Exhibition at Aurelian Walls

In the secret core of Aurelian Walls, skirted but respected by agitated traffic of Corso d’Italia, Giovanni Crescimanni presents a personal anthology of his last ten years work. A very important period for the artist, because he decided to march out in it, making known what he was modestly doing since a long time; his first exhibitions (which became frequently with time) and having the opportunity to receive prestigious official awards. They are oil paintings, watercolours, drawings and – following the studies of Francesco Randone, discoverer of Etruscan black ceramic secrets – potteries. Curious clay inventions, such as: ironic figurines (Satiro stanco) and masks with grotesque and bizarre shapes. But the main themes for this skilled painter are, almost exclusively, landscapes. We can affirm that these works are the diary of Crescimanni as a passionate traveller: from India to Syria, to Death Sea, with their prance of coloured fishes. Going and staying close to the main exotic Italian places: Venice, with its Laguna and, in radical contrast with it but still fascinating, Marghera; the Tuscan plain and all the Roman features. Crescimanni assumes a double look: from one side he uses a rare and synthetic imagery, from the other side he has an explicit non-iconic aptitude, even if it is strongly locked by suggestions of the real nature. From the first, I show some features of the Tuscan landscape which are placed at the beginning of the exhibition, as an introduction, and a tender trompe-l'oeil: opened windows inside the walls in a Tuscan landscape which exists somewhere else. Siena landscapes deserve a different comment, which are, in my true opinion, the most agreeable. Most of them were images that Crescimanni perceived from his field house, not so far from Pienza. Places that everybody knows, were blessed from Heaven. So here, because of a visual and sentimental appropriation process of a privileged territory, every survivor tries to give back the true phenomenon in a loyal key. On the brink of lustrous lightness effect or retinal automatism, the composition is elaborated by the aggregation and partial stratification of colours, a sort of commas, paintbrush touches, predominantly with a vertical course, which show efficiently and with ability to involve the emotive perception of Siena clays. To ochre and brown shades, Crescimanni adds others between sky-blue and blue, from topaz to indigo – and this is the sky – but all of it gives an Oriental taste to compositions. An Orient which, if we want to remember Mario Bussagli’s lessons regarding culture in general and above all the visual culture of Siena, had a lot to share. “