Chromatic Variations

Throughout time artists were always preoccupied with what exists beyond our planet. Some of these artists used abstraction as a vehicle to express their vision about the origins of the 'prima materia' and how the cosmos is perceived by humans. A young Sicilian artist, Elio Scuderi, is one of the few artists who developed this theme with intriguing works charged with symbolic codes of high poetic content. His art is a synthesis of memories, feelings, imagination and the unconscious conveyed through an impulse of the emotional and sensorial freedom.

Elio Scuderi was born in the city of Palermo, Sicily in 1972. His interest in art and creativity started at a very early age. Although the artist never had any formal art education, his great passion for painting led him to develop a distinctive style. The work of Elio Scuderi is mostly abstract and is an expression of his interior being and is done spontaneously without any premeditation. In his repertoire the artist uses a variety of materials like paint, fabric, stone, metal and any other found objects. Colour and matter are fused to attain visually the rhythms of nature.

In most of his paintings, many times done in various mediums, we find the circle as the main motif. Swirls of concentric circles applied with gestural bands of chromatic hues of colour in red, orange, ultra marine and yellow generate a sense of vortex in his compositions. Initially these works are mostly a reference to the evolution of the planets and the universe but I believe that these circular compositions are also the symbolic expression of the artist's psychic state. They are a representation of the search of the inner 'Self'. Good examples of these works are, Lunatico, Lunatico Meteora, Lunatica Argento, and Lunatico Caliente.

Like in the 'incadescenza' series, Scuderi continues to explore the atmospheric dimensions of the universe by trying to rationalize his principles of composition. His circles are now melted into dancing irregular lines and exploding forms as if erupted from the volcanic crevices. Usually the artist separates the canvas or paper with two contrasting plains of colour with a diving line, a horizon, to let the central image project its strength into space. These minimalistic and abstracted pictographs or signs are the artist's deep reflection and perception of things in mystical or ecstatic experience.

The theme of 'light' and 'atmosphere' in relation to colour, in the range entitled Ciclo dei Colori, we recognize the artist's constant struggle to create and materialize in painting the unlimited possibilities of colour and light. Interesting are the paintings like Taglio di Luce Pulsante, Taglio di Luce Bianca, and Taglio di Luce in Bianco, which show a kind of sharp light cutting through the screen of space. Instead of incising the painted canvas by making horizontal or vertical slits, like we find in the works of Lucio Fontana, Scuderi uses paint to create the effects of the power of light. He successfully models his paint to achieve better chromatic value and the pulsating effects of light.

Other works, like for example, in Miraggio, Campo Libero and Conflitti di Colore, the artist uses strips of vibrant coloured lines, poured and trickled and superimposed to achieve illusion and dept in space. This is the typical manifestation of impulsive brushwork by Scuderi where Colour and form become symbolical concerns of the artist's mental state.

Recently, Elio Scuderi continued his investigation in the chromatic dynamics of colour in contrast with the material in use. He employs monochromatic layers of colour on embossed fabrics to illustrate the aesthetical dimensions of texture and space.

With his expressionist flashlight of his unconscious, Elio Scuderi attempts to represent the mythical and metaphysical movie screen of the mind. This body of work is the result of the artist's continuous reflection on the subliminal echoes of our existence and leaves on us a psychoaesthetic effect. Scuderi's paintings are an expression of a visual field in which dream, fantasies and spirit take shape. The power of his abstract language makes us reflect on the transforming process of our universe.

Dr. Louis Laganà
University of Malta

Dr. Louis Laganà is a lecturer in Fine Art and Art History at the University Junior College, and also lectures on Art, Culture and Tourism with the Tourism Studies Department, University of Malta (FEMA). He is also a practicing artist, art historian and critic and specializes in Modern and Contemporary Art. His papers were delivered in many conferences abroad and published in learned journals and newspapers.


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