Arturo Carmassi: interview

Art Consulting. Arturo Carmassi, interview di artconsulting

Curator Marina Pizziolo interviews Arturo Carmassi in his Tuscan studio during the large retrospective of his work held in 2005, when she was the director of the Fondazione Bandera. French director Jean-Claude Luyat’s film provides an insight into the intriguing world of this great artist, who died in 2015.

The huge windows of Carmassi’s studio overlook the Fucecchio valley. The soft line of the horizon is punctuated by the verticality of the bronzes and marbles on watch outside. The paintings are inside.
Carmassi hasn’t aged with time but he has become bigger. Like one of the age-old cypresses that stipple the Tuscan hills like hieratic columns supporting a sky that grows heavier yet more limpid day by day.

Arturo Carmassi lived art as if it were a document essential to existence, like an indelible mark of our transitory eternity and therefore as an attempt to justify our existence. He passed through the art of the Novecento like a solitary giant.
After months and even years, talking to him is always like picking up the threads of a conversation interrupted only seconds earlier by an untimely telephone call.
The pieces Carmassi worked on day after day, night after night are large, sober, and raised up on easels that crowd his studio. The outpost of an army lined up to resist the advancing void.

“The river of time is not dragging me to its estuary. Slowly, day after day, I am going back to the source”, says Carmassi. “I feel I am getting closer all the time. I understand it from the freshness and the clarity with which I am able to see things, the same things I have carried with me all my life”.

Everything around Carmassi is gigantic. Spaces. Things. From the elephant skull that gives the table in the large hall that air of pagan altar to the silences, the voids and the absences.
“Do you know what it means to believe in what you do? The solitude such awareness condemns you to?”, he asks. “Day after day, night after night I toiled over every work. I did not simply paint them, first I invented them and then I built them. Now they are ready to function, like aesthetic machines. Ready to prompt questions”.