auguste garufi
Auguste Garufi

The quality of space provides an access to Garufi’s work: work, not works, because, even though the various pieces seem to possess autonomous meanings, they are nevertheless strictly interconnected to form an installation. What D’ars Gallery creates, in harmony with the artist, is a magical, cosmic expanse. Rising from the dark floors in a dramatic farewell, golden hands seem to give in to the cruel erosion of the wind and of Time, repeating their form and gesture through eternity. This theme is reflected on the walls, where, like holy shrouds, the black-and-white impressions of faces, hands, and birds emerge from a rich golden weaving reminiscent of the Byzantine symbols of infinite time and space.

Through this dialectic of contrasts, life pulsates with vigor: the effects of light and shade are opposed to colors, light to shadow, naturalistic vision to symbolic vision, an accurate, well-defined depiction to a soft, informal technique, sculpture to painting, matter to spirit. The artist himself maintains: "One thing alone does not exist…Hold opposites in just relation." Indeed, his work expresses the complex relationship among ideas, newly-found antiquity, intimate feelings, and faith in spiritual man, through images that look to the future with an elegant style. On the canvas and in the resin, the shapes appear like precious finds that have been worn by currents, winds, sand, and that reach us after life’s shipwrecks: they have recovered their essence, the simulacrum of life itself, and are now richer in meanings, more powerful in their expression. The peculiar way in which the light slides over the roughly-outlined material is reminiscent of Medardo Rosso. The manner in which the hollowed-out shapes seem to withdraw is similar to Giacometti’s. The repetition of shapes in space, arranged geometrically, recalls the minimalists. Yet Garufi’s work is permeated by spiritual silence, concentrated and mystical, which reveals a contemporary originality and sensitivity.

Sylvia Venuti