Controcanto. Palinodies and contaminations

Yellow Space, Varese

Curated by Vera Portatadino

Extract from Text

“Contemporary recantations, which revisit traditions, collective imagination, masterpieces, architecture and painting recipes of the Great Masters. A palinode (recantation), from the Greek πάλιν (pálin, “again”, "back") and ᾠδή (ode, "song"), is a poetical composition to retract a previous statement, often used to deny it. There are many examples in Greek and Latin literature. However, the meaning used in this case is a more literal one like a song searching and finding its muse from the past, which sings its beauty and greatness, showing it in a new vision, adorned with reminiscences and references. So amplifications rather than regrets. Alongside the ‘history of art’ known by most people, there is a controcanto (a counter song), a voice that sometimes blends in, other times differs, but always enriches the main melody. You can feel it appearing gently, very gently, together with the sun-kissed Dutch grass of Het Hollandse Landschap (or After Ruisdael), an interpretation of Ruisdael’s landscape by Michele Tocca. Here it rises and curls up in the foliage and engage in the clouds in the sky; then it is stronger and decisive in the hands of the peasants in the rural scenes after Millet and Van Gogh, painted by Sigrid Holmwood. These rural scenes smell of vegetable gardens and flowers, of earth and stones that the artist uses to make her own pigments by retrieving old recipes, awakening our lost sense of belonging to the world of nature and slowness…”



  Het Hollandse Landschap   (After the stolen Ruisdael),  oil on linen, 57,5x49 cm

Het Hollandse Landschap (After the stolen Ruisdael), oil on linen, 57,5x49 cm