Colligite fragmenta, nec pereant…
Giovanni Grigolini was born in Verona. Simultaneously to a Science degree in Pharmacy he cultivates his artistic interests, attending the ateliers of Annigoni, Pietro Cascella and Walter Lazarus.
Today he lives and works between Genoa and Camogli, where he also grows an enchanting garden.
The artistic activity of Giovanni Grigolini began in the Seventies with a series of oil paintings inspired by the landscape of Friuli and Sardinia. At the same time a growing interest in collecting, the discovery and collection of a wide variety of objects, thanks to the many trips made first in Europe and later in Africa, India, Nepal, Laddah, Indonesia, Pakistan and more recently in the United States and Senegal.
From here, a series of experiments on the use of handcrafted techniques and materials of the tradition, but also the experience of the new, that guides him, over the years, to the realization of artefacts of various genders.
At the end of the Nineties, the urgent need to give concrete form to the many knowledge gained in watching and making brings him to create his first sculpture, assembling pieces of found objects and natural materials. He begins a path of interest for the three-dimensional shape, which follows him as far as today’s works, all-round sculptures of strong volume in various materials and wall “sculptures-paintings”, where the play of colour is mixed with the one of forms and shadows, creating significant effects never seen before.
For Giovanni Grigolini art is a free space to be filled with the constant attention to others’ achievements – from the love for antiques to the research, through attendance at exhibitions, galleries and ateliers of contemporary artists, of new experiences and new expressions – and an individual testing ground of different artistic languages, materials, techniques, games to communicate. An urgency of expression that comes from an eye always alert, attentive to the world and its changes, always willing to research and discovery, capable of receiving impressions, but then without being influenced by them, in a play of tradition and innovation that eventually finds its balance in rationality – the constant figure of the whole work of Giovanni Grigolini, who never gives up lyricism, poetry, sometimes to the astonishment of a curious view, calm, confident, who believes in the soothing power of art.
And it is this serenity, this calm and rational shape, this search for an accuracy that never becomes a limit, the constant element of the entire production of Grgiolini, from the oil paintings of the early Seventies to the latest sculptures in different metals, through a series of experiments of all kinds – including fun attempts to copy antiques and maquetterie in wood, careful re-issues in small-scale of furniture and lamps assembled with vintage pieces found here and there; a production that, as a whole, perfectly matches the personality of Grigolini: constant, meticulous, never quite satisfied, perhaps a bit ‘nostalgic, but always curious and positive in collecting all the charm of daily life.
…. The Twentieth century, from avant-garde into the new millennium, has seen a renewal of art through the completion of “gestures” – from “ready made” provocative Dada to Pollock “dripping”. But today the world changed, certain situations do not work anymore, people are again looking for “stories”: maybe it’s time to start back telling, through the creation of a work of art, new “stories”. And that’s what makes Giovanni Grigolini, assembling pieces old and new, rough and/or brightly coloured, metal or wood, in his sculptures and pittosculture… stories of things, moments, memories, projections forward to the future, or connections to a past that always teaches something ….
Heavy and balance. The attention first focuses on the complex stability of Giovanni Grigolini’s works, where every addition seems to indicate the search of a form where three-dimensionality joins several perspectives and the materials are functional to the meanings. All geometries appear and complement each other both in the wall works, where objects find their space outside their prop and in the compositions, where everything is added and integrated in the whole. Are these the toothed wheels of an interior world that finds its expression in the pure invention of possible, Leonardian machines? Are these the toothed wheels of love and attention towards small things, chosen exclusively according to their form, revised by the artist’s intellect and given back in the pursuit of a perfection that contains them all? All seem possible in its artistic works, that reflect the author’s personality, his passion for arts, his scientific studies and life itself. In the works a possible equilibrium imposes itself, where slender stems hold form or where the third dimension seems searching new perspectives. Materials of various kinds complement each other: colours, wood, metals, scraps recycled for a new life. The idea isn’t new but perhaps it’s new the assumption under which these pieces are assembled. Behind them, a qualified collector recognizes the charm of the past, the recovery of the roots and of the present time. Grigolini is an original artist, an autonomous personality who finds an own space to be investigated and understood.
Grigolini said: “I think that art is a free space to be filled (…) with our own achievements (…) and testing with materials and techniques, always different, and also with plays to communicate. An urgency of expression that comes from an eye always alert, attentive to the world and its changes, ready to explore, capable of receiving impressions without being influenced, with a balance between tradition and innovation completed by his rationality (…) which never gives up lyricism and poetry (…). The forms apparently assigned to the case are actually carefully arranged, governed by an accuracy that never becomes the limit (…). My production (…) corresponds perfectly to my personality: consistent, meticulous, never fully satisfied, a bit ‘nostalgic, but always curious and positive in collecting all the charm of daily life.
Grigolini represents the material in its composition and geometric structure. Grigolini is the material: wood. His cabinet is at paintings levels of interpretation decidedly cubist. The development of the familiarity of materials used is well known and reflect states of mind through the body, or which, unlike painting, you can touch, is concrete. The wood inserts are nestled among their most minimal as precious stones, giving completeness and meaning to the artist’s stylistic research. He suggests his issues with decision, colours his real world that really exists. His passion, by which I mean his suffering, is evident in the difficult joints, as in both the Scomposizioni, where converge “pieces of life” which, as such, remain alive forever. This paradox is the whole concept-search of the Ligurian sculptor.
Polite and gentle, below an apparent quietude, an insatiable curiosity vibrates. A lover of music, beauty, balance and harmony, Grigolini reflects these aspects of his character in his compositions, studied for a long time, made of colour, irons and woods, scrap selected with extreme caution. This is how the iron and colour sculptures are born, where the essential shapes of geometry are stratified superimposing each other, following a definite mental order, a result of an Austro-Hungarian upbringing, of a daily life in chemistry and of the fruitful coexistence in his soul of rationality and poetry.
Iron and Color
Genova, Oct.-December 2012
Christmas in Naples
Art Gallery of Modern Art “The Doors”, December 2014
Padova Fiere – 13-17 Novembre 2014
Collective Exhibition at Artistic Lines Compare
Gallery Anacapri, Capri – September 2014
VI International Festival of Rome
Rome, the Augustinian Museum Complex, People’s Square, July 2014
Review of NEW ART
Villafranca di Verona, April 2014
La Spezia, October 2013
Out of Frame
Genoa, Diocesan Museum – April-May 2012
Europe 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Temporary Museum Florence 2010, 2011, 2012