There is something new in Franco Beraldo’s painting. Or rather, it is a different painting: along the research path it has slowly assumed its own shape for some time and has become more mature. And there is more: it is the arrival of new abstract forms or of forms almost completely inclined to abstract, forms and immediacy of rare signs reminding of recent reminiscences.
Let’s go back, then, to the time of his journey inside painting and to the light that has supported him along his thought over path, till the beginning of his current artistic tendency. ”I’ve always been fully aware that I didn’t have to fall into the trap of a definite contrast between abstract and figurative” and this since the mid 70s, where he started committing himself with a form for years.
It is his creative energy, remained untouched and traced in his thoughts revealed through words, which gives a different importance to each single work of art and represents the antecedent Beraldo has always been bound to. These are works embracing the painter’s preface, serene path and today’s arrival in paintings that are bound to each other by internal relation, in a painting made of landscapes and still nature.
And it is certainly an intense period, the one that led him to paint in the meeting, not as a reference, but probably to call for a deeper attention or to find shelter, a sort of metaphysical suspension of light-blue skies, high horizons, rocks coloured in shades of almost dull yellow-green, trees against dumb houses immersed in motionless air: buildings arranged according to the classical pattern, perfectly intertwined and softened by faint lights. These are silent landscapes lightened by a gentle light in a harmonious, soft variety of shades. And the purpose is to gaze at the horizon, select a detail of the landscape, transfer it into a pictorial vision according to the poetic idea of simplicity and concreteness.
And of course, also the fruit-stands with few polished objects, which Beraldo chooses and places close to one another like human beings, are paged up on canvases in order to be plastically contained exactly in the middle of a picture.
Then, once again we notice that in still nature, as by the way in small and big landscape paintings, there is the confirmation of measure and above all the simplification of forms according to a project of rigour, which could not last for many more years.
Today it is time for new works. The signal is to be seen in this opening of canvases and it is the landscape that starts the latest painting.
A completely different beginning really transforms the production of which Beraldo knows also the secret scheme, the definite extension of the previous compositions.
A concentration of works anchored to the subject of surface: what is more in a continuous series of works is that Beraldo disarticulates the previous painting arrangement, whose innovation, through the loss of thickness, lies in inventing and developing a geometrical composition rhythm of intertwinements and arches on the surfaces and, above all, in contaminating figure superimposition, here much rarer, with an active sign.
In any case, the vision of squares and backgrounds recomposes itself in the evocation of a thought of form, surely made up mostly of details, though a distant image of reality remains in some of these canvases.
In these works and in other ones that are expression of Beraldo’s total abstract intention the voice of colour really changes. And he introduces brightness into his canvases, as if he were revealing the reasons for a different painting more deeply: and above all there, in the cycle entitled Landscape, in the presence of light-blues or in the sudden bright reds.
No more adherence to reality.
Now Compositions and Red Angel stresses the abstract promises in the landscape even more. The surfaces, through the fluid and bright colour, comment a different material: they absorb a variously proportioned brilliance, while turning memory into dream.
Surely Beraldo experiments it in this painting, which surprisingly becomes a modulated vision, where light, which is already seeking for colour – the incandescence of red, the majesty of cobalt blue, the pressing pink, the sonority of yellows – evokes emotions, canvas after canvas.
Maria Lucia Ferraguti