extraordinary period of his life had such intense moments, true, and so poignant in the tension of the colour, to recall Vermeer, or a sublime but sadly forgotten Angelo Morbelli. A painter firmly immersed in thought, an atheist capable of representing the divine with a powerful spiritual intensity.”
During the 150th anniversary celebrations of the Unification of Italy, as part of an extensive project commissioned by Professor Vittorio Sgarbi, and included in the 54th Venice Biennale edition of 2011, some Italian artists, were selected by a special Commission and were invited to “virtually” exhibit their most recent works in the Pavilion “Italy in the World.”
In the Venetian pavilion – by virtue of videos – the public was also able to virtually visit the “real” exhibition in progress at the Italian Institute of Culture in Valletta whose protagonist was Walter Coccetta.
Coccetta uses techniques ranging from simple oil to mixed techniques, including fresco painting. Shade and semi-darkness have always formed the basic elements of Coccetta’s work.
The museum said that “he embraces a style which makes light and various materials, the true protagonists of the work of art. However, his sojourn in the Maltese Islands, has enabled him to explore the Mediterranean light which has enhanced his exploration of life, spirit and experience.”