Between apollonian and dionysian, between biology and emotion, the research of Franco Tosi focuses on the relationships between the various organic forms, investigating the mystery of existence. An introspective view, a gesture, doesn't create a complete detachment from reality but it is inspired from the natural world and from organic forms, whose it tries to reproduce the patterns of growth and multiplication.
"Umori" Franco Tosi
La ricerca di Franco Tosi si concentra sui rapporti tra le diverse forme organiche, indagando sul mistero dell'esistenza. Una visione introspettiva che trae spunto dal mondo naturale in un parallelo tra arte e scienza. Le opere esposte si configurano come un viaggio nell'interiorità dell'uomo che si traduce, come le cellule di un tessuto
organico, con infinite sfaccettature.
By Martina Pellizzer
IN NEW YORK GOES ON SHOW THE BRAIN
How the Science Inspires Art
"Science inspires art - The Brain" is the exhibition curated by Stephen Nowlin and Anjan Chatterjee at the New York Hall of Science until March 29. The 29 selected artists coming from all over the world have been reflecting for a long time on their emotions nature and on how science hasn't been able to fully reaveal the brain's operation yet. The 42 2 dimension exposed works are the result of a cooperation between artists and scientists who worked on a laboratory's series of experiments to turn them into an inspirationn's source. Among the artist of the exibition. Franco Tosi is the only Italian ane.
By Jascha Hoffman
Science Inspires Art: The Brain. New York Hall of Science, Queens. Opens Oct. 11. Adults $11, children and seniors $8.
This art exhibition offers some new ways of looking at that three-pound hunk of jelly in your skull. Some do it with humor: a mock-infographic that shows a brain hinged open to reveal dozens of tiny people scurrying about, and an elegantly staged photograph of a small brain on a dinner plate with serving spoons. Some offer neural self-portraits, like the artist with multiple sclerosis who paints Technicolor versions of her brain scans on silk, and the artist who gives an unsettling depiction of the white "aura" that appears in her field of vision before a migraine headache. Of the 42 works selected by a gallery director and a neuroscientist, most were from artists, "perhaps because entries from scientists tend to be too didactic," said Cynthia Pannucci, the founder and director of Art & Science Collaborations Inc., who organized the exhibition. Among the most moving, however, were those that simply show the anatomy, such as "Cortical Columns," a haunting panel by the neuroscientist-turned-painter Greg Dunn, who uses gold and silver powders, ink and dye to render nerve cells in all their branchiness, like saplings waiting for winter.
by Ivan Quaroni
"Do not go outside yourself, but return within:
truth dwells in the inner man."
(St. Augustine, Of True Religion)
There are, without a doubt, various forms of abstraction, whose raisons d'être have various bases. Analytic abstraction is one. It focuses on geometry and problems of a perceptive nature and, historically, follows a trend that goes from the Bauhaus to optic and kinetic studies.
On the other hand another type of abstraction, lyrical abstraction – expressed through marks and gestures, scribbling and dripping – bears witness to a totally different approach, based on intuition, emotionality, and even randomness.
Both approaches – the cold, analytic one and the warm, emotional one – study the dimension of the ineffable and the unfathomable. In substance, they are visual languages which do without the narrative and anecdotal approach typical of the figurative dimension, to deal with problems connected with either the enigmatic sphere of optical perception or the just-as-enigmatic one of interior perception.
The term "abstraction" derives from the Latin ab trahere, which means "draw from", "separate", and indicates the sort of process that makes it possible to shift attention from the plane of contingency to that of the intellect. In a certain sense, abstraction and theory are similar terms, because they both envisage a sort of detachment from phenomenological reality. This is why, in painting, abstraction is often considered a conceptual art form.
And yet contemporary abstraction does not entail a total detachment from reality, but rather often draws inspiration from the world of nature and organic forms.
According to Tony Godfrey, the author of the successful book Painting Today (Phaidon Press, 2009), starting in the mid-1990s a new, "ambiguous" kind of abstraction has allegedly gained ground; it focuses on the recovery of the human aspect, meant not only as a gestural contribution and enhancement of the realm of the subconscious, but also as a rediscovery of the natural forms and models of growth and proliferation typical of the organic world. The latter aspect owes much to the theories of Gilles Deleuze on the rhizome, the underground swelling of a plant stem: the French philosopher adopts the rhizome as a metaphor for a speculative study that is not subject to the processes of binary logic, but which instead develops non-linear and non-hierarchical cognitive methods, in which randomness and intuition play decisive roles.
Similarly, today ambiguous abstraction seems to have abandoned the critical rigour of pure abstraction, through the formulation of visual constructions capable of translating into painting both the sensitive stimuli of organic life and the even more imperceptible ones of mental epiphenomena.
Both these trends are present in the formal study of Franco Tosi, who resorts to the concept of synaesthesis to describe the introspective mechanism from which his works originate.
Franco Tosi transforms synaesthesis, which for Stoics was an act of interior analysis, i.e. a form of introspective study, into an instrument for the visual translation of invisible processes, or processes which are in any case impossible to grasp with the traditional perception and cognitive instruments at our disposal.
The invisibility to which Tosi alludes is, in truth, of two kinds. One is the invisibility of the organic processes that are produced at the cellular level of organisms and which may be seen by the human eye only through the use of powerful optical instruments, such as microscopes. The other lies, instead, in the mental and pneumatic sphere of thought and requires, in order to be revealed, an enhancement of an individual's subtlest perceptive and intuitive faculties.
They are different fields of study, which Tosi combines in the operational domain of painting with an attitude that seems to us to be "ambiguous" by definition, precisely because it focuses on the recovery of a dimension that cannot be called "abstract" in absolute terms.
There are three series, or cycles, of works on which the artist has been working for a number of years: Mitosi (Mitoses), Graffi (Scratches), and Landscapes. These are not chronological stages, but rather research trajectories which occasionally cross paths and intertwine, always moving from the same conceptual attitude, which the artist expresses in an obsessive repetition of dynamic and transitory forms. Forms which, incidentally, seem to shift and slide from the figural plane of optical recognisability to the random one of abstraction, as if due to a progressive dissolving and recombining of structures.
In Mitoses, characterized by the repetition of globular and egg-shaped forms, Tosi appears to observe the organic kingdom in the microscopic dimension and catch the process of cell reproduction as it multiplies.
His interest in human biology, in part stemming from his studies at the Istituto per le Arti Sanitarie Ausiliari (Institute of Ancillary Medical Arts), is evident, but cannot be the only interpretational filter through which to view his work. Even more so since mimetic adherence in the representation of the mitosis processes is replaced by a lyrical and dreamlike sort of transposition. Tosi himself describes his study of the anatomical details in their microscopic dimension as a revisitation "in a dreamlike and conceptual form". "The figure," says the artist, "dissolves, gradually losing every reference to what it is, to become an introspective view of fragments of ourselves."
In substance, Tosi's cellular vision is a sort of synecdoche, a rhetorical figure in which a part represents the whole. That is, it is a metaphor to indicate man in his entirety.
The partial, organic, subepidermal vision becomes the pretext for attracting the attention to the invisible dynamics of biological processes, but it is also a way to suggest that the plane of invisibility also extends to the cognitive mechanisms of spiritual intuitions.
In practice, Tosi understands that everything that is truly important and vital in our experience is outside the boundaries of ordinary perception, beyond the limits of our sensorial capacities and, above all, beyond the boundaries of our intellectual faculties. So it is for cellular, but also for atomic and subatomic, phenomena, which the naked eye cannot see. And so it is for the profound shocks and sudden flashes of synaesthesis, which are beyond the reach of rational and Cartesian thinking, beyond the narrow grids of the binary system, which makes us too similar to machines.
Thus, the "Bubbles like cells, the scratches and marks like neurons gone mad crossing the canvas, beyond the support, beyond rationality, to be lost in infinity,", of which Tosi speaks, become the signals of this perceptive crossing of boundaries. What is more, they bear witness to the presence of a reality that can only be studied with the instruments of aniconic representation, precisely because figuration, with its mimetic assertions, proves inadequate for grasping the extrasensory dimension of biological and mental epiphanies.
Tosi studies the mystery and enigma of existence through evocative shapes which are both ambiguous and allusive. His Scratches, for example, can be read as anthropic marks, scratches produced by a human gesture, or as threads of DNA, intermolecular chemical links, graphic representations of unmixable liquids. Thus, the ambiguous nature of shapes opens up a wide range of interpretational possibilities, both in Mitoses and Scratches.
The same can be said of his Landscapes, which share the semantic structure with traditional landscapes, that is, a morphology that can be read in terms of space, thanks to the presence of a "horizon", a "plane", and a "depth", even if, in reality, they are always magmatic, changing surfaces, which defy a definitive optical comprehension.
Franco Tosi's Landscapes are places devoid of geomorphic coordinates, crossing fields, liminal topics, dimensional hollow spaces that lead the viewer to have an immersive, synaesthetic experience, during which there is a shift from (optical) perception to introspection.
In a certain sense, Landscapes are baits, well designed traps, which enmesh the viewer's eyes, immerging him in a visual mantra made of fluid chromatic combinations, of sliding fields, of rhythmic and hypnotic scores which slowly, almost imperceptibly, transform the retinal approach into a cognitive experience.
Indeed, even the Scratches and Mitoses can somehow be considered landscapes. While the first are similar to satellite views, crossed by sinuous river lines, floodplains and narrow, deep canyons, the second appear as instable swarming surfaces, captured from an aerial perspective. But it is, of course, an illusion, the result of the survival of figurative schemes that are innate in human thought. Suffice it to think of the famous reflection on the "spot on the wall", contained in Leonardo da Vinci's Treatise on Painting, in which the artist stated that "It is quite true that in such a spot it is possible to see various inventions of things man wants to find in it, such as heads of men, various animals, battles, rocks, seas, clouds, woods, and other similar things."
Nevertheless, it should be pointed out that in Tosi's painting, ambiguity and absence of definition are not simple evocative devices, but the result of a particular modus operandi as well as of precise linguistic and formal choices.
Indeed, over time Tosi has managed to develop a pictorial grammar made of recurring spots, marks, and shapes. The ovular bubbles of the Mitoses, the chromatically limited fields of the Landscapes and, lastly, the almost calligraphic partitions of the Scratches are key elements of a syntax which, as the artist explains, "comes from the study of materials and from their behaviours on different supports, but also from the physical analysis of colours and their tonal variations". This approach confirms Tosi's interest not only in human biology, but also in the proteiform nature of matter in all its forms, starting with oils, which he sometimes combines with resins and tars to obtain unusual effects.
All things considered, both when he interprets cellular phenomena in a mythopoetic form and when he verifies the expressive potentials generated by the chemical reaction of pigments and materials, Tosi draws on tangible reality. And yet, his skill lies precisely in knowing how to use painting to turn the observation of phenomena into interior exploration.
Thus, while reflecting on his own experiences the artist becomes himself a subject for study, the viewer of his works does the same, going from the role of a mere eyewitness to that of an observer participating in that same introspective practice which has always been the highest and most indispensable function of every art form.
From 18 January to 20 February by Ivan Quaroni the exhibition " Synaesthesis " of the Bolognese painter Franco Tosi , the event highlights the artist's research focused on a review of anatomical details in their microscopic size , almost an introspective vision of fragments of ourselves. " Synaesthesis " thus reveals the paradox between reality and illusion , where inspirational cells and filaments materialize on fluid interior landscapes giving us the perception of our being. S.L.
" The organic vision of Franco Tosi "
To grow , the cells of the organisms multiply, doubling , through the process of mitosis . Franco Tosi plunges into the very essence of the human being watching through the lens of a microscope. From 18 January to 20 February, the most recent works of the Bolognese artist are on display at the gallery Di Paolo Art of Bologna
January 18, at the Di Paolo Art Gallery inaugurated the exhibition
"Synaesthesis" by the artist Franco Tosi (curated by Ivan Quaroni).
Her research revolves around the retelling of anatomical details in micro-size.
The Palazzo della Racchetta (via Vaspergolo ) houses the show " Prospettive differenti " of the Bolognese artist Franco Tosi, on his first outing in the city of Este . The exhibition - curated by Gianluca Ramini in collaboration with Francesca Mariotti , art critic - opens today at 18 . We present a series of works that enclose a decade of the artist's production . From " Pigments and matter " to cellular " Mitosis " , Tosi offers , with a different perspective and abstract sign , his interpretation of the material, color .
" ... By studying and experimenting with colors , looking unexpected harmonies , supported by the ability to isolate the population from what contemporary art that surrounds him, Tosi leave behind any provincialism , loyal only to himself , to reach a leading role on the international scene » . (F. Mariotti ) .
Featured in the show some unpublished series Scratches / Scratches where , apparently slender threads but also strong footholds across the canvas encroaching into the unknown , leaving the viewer and his imagination free to get lost in them.
"The " Prospettive differenti "- adds Mariotti - are the leitmotif of his progress , made up of moments of arrest and changes , visual changes , which give way to the artist continues to capture a diversity perspective and in a constant deepening of their own creation art . "