Maurizio Taioli

Criticism

Flat fields of colour filling sharply defined shapes characterise al the work by Maurizio Tailoli and they are, in the long run, the result of the flat painting undertaken during the twentieth century in a period undecided about rethinking and logic.
According to Clement Greenoerg, twentieth century painting gradually became aware of its tendency towards flatness as a result of a need to circumscribe its own area of competence by reducing itself to its basic terms (above all to two-dimensionality).
The appearance of Pop Art then changed the whole situation, interrupting the development of Abstract Expressionism with a forceful return to figuration and all its conceptual implications. Even though it was in effect flat, the painting of Warhol, Lichtenstein and, later on, Alex Katz had tnis characteristic as a result of its ironic imitation of the mass media, not because of any particular painterly research.
Recently we have seen a decided return to regular chromatic surfaces so accomplished as to seem high-tech products rather than results arrived at by handling, products related to Pop’s industrialised formulas but viewed through the lens of informational techniques. Digital technique, in fact, had even in its earliest programmes such easy commands as fill and stroke.
The patient distribution of colour into homogenous fields that had once been a characteristic of abstraction (optical and Minimal art above all) is now that of new figuration.
Flatness is part of existence and cannot simply be dealt with as a formal game, and in the face of recent experiences with flat-field abstraction (Neo-Geo) it is logical to produce a two-dimensional portrait of reality. Telephones, signs, TV screens and the web are only a few of the aspects of life that are becoming slimmer and find in research into pure two-dimensionality the conquest of perfection.
More in line with the work of Maurizio Taioli is that of Yun Hasegawa and Lisa Reuyter, who come from experiences of illustration and first generation computer graphics. The shift from this to Japanese-style superflat work, the standard bearer of which is Takeshi Murakami, shows a great difference: but all the same, in the work of the Asian school we do not see Taiolis reflective enthusiasm as demonstrated by his chromatic and formal choices.
The thick edges of Taioli's shapes demarcate extreme monochromatic fields allowing little space to perspective and the play of depth, or else they create an illusion elsewhere, on the plane of the easy recognition of the subject.

Luca Beatrice

[Dal catalogo "Do (Flatness) Yourself" 2005]