12 April - 27 June 2008
The core of the exhibition dedicated to Paolo Cotani centred around the artist’s most recent work: Tensioni e Torsioni (Tensions and Twists). A series of large works in which bands and ropes are pulled as tight as possible and at times twisted around steel structures to create a dynamic element in contrast to the metal’s cold and elegant stability. In his latest large work, Chorus Line, which gives the exhibition its name from, the tension seems to dissolve into a more relaxed swathe. The bands become fewer and further between, making the structure more visible. They become a sign, an illegible and communal epigraphic script sculpted in space.
Also linked to this central core are other themed groups of earlier works. Their intention is not to make up a retrospective journey through the wide-ranging, complex and at the same time unitary work of Cotani, but to give a sense of some traits specific to the artist. From the first elastic bands stretched over a frame in the mid-1970s, their dynamic structure breaking up the one-tone surface of the painting, we come to some canvases from the early 1990s which also apparently play on a single tone, but are lit up by rarefied geometrical gaps and an almost “Baroque” richness in the colour layout. A richness that we find once again in the velvety skin of some wax panels, in some painted photograph papers, and in his carbon papers, where the thin white trace of the rip is a flash of light that becomes a structural element at work inside the composition.