BiographyExpositionsCritical Text


Can a man discard the feeling of omnipotence? After thinking about it for a long time over the painted vignettes, one would say no. A picture sublimes the sensation of painter’s omnipotence. One could say that it offers joy. And, joy is a moment of exaggerated excitement, something that transcends life. The painter is, then, omnipotent when he lifts me up with his picture from mundane monotony. But, in reality, the picture is constantly offering us an estimated construction, experimenting at best, a cipher that needs to be decoded. Isabella Tirelli is approaching this from another aspect. Like at a child’s painting, she expresses colors that guide the image. The image is clearly ambiguous: because the time of colors (which symbolize present) is not set in a proper image frame (the image goes beyond, but where? in the past or in the future). The cancellation of estimation and structure leads to a break with the image frame, which forcefully belongs to the past, and moves it towards the time of colors which is immediately torn apart from its history, ancestry, and myth. Can one think about an image that is born without previous contemplation? No, one cannot, but one can see it by standing inside one’s own experience. When we close our eyes, we are closer to the colors, and through the shut eyes, we can see flashes of light, ghosts, imperceptible forests, and other things that are beyond our horizons. In Ancient Greece, the eye of the artist was blind, “because, as it was written in Orpheus’ hymns, we don’t see through our eyes, but through the splendour.


Corrado Costa (Mulino di Bazzano 1929, Reggio Emilia 1991), poet, author of theater plays and art critic, member of a group ’63. He worked and published in Italy, France, and the United States. He was a friend and an colleague with such poets and painters as Emilio Villa, Adriano Spatola, Giulia Niccolai, Nanni Balestrini, Paul Vangelisti. With Isabella Tirelli, he authored two art books (River and Archer), and one theater play (Be untamed) that was performed at Beaubourg in Paris (1986)



Fragments of a colored paper, as light as skin or silk, “papier de soie.” Isabella chooses them one by one, tears them apart, and glues them on the canvas where her hands have already drawn the contours of a figure… with a few strokes of coal. One after another, they spread over the image’s smooth surface, like a thin layer of colors that comes together in a lively whole. Isabella Tirelli uses the collage technique,which moves Picasso’s and Braque’s cubistic still life, and turns them into a stream of pure energy, which is ready to revive the space of the work, a territory that floats on a reef that separates the reality from the dream. Chance rules the flow of colors and forms: pieces of paper overlay, as well as the nuances of colors… …The sign represents tearing, pain, healed wound in space, cured with a new weightless skin which gently falls onto the canvas. Then, the game begins, and memory fades amongst the garden of shapes and colors, and thoughts rush to precious sketchbooks of young Picasso, who followed the moves of the Flamenco dancers in “tablao” so that he could portray them on paper with his shaky, but steady hand. Those pieces of paper are little masterworks that demonstrate the talent of the young Spanish artist, which I saw at one exhibition many years ago in Palazzo Grassi…

…Isabella invites us to observe in silence, and wait for the oracle of painting.


Ludovico Pratesi, art critic, associate of “La Republica”, director of Cultural Association “Future” in Rome and “Artel”, a magazine that is delivered via fax, and he is a professor at University of Rome