Trieste 的里亞斯特 | 2017 | Oil & Mixed Media on Board 複合媒材 | 70 x 100cm
⾺泰奧‧⾺薩格蘭德新作個展 Matteo Massagrande Solo Exhibition｜2017.5.20～6.25
----曾長生(Pedro Tseng Ph. D.)
⾺泰奧‧馬薩格蘭德 (Matteo Massagrande) 1959年出生於義大利的帕多瓦(Padua)，是一位有藝術天份且造詣很高的畫家及雕刻家。他精通古典與當代藝術史，也擅長傳統繪畫技法與藝術修復。自1973年展露頭角以來，他已參與過百餘場國際性的展覽，其中包括第54屆威尼斯雙年展。馬薩格蘭德堪稱是義大利新具象(Nuova Figurazione)繪畫運動最具代表性的人物之一。
一個藝術家如何可能同時既尊重又挑戰現實？根據傅柯的說法，透過自由實踐，人可察覺限制所在，並得知可僭越的程度。他用「界限態度」（une attitude limite, or “a limit attitute”）一詞，來進一步闡釋他所謂的「現代性的態度」：這種哲學的風骨，可視為一種界限態度……我們必須超越內／外之分，我們必須時時處於尖端……簡而言之，重點在於將批判理論中必要的限制性，轉化為一種可能進行踰越的批判實踐。傅柯心目中的現代主義者，雖被限制所束縛，但卻迫不及待地追尋自由；他自知身處於尖端，隨時準備踰越界限。再者，這種歷史批判的態度，必須是一種實驗性態度。
馬薩格蘭德曾受義大利形而上畫派喬吉歐。奇里訶(Giorgio de Chirico)的啟發，參考建築學與形而上的表現手法，他也從古物維修學習中，習得大師們的技法以發展自已的畫法。他在色調的運用上，既協調又能配合整體結構的平衡，但他更在乎著眼於追求簡單主題的完美呈現，所以不同色調與造形終將保持最後整體畫面的契合。對藝術史的深入瞭解，也有助於他對室內空間做出富歷史內涵的特異詮釋，諸如: 牆壁上的電噐插座、磨損的馬賽克地板磁磚及經多層次修補的舊牆壁，每一間曾住過人的房間與走廊如今已成空屋，或許還隱藏著過去主人留下來的某些秘密。地板的裝飾花紋，讓人想到威尼斯人的起居室或充滿葡萄酒的巴黎人廚房，完美的空間轉合卻配合著陳舊的老牆壁，而旁邊卻是充滿謎樣詩意美感的走道，既使落日從玻璃框中消失，觀者不去注意畫中似電影透視般的精緻幻想空間，仍可慢慢觀賞品味畫中耐人尋味的絕妙表現。
簡言之，在馬薩格蘭德的藝術作品中，觀者可以發現其基本訊息表現的雙重性: 一方面，我們從這些日常短暫生活的殘存片斷中，努力保存我們的記憶，那是我們文化的基本觀; 另一方面，我們又必須努力創新，因為這是我們確保世代傳承的唯一手段，讓生命繼續延存下去。
Matteo Massagrande in the Nuova Figurazione:
From Cross-cultural Modernity to Spatial Consciousness of Post-Modernity
-- Pedro Tseng Ph. D.
Born in Padua, Italy in 1959, Matteo Massagrande is a talented painter as well as engraver with profundity. He has considerable expertise in the history of classic and contemporary art. He is also a professional of techniques in traditional painting and art conservation. He has participated in over a hundred of international exhibitions, including the 54th Venice Biennale (2011), since he first came to prominence in 1973. Massagrande is one of the most iconic figures of the Nuova Figurazione, a painting movement.
As a modernist, he keeps marking the boundary of establishment of power experimentally to consider likelihood of transgression. He defines it as a game regarding in-betweenness of putting freedom into practice and the realistic order. Human agency could not come into play unless freedom is practicable within the establishment of power. On the one hand, we have uncertainty about Modernism’s missions and projects, which are in a de facto state of completion. On the other hand, they are probably susceptible to disturbance and basically still incomplete and not abundant. Hence, Post-Modernism opens up an alternative ex post facto: an alternative such as “the third kind of reading.”
1.Transcending the Traditional Forms to Pursue a Creative Transformation
Could an artist respect the reality while challenging it? According to Michel Foucault, a human being could be perceptive to notice his limitations by putting freedom into practice, so that he could identify a range as a transgressor. Foucault coins the phrase “une attitude limite,” or “a limit attitute” to illustrate the so-called “attitude of Modernity”: we can regard this kind of philosophical position as a limit attitude…it is essential for us to transcend a binary opposition between interiority/exteriority and be a pioneer…simply put, to transform necessary limitations of critical theory into a practice of criticism by transgression. As for the quality of a modernist, Foucault argues that though a modernist is confined in limitations, he would seek freedom without hesitation. He is ready to be a transgressor whenever he has to be because he is also a pioneer.
Massagrande was born in Padua, Italy. Although he lives in his birthplace now, he used to spend his summer vacation in his wife’s hometown, Hungary, in past twenty years. His obsession with the traditional Italian art, harmony of light and color in Venetian painting in particular, prompts him to gravitate to terrestrial life, grassroots, and arts of Hungary. He equipped himself with the various techniques of traditional painting, composing detail of engraving, even process of art conservation. Hence, he scrutinized implementation of ancient masters with the medium of paint and how they managed when they had technical issues about using paint pens. He visited the top museums of the world and examined the masters’ original pieces of work in order to learn about the trainings of apprenticeship of the ancient masters with the instruction of the best instructor of art history. Later on, the in-depth and intensive study made his overall artistic composition solid and be capable of exploring trends of the Nuova Figurazione and representation of contemporary art and its possibilities of future development. The study also supports his principles of art. He combines the past and present, and he also recognizes and integrates high value of art history with innovation of modern painting.
2.Spatialization and Materialization of Time
A transition of space is likely to provide the distinction between Post-Modernism and Modernism a useful tool. This distinction is not made in two different realms. Instead, it is extant in liminality between time and space. This unique as well as large-scale transition includes replacement and spatialization of time. However, any clear explanation related to Neo-Aesthetics and its Life-World existence adheres to some steps of experiencing liminality, or mediation in dialectic. In fact, the post-modern spatializtion has been progressing in relationship with different mediums of space and juxtaposition of heterogeneous power. We could regard spatialization as a process of being mediatized for traditional fine art.
Drawing inspiration from Giorgio de Chirico, an artist of metaphysical school in Italy, Massagrande not only adopts the techniques of architecture and metaphysics, but also learns from the masters to develop his own skills. He emphasizes a perfect representation of pursuing a simple topic compared with the shades in his works, which also harmoniously match the whole composition with balance. Therefore, different shades and forms ultimately maintain visual harmony as the whole picture. His in-depth understanding of art history is also beneficial to his unique and historical interpretation of interior space. For example, wall sockets, worn mosaic brick tiles, old walls with multi-layered plaster, rooms and corridors in vacant houses which are used to be people’s homes. The owner’s secrets are still probably well-kept. The decorative patterns of the floor remind people of a Venetian living room or Parisian kitchen. A perfect space of transition matches with plain old walls accompanied by mysterious corridors with poetic beauty. The viewers could enjoy the significant representations in his paintings without noticing the delicate space of fantasy in perspective like a film, even though sinking sun disappears from a glass frame.
3. Seeking the Poetic Essence of Life in Life
Charles Baudelaire, according to Foucault, is not an unsophisticated Flâneur. Neither does he simply seize the ephemeral now-ness that is full of amazement every nook and cranny, nor he merely is satisfies with watching and preserving memory. Instead, he always gravitates to searching and seeking as a modernist. Compared with a so-called Flâneur, he sets himself a higher goal: a quality that we could call “modernity,” simply put. He does nothing else but seeking the poetic essence of history. Foucault advocates that a modernist’s first priority is to extract a poetic essence from life. In other words, he transforms life into a poem. He describes this act as “seeking the poetic essence of life in life.” Post-Modernity has annulled the Utopian mission of pre-Modern painters. After discharging the obligation based on ideology, the forms were liberated. As a result, painters now could freely adopt a nomadic style which agrees with a reversible process of language in the past.
“A painter could abolish what he does not want when he completes new compositions. It is not likely for him to dismantle a wall that is not extant. He could only dismantle a wall after it was built.” This perfectly explains why Massagrande addresses the traditional theme in his painting and why he applies traditional techniques. He tries to prevent tradition from vanishing. However, his primary aim is not to duplicate the tradition, but to discover the hidden, harmonious beauty of ancient edifices around viewers. Tracking the perceptible and approachable material of physical things is nothing but a way of prompting our thoughts and emotions. If we attempt to appreciate paintings, or interpret the esoteric contents of vacant houses and opened doors, we must use our spirits, not our eyes, because nothing else could tell the clandestine myths and private stories like a nature-centered as well as objective model of painting does. The individual and private emotions become expressive because there are particular elements of reality. The art without a theme and its universal signs are more capable of expressing Truth in general rather than particular emotion or manifestations.
4.Bank of Memory and Reincarnation of Allegory
The symbolic form and linguistic value played a role of impresario from Romanticism to Modernism. If symbols are equal to all kinds of building blocks of art and culture, the return of the repressed of all kinds of the counterparts of symbols and explicit as well as implicit allegorical theories could be regarded as discrimination in heterogeneity, or difference regarding disruption and interruption, but not a trenchant view of homogeneity in general. Hence, an allegory could be regarded as an incomparability of the target: a question for thinking and planned as a new answer of all kinds of new interpretations to include those which are not included by a thought or theory.
Recently, Massagrande has created a nuanced composition. Except for works of art representing interior space and scenery, he lumps two themes together. Combining interior space with exterior space equally, he represents two connected ideas without disturbance. Tranquil as it is, the interior space with walls and old broken bricks also reveals eternity, whereas the exterior space as the background including nature creates a variety of possibilities with green plants, which is contrary to the crystalized and lifeless eternity. For example, the leaves either tremor in pleasant summer breeze or bathe in a light drizzle. Also, the sky may be sunny or murky. The shades of the background change endlessly. Its effects include: tranquility vis-à-vis transient nature; eternity vis-à-vis the cycle of the seasons.
To sum up, the viewers of the works of art by Massagrande will identify the duality, which is generated by the basic signs of the works. On the one hand, we strive for preserving our memory, which is basic value of our culture, with the fragmented parts in ephemeral everyday life. On the other hand, we also have to make an effort to innovate, because this is the only way to ensure of human reproduction.
Massagrande’s techniques of duality and juxtaposition combines the extant images in the context of famous works of art with modern life to apply and reinterpret time and space compression, trying to provide the viewers with images of “correlation” and open up a possibility to coin new phrases of modern aesthetics and semiology. Massagrande brings a different perspective, thinking pattern, and a means of expression for the viewers to observe eternal space and unlimited life. Meanwhile, this multiple perspective recognizes a possibility of “the third kind of reading between Modernity and Post-Modernity.”
translated by Yuan-yang Wang