Short critical essay: recent works and current research

Giovanna Magugliani is not an artist come from nothing, but from a rich history of stimulations: starting from the flowery meadow and multicolored garden of the house of her childhood, from the “ciniglia” fabrics of her father, through the continuous amazed wandering in different worlds (Riyadh – Bombay – Tripoli – Madrid – Abu Dhabi …) up to immersing herself in the landscape and in the history of various civilizations, so different but all full of feeling, that are well suited to the spirit of the artist. Her sensitivity is manifested in fact outside of the “normality.”
Daughter of “textile” (or rather “ciniglia”), she spent her childhood in contact with the brilliant and crazy colour of the fabric manufactured by her father, a textile artisan pioneer.
The drenched in colour “fever” has led her to pursue her studies at the Art School, to study graphic and to continue the research on her own.
The confrontation with the “masters” of painting and sculpture of the period (Pellini, Frattini, …) has created the basis for a personal research, but more meditative.
Another event that has affected her expressive research is her marriage with Pino, engineer, wandering around the world. It ‘s her Pino (“Tolomeo” in one of her works), the centre of her universe. For a nomadic temper like Giovanna, it is the Ptolemaic certainty that her “earth” is the centre of her “big universe”; that her Pino (“virgo” and a sign of “the earth”) is a fixed point of constant reference, her certainty to watch a boundless sky without dizziness or endless fear.

The continuing maturation of her work has grown with time and diligent commitment starting from the search for a technique more suited to her spirit and her calm anxiety. From paintings in pastel on paper, egg tempera, pastel on canvas and wood, to end up to oil and wax and acrylic. Her research has refined, purified and made evanescent; hidden by veils, puffs of life that give the faces, the eyes, a supernatural depth.
The research is expressed in the faces, in looks, in “silent harmonies” of colours and glazes, in the “out of scale”: they are caught in an eastern meditative attitude and deep attention to the human soul.
And with them more traditional life scenes parade up to be merging with the fading shades of pure color, up to pure geometry (the glass cube); in short, the purity of the soul transferred to the purity of the technique and language.
Her works are like small pieces of a great adventure and they portray the characters that populate it. They fascinate for the colour tones, but also for their strength and the desire inherent in them to tell new stories that come from far away and have the scent of the Eastern world.

The brick worker girl she met in India, who, despite the hard work typically done by men on the crowded, dirty and polluted streets of Bombay, retains all its seductive femininity and tenderness of a mother.

The archaeologists, again inspired by the women in India are who are assigned to the construction of roads, who, with their carry of heavy baskets full of stones on the head, reminiscent of the work of the archaeologists involved in the excavations of the ruins of ancient Greece and in the restoration of the masterpieces of Italian art.

The Immutable, the portrait of an Arab woman who hides her face and is unchanging over the centuries like the desert that surrounds her.

Red Desert, a tribute to the Italian actress Monica Vitti, unforgettable interpreter of the film in 1964 by Michelangelo Antonioni, in which the woman lives in a state of isolation from the society that does not belong to her, and tries to hide her psychological distress behind her hand and feels all the immobility of the world that surrounds her, as in a silent and endless desert.

The eyes of Malaysia, inspired by a trip made in that country, where the colors of the lush tropical gardens blend well with the bright colors of the dresses of the gardeners and the eyes of frogs reveal their presence with the typical croaking.

Medusa, the interpretation of the face of a friend with intense blue eyes and very white flesh, reminiscent of the clear waters where jellyfish live, and where only the red lips differentiate the frivolous human being from the pristine world of jellyfish .

The White Canvas, which reveals the possibility of countless colouring experiences and countless poems to be engraved.

Leaves of Glycine, inspired by the lush wisteria in the garden of the house, in their alternation of light and shade in a sunny day in late October.

And today, the adventure of the artist continues: the relived face of Claudia Cardinale, from the film “The Leopard”, painted to celebrate the Lifetime Achievement Award recognized to the actress during the Film Festival in Abu Dhabi in October 2012, and exposed in the glorious surroundings of the Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi, announces more than one story, transforms the actress into a woman and her face in a dreamy face.


Dott. Arch. Paolo Torresan
Art critic

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