Nando Stevoli Pleating 2019 Rosso

A Ruffle of the Thought


Displayed elegance reminds us of the snares of appearance


Nando Stevoli’s “rigorism” clearly reveals highly interesting conceptual references to Lucio Fontana’s gesture, whichpierces through and violates the canvas surface with cuts that introduce us to the mystery of the space it traumatically conquers. The artist from Ferrara draws on Fontana’s idea but changes its impact through foldings of the canvas that hint to the mystery of the underlying void with elegant and delicate movements. The potential cut turns into a sudden absence of matter, or in the restrained opening of a curtain that monopolizes the eye and leaves wide scope for interpretation to those who approach his works. These folds are also arranged in rhythmical associations that create a line of refined formal levitation, which may refer to the way in which certain Japanese artists interpret and exalt spatial modulations that satisfy the gardens of the spirit. The artist creates a compositional arrangement and constantly renews it through a formula he changes perpetually and harmoniously. As if a suspended gesture could already know the logic of its following movement, fluctuating matter rises orderly, like a breath that is withheld out of amazement, not only by the observer but also by the author himself, the moment when he composes and reveals the fruit of his magic on the mainly monochrome surface of the canvas, which behaves like a page waiting to be interpreted. This being said, Stevoli can thus enrich his tale with parallel modulations and precious narrative variations. The animated flows of the fabric, which sometimes seem to evoke the folds of the ancient tunics, develop in milk white, intense blue, vivid red, pale pink and night black fields of colour, pursuing projects, dreamlike architectures and emotionally supported geometries, as if the secret of their functionality belonged to us, in the measure we can fathom it.


A conceptual operation introduces the mystery of the underlying void with delicate motions

Stevoli provides us with the map of a treasure that already belongs to us, but that we must conquer each time. Another artist who plays a major role in Stevoli’s art is Piero Manzoni, who endowed cotton, plaster and polystyrene with the rhythm of a tale that tasted of ephemeral universality, shocking immediacy and renewable reflections on existence. In some ways, Nando Stevoli seems to draw on both Manzoni and Fontana – two great investigators of the mysteries and contradictions of our time. He tries to express his doubts with a contradictory preciousness that is therefore closer to the truths of the world that belongs to us. This is the case with his displayed elegance, which hints to the snares of appearance. These are the reasons why these folds, these ruffles of the thought, seem to already belong to us, as if they were a fate we must unfold on the little or great path that awaits us beyond the reach of our gaze.



Baf, Bergamo Arte Fiera,
January 2019

Artegenova, Genoa,
February 2019

Scope Art Fair, New York
March 2019

Hofa Gallery, London
May 2019

Miart Gallery, Milan
September 2019

Grandart Artfair, Milan
October 2019

Artepadova, Padua
November 2019

Mediolanum Art Gallery, Padua
Mostra Personale
Until 30 November
Curated by Lattuada Gallery

Luciano Caprile


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