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Introduction If one were to ask Vittorio Mazzucconi, in consideration to his personal experience, to give a role to his painting with respect to his architecture, this is what he would most likely hear as the reply:
My painting is the shadow, it is the dark side of my character, subterranean, obscure and as unconscious as the other side; which expresses itself through architecture, it lives in the light of day, luminous and fully self-conscious. One aspect, however, does not exclude the other; on the contrary, it is not even remotely conceivable without its counter-part. Likewise, were we to look at a tree that gives its fruit in the sunlight, we should not forget that that life exists only thanks to its roots. With regards to the trunk, seen as the centre-most part of the soul, it is as if there were two symmetrical and specular trees: one above it, that branches out and expands in the atmosphere; and the other below, with the similar branching of its roots. We are the whole tree, and it is this very idea that my painting helps me focus.

This world without light, made out of deep throbs, of germinating seeds, of roots, of waters and fires that earth kept well hidden, is the Underworld: that very land, narrated by poets, that ancient heroes had to set out for in order to be enlightened by wisdom.
Could the project of the Dawning City have been feasible without this descent to the Underworld, to Hades? Mazzucconi asks himself. ....In the very meeting place, the sacred crossing, it was a custom to dig a pit in which all votive offers to the genius loci were consecrated. It is here then that he made himself manifest, through his bond with the earth and its primordial forces, then with the archaic form of the city, then with all the latter’s development, up to the point in which the genius makes himself the bearer of a future vision, similarly to an oracle; he appoints himself the hierophant in the interpretation of life’s mysteries and those regarding death; he assumes the role of principle of harmony and from the centre of the cross he radiates this in all the surrounding area...

On saying this, Mazzucconi is also talking about the Dawning City, of all projects that follow the same intent, and of many paintings that painstakingly toil in this same mystery. The appreciation of the shadow has brought about the quest of the completion of the soul, of that which Jung christened ‘the process of individualization’. If I were to place all my paintings one beside the other, observing the development, I would understand that there is an ‘underground path’ of the great river of life, in which the path of the true spiritual being becomes more and more apparent to the extent that the exterior accomplishments become more and more temporary and episodic.

In this path, female presence is fundamental. In itself, painting is an Art form very close to the female figure: in common it shares her eros, both in the deep emotionality, and in the way of emerging and making the skin vibrate (even painting is ‘skin’), and similarly to the sea, it lives in its irregular and foaming surface.

Yet the intensity with which the woman is the guide and the very essence not merely of painting, but of the entire process of individualization, is a great deal more profound.
Just like the research of places, that I have long experienced in architecture, ends up by leading to the inner part of our being, so, despite the variety of women, one slowly becomes conscious of the inner woman, the one who Jung called, inevitably, ‘soul’, and one becomes aware of its guiding role in our spiritual development.

The birth of the ‘Self’ (the divine being that lives in each one of us, however confused and blind it may be in the beginning), becomes ever more evident and bright, and must thus be considered as the event that the soul bears, like an actual procreation.
This process is expressed by the paintings, by the gradual appearance of this being. At first it is unrecognisable or veiled by the ‘negritudo’, then it slowly appears more distinct, but it is sleeping, or maybe in a foetal position, or maybe it is incomplete or mutilated. It even has a face or, better yet, a profile; as schematic and impersonal as a secret code, that becomes evident only when a painting has been completed. Finally, the process is felt, in a different way, as an act of fertilization which, at last, erupts in the delivery.

Another recurring theme regards ‘creation’. Often it is felt as an act, as a sign (the same sign that generates the Arch and the architecture of Mazzucconi), or as an anthropomorphic image of divinity, but also in a more complex manner: as the action of a spiritual force or an angel directed on the dead matter and that is meant to shape it and give it new life. In the same way, the Creator grants Adam life; or even, starting from this creation, Eve; or, in other forms still, the spontaneous interpretation of ancient people to give a meaning to the cosmos. In actual fact, it is the very force to make the myths come into being, that arouses equivalent symbolic to sprout in our soul.

Clearly there is a ‘ship’ in the waters of our unconscious, and not in the form of the creative act alone, nor of the ‘arches’ of architecture: in painting, the ship becomes the remainder of a shipwreck or, on the contrary, the survival instinct; it becomes an embrace, a container, a seed, the moon’s crescent or Charon’s raft...
Sure, it comes naturally to me, like any ordinary gesture, to sketch or paint a curve; but the impulse to do this must be sought further back and deeper down, where the protective and gratifying curve is, perhaps, no other than the mother’s womb.

Note In this site we only show the exhibitions of Vittorio Mazzucconi’s works, which have been presented in the Foundation seat.
Information about previous exhibitions held in other galleries, as well as the critical, biographic and bibliographic notes, can be found in the general catalogue:

Vittorio Mazzucconi
The works of architecture and painting

which is available in our Bookshop