Giorgio Olivieri

Criticism

"...In Giorgio Olivieri's recent works it is space which prevails, both in a positive and in a negative sense. No images take shape in the space or on the space, either suggesting movement, twisting horizontally, or taking up the space as extraneous objects. It is the space itself which takes on its own dimension and depth and expresses itself and recognises itself, aware of its own interior dialectics, but without using metaphors. The colours, tight and pure, remain superficial, but because of the problem of perspective, they take on other values. Olivieri's "icons" are not effigies. Rather they constitute space viewed as an object in itself."

Roberto Sanesi
[Introduction to the "Giorgio Olivieri" exhibition at the Cortina Art Gallery, Milan, October 1972]

 

"...Each space has a corresponding tonality with barely perceptible shades, going from pale ivory to a brilliant sky blue reflecting the purest light. Even the canvas has been prepared with great care, following strict guidelines. This can be seen in the way in which he carefully expresses the clearest of values. Olivieri is a real master and his choices reflect conceptual clarity, something not easy to find nowadays amongst what remains of informalism and daring body art games. But he does not set out to be argumentative as happens so often now and is something which frequently negates the definition of art. Rather he shows that he wishes to be apart from any kind of stylistic ambiguity, any dialectic subterfuge. He chooses instead to confirm the strength of certain fundamental laws, rules of "divine proportion", naturally interpreted in the constructive spirit of the most audacious members of the avant-garde at the beginning of the nineteen hundreds. Of course the pure rationality of certain solutions should be shaped by intuition, backed up by education, in the course of a series of spatially indicative compositions."

Giuseppe Marchiori
[Introduction to the "Giorgio Olivieri" exhibition, Studio la Città, Verona, Italy, January/February 1978]

 

"...Giorgio Olivieri is different because of his research into forms of expression that he has been going into in depth over a long period of time. This research presupposes certain spatial developments, but also a particular pictorial style by means of the relationship between colour and surfaces. He has been influenced by Lucio Fontana's proposals to go beyond the picture itself, but not to create "atmospheres". The picture itself remains, even if at first it becomes a picture-object, and the subtle colours remain, not losing their Venetian overtones (Olivieri is from Verona in the province of Venice and while his art is international, he is proud to show his roots and origins), expressing themselves in clear shades. (...) The crisis surrounding the representation of objects, which had already been foreseen in many ways at the end of the eighteen hundreds, led to non-figurative art, so-called "abstract" art (an ambiguous term), which however, as I have already mentioned on various occasions, in the end reveals itself to be an expansion of the concept of realism, concerned this time not with objects but with relationships representing the holistic point of view which was yet to come."

Guido Ballo
[Introduction to the "Giorgio Olivieri" exhibition, Palazzo dei Diamanti, Ferrara, Italy, May/June 1981]

 

"...Olivieri was among the first (in fact he sometimes seemed to be ahead of his time) to express himself as an artist using the minimal forms of expression which characterised most of the nineteen seventies. I am referring to his choosing to give importance to surfaces, to painting as an analytical and reflexive process, around the rules of painting, as a form of expression and art as a means of communication. (...) The artist's most recent work demonstrates greater weight, greater tangibility and a more mature use of material than ever seen before. However the impression of distance remains equally strong and open, as do the breath of fresh air and the suggestion of memory which pervade this new use of material. The works which we are referring to cannot be described in terms of shapes which are verses and rhythms and spatial rhythms transformed under transparent light, but which are in reality of a sonorous solidity."

Giorgio Cortenova
[Introduction to the "Giorgio Olivieri" exhibition, Le due spine Gallery, Rovereto, Italy, September 1998]