Home Magazine Claudio Olivieri

“I wonder where these coloured shadows come from, that sometimes light up my mind, what drives me to try to give shape and fullness to what I fear is sometimes a pure ghost”. A clear statement regarding the attention given to the birth of what defines an image as such, to that moment in which the eye experiences both presence and absence of shape. Claudio Olivieri, a unique example of Italian greatness in painterly form. 

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Not-seeing or looking beyond. The importance given to the invisible; to what anticipates the appearance of form and what remains after its passing. Claudio Olivieri’s research aims to create a whole narration based around the depiction of what is closest to disappearance, trying to give solid answers to one of the 1900s most inquired dilemmas: the importance given to the canvas’ space, which in analytical painting is transposed from mere background, to main subject of the representation. Pristine and timeless paintings which examine the shape of ephemeral presences, such as light and darkness, creating in the viewer a sense of awareness towards what is divine and oneiric, about what is invisible for the eye, perceivable only through the involvement and stimulation of the viewer’s spirit and innermost senses. 


Claudio Olivieri, Aphorodysia, 1986. Oil on canvas.


Claudio Olivieri, Hyperione, 1986. Oil on canvas.


Claudio Olivieri’s attention was not directed towards the definition of art as a specialty, as a celebration of technical prestige and authoritarianism, but instead the exact opposite: painting was treated as an uncertainty that constantly needed to be solved, as a moment in which the painter’s mind and the pre-existing dogmas found themselves combined in a dialectic moment. The act of the painter was directed towards the unveiling of a painting’s own personal way of glancing at reality, trying to represent what the eye would capture and describe it using an analytical, dreamlike form of communication. 


Claudio Olivieri, Rubeo, 2008. Oil on canvas.


Olivieri created beautiful narrations about appearance rather than presence, about the way that space and forms were perceived by the combination of all human senses, about the ephemeral dialogue that is constantly happening between stage and actor, between the canvas and its subject.

“Painting is what makes itself glimmer, seeing without origins, without provenance, pure collimation and not a map of references, of historical causals, of cultural hybridizations. Seeing our gaze, perceiving its permanence and not its directionality, the symmetrical statutes, the do ut des between thing and name. It is through painting that the invisible permeates the visa of one's promise".

A deep, both abstract and concrete dilemma, which searched for a way to create distance from cultural conceptions about the ways space and form interacted; an attempt to free painting itself from its relations with the norms of representation. A complex problematic, regarding how to allow space to embody colour and how to give, throughout the years, more and more freedom to the expressiveness that can be found in the usage of colour. 

Claudio Olivieri, a fine and pure mind whom spent his whole life researching the unseen and the invisible, creating a new path for the artist and the viewer to follow, giving a glance of the meditational power and expressive potential that can be found in the threshold between presence and absence. 


Claudio Olivieri, Un Esordio, 2011. Oil on canvas.


Claudio Olivieri, Musa in Esilio, 2009. Oil on canvas.


Cover image: Claudio Olivieri, Interregno, 2003. Oil on canvas.

Written by Mario Rodolfo Silva

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