Reviews, Criticism
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by Federica Flore

San Remo 27.05.2017

Any revolution ever occured in history stemmed from a unique historical background made of specific cultural, political and social contexts; but such dramatic changes are also the outcome of necessities that inherently drive their unfolding: are these necessities the one and only propelling force that leads individuals along the path towards the fulfillment of their creative talents? The evolutionary process concerning Maria Rita Vita artistic production is definitely affected by the variable of chance, as well, which plays a significant role in defining its overall structure.

Chance and historical progress both appear to bring their relevant contributions to the emergence of the artist unequivocally identifiable chromatic dynamics, which are easily detectable in all her painting on canvas. In a century when artists have almost unanimously got rid of all sorts of classic techniques, thus departing from nature as fundamental source of inspiration, Maria Rita Vita paintings got a new lease on life by virtue of a rebirth to renewed educational influences; tendencies which were soon meant to stay tuned to the rhythm and harmony of particular landscapes: the typical shapes and outlines of the natural sites Maria Rita Vita has been living in. They are locations which anyone would arguably yearn to live in.

In the artist’s intention to define the specific vantage points available in this territory, aside from the personal process of their internalization by her exuberant personality, the sea plays a pivotal role with the varying shades of its colours, its characteristic sound and with an even more effective element: the light reflected by its shimmering rippled surface. According to such interpretative codes, oil and acrylic paints applied by the Tuscan artist catch the beholders’ eye with a dazzling effect, while they get mesmerized by that world made of dots, dashes and lines, true to the spirit of the historical european avantguardes of the early nineteenth century.

Mentioning Jackson Pollock “dripping” technique is far too easy when it comes to comment on Maria Rita Vita way of painting. In fact, the artist hand movements skillfully let the tint-soaked paintbrush glide through her fingers and, with innovative lines, chart new trajectories never experienced before. So, the artist’s creative gestures are a phenomenological excuse for the intent to depict a cartography of her inner world, whose diverse facets are yet to be completely unveiled.

The artist’s voyage unfolds from the core-essence of the employed raw material. This is Maria Rita way of bringing into being her peculiar alchemic relationship with Nature or, in fact, with any sort of natural situation and context, and with her instinct, too. The form of arts Maria Rita is committed to are also an approriate channel through which she vents the need of expressing her creativity; it is an intent she has being harbouring all though her biography. It also turns out to be a sort of “flip side” of things, an unconvential alternative reading of figurative arts’ works; in other words, it consists in that kind of surrealistic feeling which is inherent to those artists who, riding the wave of their inborn enthusiasm, look at the world and, unexpectedly, are able to catch sight of new wonders each time. Maria Rita attention is constantly drawn by the characteristic infantile inquisitive approach of kids who use to “wonder why” on a regular basis. Bearing these premises in mind, we can appraciate the way Maria Rita artistic pusruit gives birth to a juxstaposition of bright colours which pertain, on the one hand, to the fully developed personality of the cosmos and, on the other hand, to the ambivalence of the vault oh Heaven which reveals both psychedelic features and traits of an orderly pattern.

The act of contemplating some particular realizations of the artist is tantamount to get in touch with elements of the contemporary Eastern World, whose ambience is no longer defined that much by the presence of odalisques, as it is nowadays by a surrealistic metaphysical style.

These works’ main characteristic is the strikingly high prevalence of natural implications. This is also the case for those works that, at a first glance, might only dispay artificial elements and structures. Whenever Maria Rita makes use of lacquers, colours’ application is much more adjustable, a prerequisite for rendering the unique shades the artist is capable of; we are dealing with glossy hues that only some precious stones’ texture boasts, provided their surface are finely sanded. This “embellished” subgroup of pictures is the outcome of the artist’s painstaking devotion to the tiniest detail; when this care for precision and neatness extends on a larger scale on the painting, as if it were magnified by a lens, it significantly affects the beholder’s perception: the observers can almost litterly become entomologists while admiring the iridescent specks of a thin layer of dust portrayed on Amazonian butterflies’ wings, or the metallic glares from some beetles’ unquestionably beautiful shells. Thus, the intrepid endeavour of the artist gets even more exacting, along with the attentive contemplation by the observers, who are pleasantly tempted to linger for some more time in front of her pictures. It would be fair to speak in terms of an “archeology of the image” by critics, and this is particularly the case for works on which a putty knife was employed. The “overlaying” technique developed by the artist through the application of paint, coat over coat, lends a genuine uncontaminated look to the canvas, which appear for what they are: three-dimentional pictorial pieces of art, reproducing sceneries where your mind might get lost wandering around. They offer natural shapes and outlines interpreted as manifestations of the powerful human synesthetic feeling when it’s moved to compassion. At times, this feeling is catalyzed in shapes looking more familiar, at a closer inspection: forms thet surprisingly resemble cone-like fossilised remains of died out animals, vortices, and Hippocampus’ tails. In this respect, the spiralling planes and volumes we have just mentioned add to those created by the depicted water currents and whirlpools; maybe Maria Rita Vita concern wasn’t to focus only on water’s apperances or, at least, was not interested in the sea water contours only; maybe the artist refers to water as a whole lot of liquid elements representing reality.

In this sense, the artist regularly addresses to a complementary connection between orderly layouts and chaos, between symmetry and discrepancy, living beings and inorganic matter, diverse inter-dimensional ratios and pure goal-oriented drive.

The artist paintings still preserve this power: that which creates an articulate well-conceived system whereby she tangibly envision voyages transcending ordinary space-time reality. This is what the artist achieves resorting to just the right amount of fantasy necessary to highlight unprecedented directions.

She spans a wide range of sceneries, from the universe to the sea: nocturnal constellations, elecrtically sparkling abysses, well aware of what the naked eye of men cannot grasp, so that the observer doesn’t get lost. The visual perspectives she depicts are sometimes creatures of our times, brought to public fruition by cutting-edge technology with its huge digital telescopes. We cannot help trusting in the opportunity of letting the universe vastness take our breath away, hoping that the power of a curious creativity will make good on its promises.

Arts undoubtedly serve the purpose of the aformantioned asymmetric relationship between forces: the one which is embodied in men, and the force of nature. In other words, art can push the boundaries beyond memories from the visible reality, it can lead to envision and pick out things that have not yet been discoveried, contents which have not yet revealed themselves clearly to our consciousness.

To describe the whole progress of Maria Rita Vita artistic pursuit, still ongoing to date, a honest, transparent and authentic approach is enough; a so-defined attitude is perfectly mirrored in the artist’s confident strokes of paintbrush on canvas. Sure enough, they bring about fundamental intervals into the narration of the subjects. Though this “figurative storytelling” is rather informal, it seems to be nonetheless accompanied by a sort of voice-over in the background, a non-intrusive “fil rouge” which does never prevail on the “staged acts”.

This voice can fairly be compared to that of story-tellers, emitted by those coloured record-players for children that were all the rage years ago, and helped kids’ falling asleep at bedtime; alternativly, this “voice-over” effects are comparable to those of reading a book, when you picture in your mind intangible avatars of the characters featured in its pages. It seems like they come to existence for real, despite their delusive nature. In a quite similar manner, Maria Rita Vita sets the observers’ imagination in motion, being able to garner their utter involvement in the context of her pictures. The evocative power inherent to the unique personality of every character in the artist’s works actually appears to be a living element; its reiterated representation significantly highlights its inherent value. The structure of graphical representations at the basis of informality traces back to the anticipatory productions pertaining to the design sector, with particular reference to the British movement called “Art&Craft”. A revival of this trend from the UK is appreciable in the chromatic and formal coordinations that Maria Rita Vita obtains and keeps introducing over and over again, sometimes in frantic reiterations, and less frequently some other time. By virtue of such strategies, she introduces innovative stylistic patterns on fabrics and wallpapers. Maria Rita Vita plays with her palette colours like a conductor with an orchestra; she inserts rhythmical rhymes by means of paintbrush strokes and of her putty knives. These entanglemnts of modules give birth to her “series”.

As a matter of fact, single oustanding works can hardly be picked out from Vitian collections; each piece of art is a part of integral wholes: consistent lots of items which add more value to the artist’s endeavours, if read from a comprehensive perspective. Such a vantage point allow the public to take in more accurately the artist’s personality and character; two elements which fators into the “blu-light shining woman” definition of Maria Rita Vita.

In this sense, we refer to her “Blu della speranza” (“The blue of hope”), definitely an astounding work, which is built upon a simple graphic element: “a kandiskijan dot”

In Maria Rita’s own words: “Here I am…right here! Just trust in life!”

So much enthusiastic drive in just one short assertion. True to the spirit of this message, the artist’s works inspire so many other meaningful words, as only a “poet by painting” can do, which Maria Rita Vita undoubtedly is.

While admiring her diverse and valuable artistic production, observers can see part of themselves mirrored not only in the colours musicailty and in the communion with an art leading to abstraction, but also in more traditional emotions and feelings conveyed by works such as. “Getsemani – Orto degli ulivi.” (“Gethsemane – Olive trees’ garden)

In this oil painting on canvas, blood is shed on an olive tree, so that the latter comes across as a plant embodied in the flesh. A participatory feeling of empathy exudes from this tree, which seems to share Jesus Christ’s fate. Nature itself is taking part to his suffering.

Thanks to Maria Rita Vita, a new onthology of the Olive tree is revealed: it becomes a symbol of a universally shared condition, manifesting itself right in between respect and love, survival and hope.

All this is displayed for the sake of our common Good.

Federica Fiore (1985) is a historian and art critic. Since 2012 she’s been working together with Sanremo Casino administration, on behalf of which she’s been the curator of several exhibitions, including those dedicated to Guttuso, Farfa, Baj, Balla, Sassu. She’s also been a contributor to many initiatives by Sanremo Municipality, being co-curator of “Tessuti d’artista” exhibition, designed on occasion of the opening of “Santa Tecla MITA” facilities. She supervises the overall critic/expository management at “Studio Archimania”. She is author of many publications and promoter of several conferences expounding the relationships between Art, History, Politics and Ethics. She collaborates with “Accademia della Pigna” and is lecturer of the course in Cultural and Environmental Heritage at Fine Arts Academy in Sanremo.

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.


by Lorenzo Canova


Am overwhelming diving into the deep waters of light, a voyage moving through a magnificent blooming of manifold colours, a descent into a thriving chromatic uproar with its stirring drive towards freedom; this is what contemplating Maria Rita Vita works consists of; the collection of her realizations fits into the traditional modes of the great masterpieces of Action Painting, and into that artist’s sensitivity that spews out of the subconscious sources of her imagery. The unfolding of these elements moves along a pathway which passes through Surrealism up until it embraces U.S.A. Action Paintng movement, and a significant part of the European Informal trend.

Nothwithstanding the influences exerted by these styles, Maria Rita Vita rarely makes use of their distinctively dramatic palette, upon which black, red and grey hues would predominate over other tints. This was the chromatic pattern of choice among artists whose production dates back to the early postwar period. The artist also shows potentials for modulating her painting tecnique according to different registers, in keeping with the brighter side of the Naturalistic Informal artistic movement, a goal she achieves through her deliberate and original reimagining of the history of colours combinations with light. The experimental evolution of chromatic techniques we are referring to was first introduced in painting on the initiative of Impressionist artists .

One of the most influential source of inspiration for Maria Rita Vita builds on the momentum of Claude Monet painting style, with particular reference to his so-callad “water lilies cycle” whose main traits she evokes in the stream-like liquid look of the colours streaks she applies; this technical expedient directly resembles the splendid symphony of lyric vibrations brought about by the Impressionist Master. This stylistic choice Maria Rita Vita opts for transcends any starkly outlined shape in favour of a Panic feeling which permeates the portrayed natural scenes; thanks to this contrivance, the landscapes she depicts are no longer simply stared at, like in a passive attitude of the beholder; conversely, the observer can experience the participatory intention of the artist who is able to shed new light on the essential core of nature itself.

It is not a fluke that the artist’s works are pervaded by a wistful feeling in the reminiscence of springtime, of its rebirth to life and of the renewed warmth brought about by this season’s light, whose vibrations are raised into higher frequencies. These tonalities border on those of a mystic awakening, mirrored in the fervent intertwining of her paintbrush strokes and drippings. The “dripping” technique itself is a tool whereby the artist carries out a sort of chromatic marquetry on the canvas, bridging the gap between reason and emotion, norm and feeling. In so doing she successfully contrives the balanced measure of an harmony orchestrated often times on the basis of a rhythmic reconciliation of opposites.

That being said, the artist’s paintings are a composition of imaginary and abstract landscapes, along with metaphores for the eye feasting on the marvels of a deep tight connection with nature. The beholder’s eyesight almost transmutes into a tactile synesthetic sense which meets the portrayed objects thanks to the expert perceptual guidance provided by the artist’s skills; her realizations are also instrumental as a tool for interpreting the world and bringing together parts of it in a whole comprehensive picture.

Thus, we can see how the artist is able to effectively adjust her graphical skills in such a way as to give birth to a style that is both immediate and well-thought-out. Her expressive manners are a compound system where the energy of colours, of each painting stroke, of dripping patterns and layers which thiken on crucial portions of the pictures are counterbalanced and furtherly enlivened by a subtle and almost intangible grace, interwoven as if it were an embroidery into the fabric of her works; these features bring along a network of simultaneously light and austere connections and sequences of signs.

Thanks to her technical expedients and style, Maria Rita Vita outlines visual pathways which span the whole spectrum of a wide-ranging magitude, from the living cells’ microcosm to the farthest reaches of the macrocosm, grasping the humonguos size of heavenly bodies. In so doing, the artist delves into the innermost dark chasms of such a universe, where she finds out precious astral gems born to the otherwise inscrutable abysmal realm of the unknown.

This is how the artist taps into the origins of modern Abstract Painting, again, hilighthing her affinity with one of that movement’s founding fathers, namely, Wassilij Kandinskij; in this respect, she resumes the symphonic perceptual impressions elicited by his art, by its synchronic and synesthetic juxtaposition of tonalities and colours, across a chromatic space which manifests multifarious elements, all comprised in the unfathomable perfection of cosmic ratios and harmonies, in the indiscernible sounds of small things, up until she even wellcomes the hazards of the mermaids’ fathal chant, the trebles of angelic voices whose presence his hinted at by the paramount purity of her figurative art layout. The latter is surprisingly brightened up by golden glares, every now and then.

By virtue of a so-defined paintnig art, Maria Rita Vita is able to open up to bird-eye perspectives of predatory fowl slicing through fiery skies. Similarly, she conjures up a sort of alchemic transmutation whereby the slimy sludge of river beds is turned into a life-begetting legacy of soaked humus impregnating the earth. The outcome of all this are pieces of art which deliver such a precious treasure trove to the perennial collective memory, ever reminiscing the heady scent of light-blue and violet hues. The artistic raw materials Maria Rita Vita employes trhob with mnestic recollections, laid down in her multilayered paintings. These very pictorial represenations are also a tangible translation of busy hours the painter fervently dedicated to her creative endeavours, where memories merge with an entangled mesh of countless moments trapped in the cobweb of time. This is how the artists evokes and redeems the burden of past memories: by means of her unique skillful art of painting on canvas.

Lorenzo Canova.

Lorenzo Canova is an associate Professor at Molise University, an Institute where he founded “ARATRO”, which he’s currently running (Archive for Electronic Arts – Laboraty of Contemporary Arts). Among the fields of study he’s regularly committed to, are Modern and Contemporary Art, with particular reference to the Roman fifteenth century period, the second half of the nineteenth century and the latest generations of national and international artists. He’s been the curator of several exhibitions hosted both in public museums and analogous venues. Part of this set of cultural initiatives was designed and brought to fuition in cooperation with Italian Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and is comprised of “Collezione Farnesina” (Farnesina Collection), – with the help of Maurizio Calvesi – “Experimenta”, specifically dedicated to young artists, and “Futuro Italiano” (Italian Future), hosted in the premises of the European Parliament, Bruxelles. Many writings and columns by Lorenzo Canova are regularly syndicated in the newspaper “Avvenire”, and the scholar himself is a member of “Giorgio and Isa de Chirico Foundation” scientific board.


di Lodovico Gierut

dal: 16.7.2016   al: 22.7.2016
Ci sono momenti particolarmente importanti, ovvero passaggi, nel corso del viaggio di un’Artista.
Maria Rita Vita, che da tempo ha scelto di operare professionalmente e perentoriamente nell’ambito della creatività ne ha avuti alcuni.
Non li enumero tutti, per comprensibili motivi di spazio, ma è bene rammentare almeno due “personali” tenute negli ultimi anni a Firenze – nella centralità storico-artistica per eccellenza, e a Forte dei Marmi, alla CAsa Museo “Ugo Guidi”, scultore che ha insegnato pure all’Accademia di Belle Arti di Carrara.