Giulio Delvè at Quadreria del Pio Monte della Misericordia / Napoli

Giulio Delvè / Darkness is only the shadows of light

Curated by Valentina Rippa

30 April – 30 July 2022 

Quadreria del Pio Monte della Misericordia
Via dei Tribunali, 253 – 

Darkness is only the shadow of light is the title of a solo show by Giulio Delvè curated by Valentina Rippa which opens on Saturday 30 April at 11.30 at Pio Monte della Misericordia, with a special exhibition spread in the various rooms of the Picture Gallery for a new reinterpretation of space and an unprecedented fruition of the contemporary work of art. The copper installation The tree of possibilities welcomes visitors on the ground floor of the Galleria Fronte Strada, suggesting ten ideas for a better life, thus becoming a hymn to peace.
Delvè’s work, which received the Matronage of Museo MADRE and Donnaregina Foundation for Contemporary Arts, moves between art and social research, inspired by Caravaggio The Seven Works of Mercy, and proposes in sculpture parts of the body adorned with luminous jewels, models in jesmonite with simple, realistic shapes, made with real-life casts: feet that allude to those of pilgrims in adoration of the Madonnas of Caravaggio, female busts or slender whole figures, embellished with jewels in paste then treated with brass microfusions that emanate glows, illuminate and “enrich” the work by restoring a new human and meaningful charge to Delvè’s artistic research.
The disruptive humanity in all of Caravaggio’s works is a theme profoundly close to the artist. The same attention to the humblest and most popular classes that in Merisi is expressed through the physicality and pathos of the painted figures, we find it in the sculptural works created by Delvè, which lead the viewer back to a concept of humanization and greatness of light-bearing art. and vitality. The guiding thread of the project is based on a principle of consistency with the purposes of the Pio Monte della Misericordia and on the precise will of the artist and the curator to enter into a relationship with the Palazzo.
The Seven Works of Mercy was chosen by Delvè for its innovative and revolutionary spirit and for having broken the mold by rejecting the concept of transcendence and always seeking adherence to truth, to reality, putting sacred painting and that historical; here the characters represented have commoner features with calloused hands and feet, poor clothes, broken up in poses and gestures, never perfect yet immense, totally realistic, vital thanks to the special light that invades the scene; and it is in that light all the divine and spiritual load, that light capable of highlighting real, suffered bodies, where darkness is only the shadow of light.
“We are happy to welcome the amazing works of Giulio Delvè who, with his artistic and socially sensitive project, fully embraces the spirit of Pio Monte. – explains Fabrizia Paternò di San Nicola, Superintendent of Pio Monte della Misericordia – our institution has been attentive to contemporary art by hosting an important permanent collection, and hosting temporary exhibitions for a new and original cultural offer. Delvè’s exhibition renews and expands this offer, involving the entire Picture Gallery in a widespread exhibition, making a cultural and artistical dialogue between the contemporary and the past”.
Nine sculptures on display: in the different rooms of the Picture Gallery seven works will be presented, designed to be in total harmony with the historical context of the spaces and masterpieces of the Pinacoteca.
In the Galleria Fronte Strada, on the ground floor, we find a work of strong emotional impact containing recurring themes in Giulio Delvè’s research, childhood, the search for beauty, hope, in a dialogue between internal and external spaces that it reflects the mission of the Institution and the perspective of social opening of the exhibition. Imagining life as a tree of possibilities, the artist creates a copper installation inspired by an illustration by Robert Crumb of Jack and the Beanstalk, the story of a little boy in search of happiness. The tree of possibilities is the contemporary version of an ancient fairy tale that indicates ten ideas for a better life transcribed by hand on ten leaves leaves of a bean plant: sustainable future, local self-reliance, land use, renewable systems, social change, job creation, stable state, decentralization, innovation, peace.
“In the last years my artistical research has taken a direction oriented towards the social dynamics that govern gentrified contexts or in any case marked by the difficulties generated by an almost ten-year, protracted situation of economic crisis. – explains Giulio Delvè – The project Dark is only the shadow of light was born in my studio in Montesanto frequented by the neighborhood kids, who from time to time came to retrieve the ball, browse, play with clay. One day they opened some packs of pasta, and assembling the various formats, they created necklaces, bracelets, ‘jewels’ that they wore ‘posing’ to be the ‘rich’. So I thought of crystallizing this naive gesture, simple but so essential, choral and spontaneous, of such power and poetry as to trigger profound social reflections.”
Delvè’s project resumes a work begun in 2019 which today is enriched with new works. The artist’s “gaze”, or rather his feeling of things, starts with a profound analysis of human experiences and their recurrence in different forms and ways in everyday life. A look at the same time external and internal that pushes him to seek common sense in humanity and in the reality that surrounds him. Delvè created the sculptures by re-reading, re-elaborating and organizing the “jewels” created for fun by the children of the neighborhood, thus opening them up to other semantic functions and possibilities.
“This new work by Giulio Delvè – explains the curator Valentina Rippa – fully reflects the sensitivity with which he observes the context in which he lives – which must be understood as a historical, social and anthropological space – always placing itself with an attitude of listening and reflection towards the most marginal phenomena of society. A silent action capable of returning a strong message through seductive works from an aesthetic point of view yet characterized by a high semantic and evocative value.”
Delvè induces the viewer to concentrate, to feel more aware, to pay greater attention to the lives of others, and he does so with the poetic attitude that has distinguished his artistic research from the very beginning.
We thank Alessandro Pasca di Magliano, former Superintendent of the Pio Monte della Misericordia and the Governor of the artistic and archival heritage Alberto Sifola di San Martino, who strongly wanted the exhibition.