The work of Francesco Somaini certainly does not lack deep, passionate, and emotionally involved critical analysis. These analysis are in some cases excessively emphatic, overwhelmed with symbolic references and psychoanalytical interpretations, that spring from the firm belief in the necessity of “digging deep” in order to discover and highlight the very real meanings and the first roots of artistic research. Even though the above-described critical research largely stresses the importance of  “substance”, it may underestimate in many ways the specific nature of a work of art, which is, above all, a formal fact, a linguistic structure that is well grounded in the autonomous dimension of the figurative space. Nevertheless, the strong and explicitly antropomorphic characterization of Somaini’s organic imagery produces in the spectator intense influences and reflections connected to the main questions concerning man’s primary existentialism; but we should not forget that Somaini’s work is full of aesthetic tensions in that they are plastic organisms, more or less similar to the work of a geometric abstractionist for example (even though the outcomes are clearly different). In other words, the quality, the qualitative value, of a work of art is measured by the artist’s capacity to act on the material in a way that transforms his actual experience into a moulded physique, his inner life, his personal spirituality, his reaction to the historical-cultural context, his ideals, his design vision, etc.

(From: Rossana Bossaglia, a cura di, Somaini. Opere 1948-1990, Electa, Milano 1990)

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