Curated by: Federico Piccari
Fondazione 107 is proud to present "Mehr Licht !," a personal exhibition dedicated to Franco Rasma (Borgomanero, CN, 1943), a unique voice in the Italian contemporary scene. A tribute focused both on the pictorial production (cultured, visionary) and on the sculptural (visceral, post-industrial) of the Master, and presented through a display that refers to the installations of anthropology museums.
On March 22, 1832, shortly before his death, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 's last words on his deathbed were “Mehr Licht!”, “More light!”. Although in all likelihood the great man of letters was asking that the window be thrown open, the intellectual community has long debated on that exclamation, considered symbolic and prophetic.
And since the 1980s "Mehr Licht!" is the only title for the exhibitions dedicated to Rasma: the manifesto of an obsession, a short circuit full of ghosts in which only continuous repetition can calm the soul of the artist. Get lost to find yourself and get lost again, a 360 degree circle already set up for returning to the starting point.
Mehr Licht! More light, yes, because Rasma's paintings materialize in front of the viewer through impregnable elements, it is light and shadow that divide the space of the table support, giving life to impalpable images and atmospheres, close to the evanescent memory of the dream. Worlds that border on reality and originate from distant universes, synthesized in minimal representations that involve the exclusive use of two-tone - black shadows, white light, in fact.
Rasma is as dry in painting as it is visceral in sculpture, characterized by the recurrence of concrete: a heavy material, which does not reflect light but rather encompasses it, drawing it towards itself. Thus the heads sculpted by the artist present on the external surfaces shapes of houses, or towering flowers resembling candelabra that illuminate the dark, or even branches and scissors, a barrier that distances the viewer, recalling the image of a cage from which it is possible to escape. It is, after all, the existential condition of the artist himself, with which he coexists, seeking and accepting a fragile balance, ready to shatter at any moment but open to the possibilities of regeneration offered by art.
In Rasma the practices of circularity and repetition (which we find in the revival, over the years, of paintings made years ago) represent a perpetual litany, recited in the company of the ghosts encountered in the journey of life: they are the ones who help him to live together and overcome fears and insecurities , shelling an imaginary rosary together.
A dreamlike, almost metaphysical attitude guides the artist's entire research. This is shown in the paintings by the stairs that never lead to safe places, but to doors dominated by darkness and difficult to pass through. The trees beaten by the wind that deform into unusual silhouettes, sometimes human. Cats and dogs that split in the center of the scene, with tails that outline the symbol of infinity. Hieratic or propitiatory figures? While waiting for a plausible answer, Rasma exhumes the image of his father, whose profile is the leitmotif throughout his career, a point of balance where the artist finds his pictorial research satisfied.
What we have tried to tell you is the secret world of Franco Rasma: of an integral and unique artist, of a man who spends his days waiting for certainties.