Baldo Diodato: Works from the performance

05.05.21 — 16.06.21

From 5 May to 16 June 2021, Galleria Mario Iannelli is pleased to present "Works from the performance", the exhibition by Baldo Diodato, who displays the works created by the "Frottage Multicolore" performance and the aluminium casts made in the outer part of the gallery, both performed on the occasion of the group exhibition opening "Cast".
The exhibition is introduced with a text by Mario Iannelli. 


It was exciting to have given rise to the creation of Baldo Diodato "Frottage Multicolore" performance, whom I have known since I started working in Rome, with whom I had the opportunity to share the gallery's research developed in Berlin and made it happen in the current time giving life to a moment of concrete sharing and closeness that the participants intensely felt.

Above all, exciting is the work carried on according to a known ritual but always left open to new discoveries. The actions repetition, whose origins date back to the seventies and those experienced by Baldo in New York, brought back to those emotions in an authentic way.

On 60 square meters of the gallery (they were 600 square meters at the Alessandra Gallery in New York in 1976), he conceived a collective experience calibrated on colour as a pure element of conversational exchange. Whilst the first frottage performances in the street and on the floor were made with a sandwich canvas containing copy paper in which the path sign remained on the underlying canvas. The traces of those who have crossed the canvas are the tools of Diodato's language, who often affirms smilingly that "these paintings are not bad for being done with the feet" or "the artwork, I let others do it".

The sense of universality and inclusivity of the act pervades the vision of which it is possible to appreciate these work result extracted from the performance and in the transition from the horizontal floor to the verticality of the wall capturing a conscious aesthetic value. These paintings synaesthetically materialise landscapes modulated by footsteps, intervals, leaps, variations, turns, stumbles, counterpoints, underlining as many markings as there are body language possibilities and in the structure of their plots, we observe the visual trajectories of the colour, trampled, crawled, dispersed.

The matter seems exploded to a fine dust level. The colours are under a purple-grey mist and spots of indefinite and variable colour; they are blended by the action of black colour present equally to the other shades of yellow, red, blue, green, scattered as in multi-coloured constellations. Swipe signs of those who have walked it add flashes and sudden epiphanies. Colours and traces emerge in the performative cast offered more to the senses rather than to self-memory that the unrefined brings back to clarity, revealing the origin of the sign.

The gleaming colour leads to parallelism with impressionist art, whereas some dotted soles create a texture typical of "pointillism". If these works were music, they would be a minimalist or jazz improvisation, the one called "echtzeitmusik" (real-time), which is also the title of a recent performance at the Bilotti Museum in Rome; besides Baldo Diodato created several musical performances together with Antonio Caggiano with the percussion of his aluminium. Diodato uses a geometric sense constructing spaces for times lapse, modules and causality. Examples are those works incorporating the scotch tape used to fix the canvas on the floor. During this phase, underneath supports have been prepared, ready to be placed on the wall during the performance. These fragments give evidence to an intermediate stage in the course of action and stand out by the presence of the white canvas in the background revealing, by contrast, a highly marked expressionist tempera.

Their negative, meaning the works that contain these cuts, create an absolutely unedited piece in his work. Instinctively called cuts would lead to a parallel with those of Fontana, for the breaking through the dimension of the canvas in space, also created with a performance. They have the appearance of being windows to the world - consistent with the "Finestra sul Mondo", a mirrored stainless steel installation at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1975 - and literally about the reality there present, in that void which creates not an absence but presence. For this reason, they are installed in such a way looking partly "non-formal", leaving the sensitivity of the natural crease since they are not arranged on supports like passe-partout. In Baldo Diodato research, they manifest themselves as samples of works within the work and therefore as visualisations of infinities rather than images' disappearances. The cuts are somewhat of all works performances, the time-image fragments captured by the performer-director-painter in which every nuance and eventuality takes on its value.

Observing it in this route, an aesthetic made up of attempts, stumbles and unusual solutions, one could compare these works with those created by artificial intelligence. The foot, like the computer, is an extension of oneself. Both have to learn how to make an abstract painting and at the same time have their own language.

Therefore the performance could be equivalent to an example of interaction with the artist's algorithm that balances control and chance. In welcoming the uniqueness, variety and unpredictability of a "dance of reality" in a "living theatre" Baldo Diodato, however, never wanted to create an abstract painting with a program; he never started or finished to see and feel amazed at what could be displayed in an instant contemplation.

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