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Maria Rita Vita – a Made-in-Italy Art Fusion

by Umberto Vattani

Roma 17.03.17

It was about a year ago when I took my first glance at Maria Rita Vita art works. Among their distinctive features, what struck me the most, was the potent overall driving force which exudes from these realizations; this power takes undoubtedly and deliberately inspiration from the most unbiased and uncompromising exemplars of the “Action painting” school; an attentive observer can easily find out a confirmation of this trend in the skillful and wise use of putty knives and paintbrushes, which allow the insertion of water bubbles, as well as the creation of a tight entanglment of lines and streaks, of convoluted spiralling graphic ventures; an even more telltale sign which relates to Action painting is the artist’s ardent application of bright colours whose range hardly seems to be broad enough. These chromatic frequencies look like they were main characters engaged on stage in a contrast of their charismas, struggling to prevail over each other.

The outcome of Maria Rita Riva endeavours often times takes the form of a battlefield, where diverse elements are present in a ruthless competition with one another; although they are all kept at bay as vassals by the artist’s mastery, they are nonetheless carriers of a remarkable strength in their own right.

Any attempt to restrain colours behind symbolic bars of a cage would soon prove to be fruitless; this is the case even on those occasions when their primordial impetus somehow fades away, when their brightness tapers off, when they give in to the prevalence of more palely-dyed stark sceneries, characterized by stretches of circular graphic movements which appear to be suggestions, hints to the ongoing living passions the artist is still processing to date.

Alternatively, the observer can sometimes spot a supremacy of red shades over yellow, of green over white, in other works; however, these skirmishes between colours are in no way leading to a disruption of the balanced harmony which underlines the overall architectural frame.

The artist’s paintings and other pictures, broadly speaking, are an unquestionable display of this contention for supremacy among colours.

The use of graphic lines, which are a fundamental element in abstractions such as those by Hans Hartung, is irremediably doomed to succumb, tackled by the fury of other elements: a visual reminder of an endless progression.

Maria Rita Vita artistic productions are permeated with the ever provisional outcome of a titanic fight between the brightest hues, to the expense of the faintest and delicate shades, and this happens nearly all the time.

The painter is prone to engaging herself in a creative action whose pace is, shall we say, precipitous; so, consequently, her narration is a tumultuous intertwining of colours streaks, a perfect mirror of the evolving struggle.

Anyway, each time she gets busy illustrating her subjects, she also embodies the force of destiny, i.e.: the main tool she resorts to in order to bring to fruition unique works of art, each one portraying the victory of a selected specific advocate.

In order to fully grasp the most significant original source of the artist’s long-lasting experimental endeavour, it is advisable that the beholder recall the habit of depicting medioeval world scenes by drawings on tapestries, whose textiles are suitable for illustrating wide-ranging sights of landscapes. The available area on tapestries’ fabric is so wide as to confortably host all the indicative elements necessary to “rehearse” a whole“novella” plot, rendering a sort of short story akin to those collected in Boccaccio “Decamerone”. These latter pieces of arts are definitely made unique by their immediate effect of eliciting a void-induced phobia in the beholder. Anyway, we are dealing with a primordial “blank-slate” that the arist increasingly dots and spangles with carefully selected elements, in a sort of heart-rending manner of filling the void.

This horror vacui tangibly exudes from other works on canvas by Maria Rita Vita, as well; the allure of these paintings is similar to that of a dreamscape where, every now and then, Venus flytraps pop out, along with several other floristic spieces caught in their growing and blossoming process. All these forshortened views are clearly indicative of something striving desperately to emerge and jump out at you, something willing to show itself at all costs, like divers sticking their head above water.

The artist realizations are a striking revelation of her passionate irrepressible drive to beget new fruits, a goal she achieves by means of an immediately communicative painting style, and of the skillful gestures her hand perform.

Colours, in all their modulations, become the paramount tool, the channel of choice, the very foundations where the most impressive and unique elements of her creations stem from.

In their task of defining the artist’s painting language, critics have often been referring to “Action Painting”, as if it were the most suitable term of reference to faithfully describe the pure creative gestures of the artist, her hardly bridled technical expertise. As a matter of fact, her productions are in and of themselves the most enphatic embodiment of the very phisical act of painting, so as to frame it like in a snapshot. These “graphic frames” are the most direct translation of her impulse, of her subconscious dynamics, of any immediately carried out spontaneous act, immune to any thinking-process induced bias. This is the peculiar attitude of the artist, a modality she resorts to in her steadfast pursuit of inspiration; this approach proves to be unmistakably sensible to the “chromatic spell” cast by nature; all this is made possible by the artist’s lack of idiosyncrasy with figurative representations, though, at the same time, Maria Rita Vita would never restrict hereself to the simple portraying of flowers and other objects whatsoever. The keynote for a comprehensive appreciation of the artist enduring existential struggle lies in the physicality of the expressive material clotted on the surfaces, in the oil painting-encrusted layers.

In order to make sense of this condition and convey its meaning, it becomes an imperative for the artist expressing herself in ways that stick to the fundamental themes of nature, whose soothing pivotal treasures are a linchpin the artist revolves around. This is why Maria Rita Vita, adhering to this crucial inspirational elements, makes an impassionate and somehow “extreme” use of her palette’s collection of colours, namely, the inalienable “advocates” for her art.

Umbero Vattani,

Roma, Circolo degli Esteri (“Foreign Countries Society”), April, 2017.

Umberto Vattani is an Italian Ambassador. To date, he is the only diplomat who has been appointed Secretary-general at Italian Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs for two tenures in this office. In the year 2000, during his incumbency, he was the promoter and official instituter of “Collezione Farnesina” (“Farnesina Collection”), a top-rated exhibition whose crown jewels are masterpices by memorable Masters dating back to the first half of Italian twentieth century, enriched by a wide-ranging original documentation issued in the second half of the same century. Later on, acting as I.C.E. President (Institute of Foreign Trade, a Branch of I.T.A. – Italian Trade Agency), he was the curator of prestigious exhibitions in Beijing, Shanghai and Latin America.

He is the incumbent President of “Italy-Japan Foundation”, “Italy-China Foundation”, and of V.I.U. (International University of Venice), an Institute whose headquarters are located on “San Servolo” Island – where he decided to position works by Arnaldo Pomodoro, Pietro Consagna, Sandro Chia and Fabrizio Plessi, to name but a few. Since he took up his first office, he’s alway been sponsoring eminent events for international exchanges in the field of Contemporary Arts. Among the broad gamut of exhibits and showcases he lately supervised, we gladly point out those dedicated to Michelangelo Pistoletto (“The Third Paradise”), to Vettor Pisani, Oliviero Rainaldi, Marco Lodola and other artists from Italy and from abroad. We also number, in the shortlist of the most recent events, “Waiting for Qin Feng”, at “Fondazione Cini”, and “The World of Han Meilin”, held in the premises of “Ca’ Foscari” University, Venice.