From Montemaggiore al Metauro in the province of Pesaro, on a balcony overhanging one of Italy’s valleys in which it is still possible to feel a sense of history, Raffaella Calcagnini, graduated at the Institute of Art “Apolloni” of Fano and at the Academy of Fine Arts in Urbino, tells her history. It is an important story which is not wary of confronting the ideas of space and of the infinite, from which both enthusiasm and desperation exalt. These are the same sensations which her paintings manage to transmit, that moment when the sky refracts and, with ardent games of light, the colours of the sky are animated by thousands of darting currents; or the image of Christ who, in the moment in which he died, emanated the most powerful yearning for life. And it is all composed with tesserae, which intertwines, like happiness interlocks with sadness and then explodes in a shower of polychrome emotions.
Massimo Foghetti – journalist
A VIRGINAL ICON
There are some people who are not afraid to bare their soul.
Rare, but they exist.
In a world where the mask is more considered above face-value, the candour of Raffaella Calcagnini could seem anachronistic, even counterproductive. But her personality is authentic; she has chosen to wander the trails in the sky, rather than run on the deceiving roads of the earth.
An obligatory transition takes place which brings her to express herself with a lyrical language through the method of painting, decisively original, released by the manners and suggestion of militant art. Above all it underlines the discovery of sincerity, the urgency to communicate what lies within the soul – intention, affronts – are told directly without pretence in a kind of search for a paradise lost, with pure values.
It transpires to retrace the origin of home, the good left behind, lost in the oblivion of the conscience, which certainly lives in the heights of surrealism, which powerfully echoes in the pool of archetypes. Raffaella’s eyes and her thoughts peer towards the sky, at the immense artwork in the ever-changing azure colours, the whites, the greys and the night-time blacks; at the presences, shaped and without, hiding from provisory vision. But the emotions, of great depths, belong to that deep and dark world from which the painter draws, whether knowingly or not. Therefore her work is not radiant and solar, but rather something enigmatic. It is fruit of the compromise between shadow and light, between hope and desperation. She is a lunar and melancholy artist, tender and pained like a virginal icon. The free expressivity of her work does not know the bounds between abstract and figure, and not by scholarly choice but for the inherited knowledge of the “continuum” which links everything together in a Pleroma without beginning nor end. Therefore consistency does not suffer. It can be no other way, at least as long as there’s search and inspiration which convey emotion; to her it shall always be that immense object over us, mutable and never repetitive, but unique and without fractures, infinite.
Arianna Piermattei – art critic
BEYOND THE LIMITED CONFINES OF THE INVISIBLE
A young atmosphere gathers the image in a harmonic composition which she found inside herself in an essential abstract/informal direction, leaving signs of the New Figuration.
In her compositions the light is filtered, in the front, because it is part of and witness of the moment which catches her vision and one notices the notes which scan the emotion felt. One notes in the greys/azures, a growing harmony of revelation which lets you guess other secrets which, in alternating motives of joy and sorrow, captivatingly invite you to discover these secrets.
Raffaella Calcagnini is a romantic painter who wants to give a form to her thoughts and her emotions.
Her master of the colours gives suffused tones, sometimes shaded, fantasy, the capability to regain in transfiguration the essence and inflection of memory. They are messages with which it is easy to enter in symphony. The perch for space is constant, space in terms of painting and visual space concord in an atmospheric silence which goes beyond, almost, the corner of the frame, in an extension which goes beyond the limits of the objective sensitivity of the painting. The relationship with reality is fast and perceptible. Each brushstroke goes towards the creation of aesthetic harmony, suggesting her daily sensitivity which meditates on reality. Raffaella gazes towards fantasy, beyond the limited confines of the visible. She is a romantic artist who wants to give shape to her thoughts and her emotions. The sincerity with which she uses her artistic expression will be worth it to get further in the difficult world of art.
Oscar Tugnoli - painter & art critic
Director of EuropArt, Bologna
THE HOSPITALITY OF PICTURES. THE PAINTED SKY
"My art, my paintings, are born from the instinctive work of the soul in which the intense language of the sky becomes an eternal divine language that blends with the image of the Most Sacred Thing that we know: Life.” R. Calcagnini
The paintings of Raffaella Calcagnini lead us and invite us to observe this world. And, just like looking at the clouds, we try to discern a figure in our vision, a shape that we see, and even in front of this “window in the sky”, the eye tracks a line, a familiar sign that searching for image:
“Sometimes we see a cloud that’s dragonish,
A vapour sometime like a bear or lion,
A towered citadel, a pendant rock,
A forkèd mountain or blue promontory
With trees upon ’t that nod unto the world
And mock our eyes with air.”
(Shakespeare, Anthony and e Cleopatra).
However, standing in front of this artwork, in searching for ourselves, in the end we find the shape which the painter has sealed into her paintings, sometimes in obvious ways and sometimes not. Once you have individuated the profile of an angel or Christ on the cross amongst the vapour of painted clouds, it is an image which shall never leave you: the pictorial mark stops in the moment in which the observer identifies the image. This is the game between the painter and the observer, who in a certain way scrutinizes the painting and empirically traces the creative process of the artist who has gazed upon the “overwhelming and stunning performances which the sky offers us, as it passes from day to night, from clouds to serene skies, from storms to rainbows, from sunrises to sunsets, and from moon to stars.”
Tiziana Fuligna – contemporary art historian