In the paintings of Marisa Marconi, the light piercing the darkness of the night follows patterns of a very personal gnosis that reconstruct traces of memories frayed by many iconographic contaminations, and captured in their most salient aspects instantly readapted in their absolute essence, and rendered as pictorial nuances of a palpable yet fleeting reality, as a mirage of a present waiting to be revealed, and to the agnostic astonishment of the viewer, as an indecipherable yet congenial epiphany.

From the deep darkness of the canvas, the luminous path emerges imperious to dictate in syntony with our amnesis of a visual perception, morphological convergences and points of contact with our iconological insurgencies. Not unlike Enrico of Ofterdingen, who in the darkness of the cave
Discovers the blue flower, symbol of the poetic truth he longs for, we unconsciously introduce in these paintings a sounding echo that assures us a reading almost always inductive (see for instance, the paintings of Natività or Omaggio a Gherardo delle Notti, and more rarely eidetic.(Cuore di tenebra, Notte a Citera.) Novalis was fond of saying that the night is “harbinger of the deep life” because “it opens within us infinite eyes capable of seeing further than the palest and most remote stars.” It is a poetic declaration that the artist from the Piceno would have no difficulty in subscribing.

But the “nocturnity” of Marisa Marconi must not be understood as a sort of hiatus day/night, a cronobiological condition that automatically excludes itself from an existential context, an arc of time that neutralizes any temporal reference. On the contrary the night of this artist is an extension of the day not only lived in existential terms, but as tabula rasa upon which materializes stenographed images highly indicative of a cultural matrix that operates within two poles, the neo-romantic which serves as a poetic point of reference to the artist who develops the theme of shadow in a clearly esoteric key, and the second which must be identified in the forms designed by the light that assumes an iconic relevance because, as we have mentioned, these forms perceptibly reveal to us their significance in fieri.

Aside from that of the visual arts and music, there is also a literary tradition in which the theme of light and shadow, either fully explored or simply touched upon, introduces us to a conceptual universe that seems to catalyze our deepest pulsations because it is a universe contiguous to the kingdom of Thanatos. But the authors who have dealt with these themes from Novalis to Young,Dostoevskij, von Chamisso, Hoffmannsthal and eventually Nietzsche, Heine, Rilke, Conrad, D’Annunzio, Borges, and Tanizaki, and who have journeyed to the world of shadows have always claimed a return trip. Marisa Marconi invites us to partecipate in this return trip when she indulges in emphasizing those plastic forms that tear the mantle of the night. Perhaps more a sculptor than a painter, judging from her operative curriculum, this artist pursues in painting a virtual third dimension. The luminous forms that stand out from the bituminous depths appear to us as mocking metaphors of a slow reemerging from the world of darkness.

Carlo Melloni



omaggio a


Marisa Marconi who shares the wonderful spaces of Palazzo Malaspina with her husband Vittorio Amadio, applies herself with equal enthusiasm to painting, sculpture and graphics. Presently she is exhibiting four spray-gun paintings and a sculpture in walnut, Era . The surface of this sculpture presents characteristics very similar to those of her paintings. The sand scratches on her paintings are not distant from those made by the burin on the plate prior to its immersion in acid.

Her discourse is all focused on the presence of absences that in the beginning of the eighties had its first epiphany in those somatic distillates that gave life to the cycle of Obsolescenza. Perhaps in her willingness to reassert the transient nature of life and her view that each existence has destined to leave only dubious traces, Marisa Marconi in this cycle returns to the fragmented residuals of the image, no longer physically tangible, but only as visual remembrance of that body which the canvas held within its folds. The effects of ?wrinkledeness? in her view of time, have so fascinated the artist that she let herself be taken by the casual play of folds that have become prominent in her paintings to the point where the somatic aspects of the image are no longer even traceable. And that is a literal overturning of both visual and conceptual aesthetic values.. From the obvious traces of the human body in Obsolescenza, we pass to the folds made by that body on the sheet upon which it rested. At first she was interested in the radial and irregular rhythms of the folds upon which she began to construct her faceless impressions (Flussi 1991) These folds have now become in her eyes almost a theatrical undertaking. Her ?Andare in scena? (Going on Stage) is, of course, highly indicative of that direction.

Giorgio Di Genova