ARCHITECT OF SCULPTURE

Sculpture today wants to be monumental, if not in its dimensions, but at least in what concerns its spiritual proportions. It wants to be able to successfully resist the consuming action of space and light. Unwilling to be dominated by space, sculpture, rather, aims at integrating space in itself, using every possible means to give consistency and plasticity to space, in order to make it even more animated than solid mass. In short, sculpture has broken free of those constrictions and mentalities that for centuries have been imposed by a figurative tradition characterized by quite strict rules. Sculpture has, thus, reached a point where it considers itself equal to architecture, but purified of those servilities that keep all architects subject to the needs of a hospital, of a church or of a factory. Therefore, sculpture aspires to an extremely ambitious plan. It is understandable that desire is not enough to assure even a modest result. And there is no reason to be indulgent towards the numerous attempts that only demonstrate the incurable presumption of talentless artists. Francesco Somaini’s sculpture marks the beginning of sculpture today. There is no doubt that this is something that can’t be guaranteed. But after having observed Somaini’s recent works of art with a professional eye as detached as possible, I somehow had to admit, in spite of myself, that they generated a special kind of enthusiasm that is usually only provoked by the sight of a great achievement both aesthetic and personal at the same time. This young sculpture dominates his art. He has never flattered archaism nor fake modernism. He relies exclusively on his strengths with great simplicity and spontaneity. He is the inventor of a new material, the molder of space, the creator of forms and rhythms, the architect of sculpture; he addresses our emotions but does not forget our intelligence. Today, he takes his place in the rare elite, among our vast number of artists, who can really be called “artists”.

(Francesco Somaini, Como, 1956)