Decartages by Serena Ciai – Giorgio Bonomi

In contemporary art there has always been the desire to leave painting to chance.

From Dadaism to automatic painting, from Fluxus to animal painting (we saw in a Venice Biennale the paintings painted by an elephant that held the brush with the proboscis) we tried to create the work without the active and conscious intervention of the artist’s hand.

Serena Ciai in a certain sense refers to this vein that we can call “casual painting” or “spontaneous painting”.

In fact, he takes some cards, precious and colorful, he wets them and overlaps them; then these are glued on any object, from furniture to the chair, from frames to mirrors and anything else. The cards “melt” their colors and so they create others in a way, in fact, random but … always under the watchful eye of the architect who, in addition to the technique, so to speak, the case uses another technique, also this very used by all the avant-garde art of the last century, that is painting with extrapictoric materials, ie “painting” without brushes and colors in small tubes. Finally we have the “third movement”: making a common object artistic. Already Balla, the well-known futurist, ventured into painting not only ties and vests, but also screens and stools, furniture and tables.

Serena Ciai, then, takes new and / or recovery furniture and intervenes on it with its technique that underpins a precise poetics. That, from the formal point of view, of the chromatism for which it achieves a strong, sunny color, with matching textures in a virile way or, more reservedly, the color appears solitary, almost monochrome, if we consider that “white is not a color”. From the point of view of contents, beyond the desire for decoration, there is the desire to give or give life to something dull, banal that, precisely, with the artistic intervention re-emerges in reality and occupies it with proud bravado and with conscious dignity.

Abbiamo detto della poetica della “decorazione”: va chiarito, quindi, che il concetto di questa non è limitativo, come spesso si pensa, dato il pensiero di tipo razionalistico del Novecento che, in arte e in architettura, ha combattuto l’ornamento – famoso è lo scritto di Adolf Loos, Ornamento e delitto –, infatti, accanto a questa visione estetica, ce n’è stata un’altra che deriva per via diretta da Matisse, i cui quadri mostravano sempre disegni e colori ornamentali (carta da parati, colori vivaci, orientalismi, arabeschi ed altro ancora), qui la decorazione non è sorretta da retorica bolsa né da ridondanza inutile.

We have said of the poetics of the “decoration”: it must be clarified, therefore, that the concept of this is not limiting, as we often think, given the twentieth century rationalistic thinking that, in art and architecture, fought ornamentation – famous is the writing of Adolf Loos, Ornament and crime – in fact, next to this aesthetic vision, there was another that comes directly from Matisse, whose paintings always showed designs and ornamental colors (wallpaper , bright colors, orientalism, arabesques and more), here the decoration is not supported by rhetoric bolsa nor by unnecessary redundancy.

The works of Serena Ciai are real and rational even if playful and if the case has made us his.