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Luca Bertolo: The Beautiful Words

“Luca Bertolo wakes up in the Apuan Alps. He goes to the studio, looks out the window, and sees that it is raining. He thinks about landscapes, his daily routine, about the pleasures of looking, about the conventions of depicting landscapes, and whether an artist could consider the worn-out old genre worth painting in the present day. He turns away from the window, searches for an image on his computer. He reads the news, takes in the current state of geopolitics, the rise of populist nationalism or partisan demagoguery. He thinks about the enormous range of things one could say as an artist, maybe about whether it’s possible to acknowledge the shitty darkness that haunts the globe. He goes back to the window, to thinking about landscape, about its history in Western art, about surface and color, about illusion, and about how a painting might begin to comprehend the sheer volume of information in the world, the infinite flow of potential subject matter.” —Craig Burnett

Produced in conjunction with the exhibition Le Belle Parole / The Beautiful Words at Spazio A, Pistoia, this monograph offers a rich critical overview of the work of Luca Bertolo from 2012 to 2017, with essays by Craig Burnett and Dieter Roelstraete and an interview with Antonio Grulli. The book and show’s title might work as a translation of Ñe’e Porã, the special language Guaraní shamans adopt when addressing their gods. “These Beautiful Words or Grande Parlare (talking big),” says Luca Bertolo, “demand utmost accuracy and carry enormous responsibility. Only when we pay the closest attention to the form we give to our questions (and gods have very good hearing!) may we hope to receive an answer to the crucial enigma Guaraní native peoples have been faced with for generations: Why on earth—despite feeling so similar to their gods—do they continue living in an impure world instead of yvy mara ey, the land without evil?”

 

Texts by Craig Burnett and Dieter Roelstraete, and a conversation between Luca Bertolo and Antonio Grulli

 

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