Critical review of Dr. Manuela Vannozzi
"Lorenzo Monegato: between balance and measure"
In the works of Lorenzo Monegato one breathes his world reflected in current affairs, where the formal evidence in portraits of women above all exalts the measurement of roles, where being and things coexist in mutual respect. The discovery and the importance of object complement does not question the authoritative function of the subject. The cohabitation between real and unreal space appears possible only on the condition that each part of the artist's work becomes aware of its existential specificity, placing in them the essential conditions for the affirmation and survival of their existence on the surface. Lorenzo Monegato, composes with few figures. His paintings derive from an extremely measured and careful taste education to select objects. It is the logical landing place for someone who, like our author, has educated himself in drawing and resuming classical motifs, with a tendency towards painting understood as a construction of scenes and environments re-echoing classical-formal themes.
In this perspective, however, the artist inserts a constant sense of the measure that involves reducing the number of images to a few essential factors, to elaborate a continuity of ideas that must be perceived as a theme, constant with the variation of individual representations. If the arguments, in natural agreement with the pictorial ideas of the new Italian way, are derived from mythological fables, the structure of the composition to a geometric form that disregards, in some way, from the arguments themselves. In fact, it is easy to recognize in Lorenzo Monegato's paintings a tendency to build according to the triangular form that implicitly contains the figures and creates necessary connections between the images, in the light of a connection principle that gives a sense of narration. This does not mean that joining the New Manner, was for the artist a choice of convenience or an adjustment to instances not his. On the contrary, only within the logic of the New Manner the artistic aspirations of the painter have found a precise end and a series of formal organization. That of Lorenzo Monegato is a painting of rigor, where the many representations the subjects always have an exchange. By observing his works, the user is catapulted into a world or an artistic universe made of color. His paintings are a triumph of chromatic timbres of various tones so delicate and so magically integrated that we can really read what Monegato perceives about art, that is a poem, a testament of the soul, a story of himself, an autobiography entrusted only to his creatures, his landscapes and his creations. Those figures, those magnified objects, those structures, plastically faced on a close plane according to a precise geometric scan, retain their intrinsic explosiveness, and at the same time, allude to classical architectures, to ancient voices that the artist seems to possess and master with design knowledge. The artist governs with such security the structural occasions and the compositional motifs so as to place the pictorial style as a modern mannerist, which manages to mix on the canvas styles of all disciplines: architecture, sculpture, painting, but without escaping the comparison with modern times, smelled with very fine smell, along the trails of a second cube-futurism (with some reference to De Pero), which also goes to meet with the contemporary, in original winks to the "Pop Art".
The colors of Lorenzo Monegato, so aggressive, bruised and alternative, are not the colors of the classics and of the Italian tradition. These works are distinguished by the complex compositions of multiple figures, many with severe black and white, while others are decidedly strong with a generous palette of warm and cold contrasting colors. The painter continues his exploration of the themes of alienation, loneliness, the computer short circuit, rampant technology, industrial aggression, artistic ambition, commercial tricks, hypocrisy, empty idolatry, the mechanical production of art, of pressure for a production that is an end in itself, and of the compartmentalization of the human soul.
Lorenzo Monegato thus affirms itself with a construction of the image of female protagonism aimed at affirming the "devouring" model, of the virg-woman, "Amazon" or "black widow" cynically accused of the incessant and ritual "consumption" of occasional lovers, which prefigures a new form of subjectivity capable of drowning the classic male-female dualism in a potentially androgynous symbolic identity. This ideal will to overcome "anthropological", with the advent of the "superfemmina" as implemented expression of the modernity of Futurist custom, does not seem to contrast the legacies of romantic-symbolist mythologies embodied in the incantric "eccentricity" of the femme damnè or fatal. This specific representation, which directs the destructive exercise towards the masculine to the dislocation of an emerging dark and "demonic" side in the feminine sign, demanda the expansive value of the potential of emancipation to a mere desire to annihilate the other from oneself. The constructive strategies of subjectivities are thus disengaged from any horizon of gender signification, restricting the vision of the process of finding sexual status to primitive conflictual synthesis in which the parties recognize each other in the reciprocity of the respective and crystallized symbolic function, without therefore questioning and rather by strengthening the constraints of the patriarchal hierarchy expressed in the balance of hegemonic / subordinate role. Monegato seems to move in a mental habit aimed at incorporating the aesthetic realization as a product of necessary conjugation with the vitalistic cycle of his existential quality, in which the theatricality of gesture assumes the decadent rituality of sublime event, of constitutive literary action in light, according to the suggestions D'Annunzio, built around the narcissistic lyricism evoked by the figure of the poet-vate but also with the emulative contribution of the futurist histrionisms.
In these works also appear precise references to the anatomical emphasis that characterizes the female iconography of some Paleolithic sculptures (and therefore generically identified as Venuses) found in Italy, France and Austria. However, discarding the pure ideal of naturalistic beauty cherished by the great French artist, in the sculptural icasticity of the "blocked" figures and the alteration of the compositional proportions, the artist finds confirmation in the fearful formal deformation disharmonically disorganizing the composition in an objective representation that declines the refusal to be subjected to the prosaic "dictatorship" of photographic reality. The maintenance of the volumetric plasticity of the woman in the foreground, however, denotes the mortgage of a decorative translation with an intellectual flavor, capable of disregarding the geometrization of the cubist deconstruction brought to object iconography. The pictorial style of Monegato is opportunely combined with the ideals of an art experimented as an external means of communicability and oriented by cold and controlled abstract modes, cerebrally intended to have a simple but original realization device, specifically based on a curved and compositive line serpentinata, modeled through sharp and marked outlines built on decidedly reduced chromatic bases, and finally tended to overcome any tension guided by the feeling or by the tumultuous grafting of the passion. The artist's canvases offer suggestions linked to the contemporary world, offering the viewer metropolitan landscapes with references to high fashion, where elegant ladies parade through the streets like the Status Symbol. but next to the apotheosis of modernity there is the contradictoriness of a parallel process of evolution of the pontormanistic mannerism that turns to the recovery of formal neo-baroque attitudes. In a gradual but irreversible process, oriented towards the thinning of the volumes and an unusual accuracy of the aesthetic details, he recovers through the serpentine line the manneristic language of crossed looks and the construction of a narrative sequence. The marble carving of the forms melts into a visible architecture of proportions and turns the images into a naturalistic instance, verifying also an assimilation of the erotic expression within cold and abstract synthesis of sentimental impulses. The cumbersome plasticity of the garments renounces the monolithism of the corporeal winding, the realistic movement of the flowing air passages, also acting as a means of revealing the underlying anatomical forms through the ambiguous play of subtle transparencies.
METROPOLIS - PERSONAL EXHIBITION NEW YORK
Critical review of Artifact Gallery
Lorenzo Monegato’s artistic vision is drawn equally from the world around him and that of his imagination. His expanded agenda ranges from work that is intensely personal, reflecting his formal training as an architect, to the overtly phantasmagoric. In his large-scale pigment prints we can see elements referring to both modern and traditional cultural archetypes, which inspire the artist in his explorations of the intuitive responses to the exterior. These images incorporating architectural details and present dramatic narratives which are rooted in a modern and post modern inquiry of the role of cultural forces as they direct man’s inner and outer life away from the known and the representable.
In reviewing Monegato’s work it is evident that he is in a position to explore the ruptured boundaries between classifying systems in the art world. This can be seen in most of his colorful paintings with overall animated continuum between urban objects. Another aspect of the artist’s work is its manipulated quality, which is reinforced through repeated, mirrored or rotated graphic imagery. It is the uncanny sense of displacement and often overt regularization in artist's vision, which gives its impact and its charge. The specificity of each image suggests a specimen of a newly discovered order, which we are perceiving for the first time. Each print is an adroit melange: its breath-taking taxonomic beauty suggests the artist's delight in exactitude and openness to unpredictable forms. Within this openness lies the ambiguity, which offers a tangible expressiveness to much of Monegato’s work.
More often than not the artist explores the visually rhetorical force of highlighting the relationship between his architectural forms.
The result is precariously balanced three-dimensional compositions whose freewheeling parts and their synthesis vie for attention. There is a conversation between parts that take place in the artist’s works that animate the visual experience for the viewer.
It includes ruminations and speculations about the forces between completion and defferral, between order and disorder, between centering and dissolution.
The corresponding visual permutations are richly explored through the Monegato’s nimble use of urban geometry where the emphasis in the work is a sense of becoming rather than a drive toward the concretisization of being. The constitutive marks the artist leaves on and between his mostly steel and wood surfaces always give a sense of presence of lived experience, of a space properly and fully explored and inhabited by the mind, a space that has become a place for private reflection.
In all of his artistic endeavors what is made clear is that Lorenzo Monegato is producing art which reaches out in universal terms to touch everyone on different levels. Perhaps the most impressive quality that emerges out of each sculpture is its rythmic drive which forms a visual choreography of parts related to the whole, as well as of subtle, nuanced surface tonalities connected in vitalistic ways to compositional shapes. The compelling drama of energized suspension pervades all of Monegato’s paintings.
This measured sense of anticipation seems to arise spontaneously and naturally out of building process. This working style, so geared to the flows and ebbs of creative energies, has been honed over time in order to exploit certain factors and conditions.