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54
De Umbra
Art of Shadow – The Paintings of Oscar Netto
by Marcello Carriero
translated by Carlo Miccio
A shadow has particular ways of
interacting with reality; it can endorse
a doubt, pose as menace, inflict
subordination, or intrude with an
unsettling proximity and as we know,
is generally associated with the kingdom
of the dead.
In a book dedicated to shadows, as
they are depicted in western art, Ernst
Gombrich recalls the famous tale of 1814
by Von Chamisso, in which a character
named Peter Shlemihl loses his shadow
through a wretched pact with the devil
and therefore cannot prove his existence.
The shadow is always evidence of
presence whether living or inanimate.
Unfathomable veil and rustling
ambassador of darkness that disappears
when light arrives, shadow is ruled
by light and form. It proves both the
consistency and inconsistency of a thing
and the very place where light and dark
unite. In so being, it is neither life nor
death, but in it’s own unique dimension,
between the known and unknown.
In order to exist, the shadow needs a
surface upon which to project its obscure
form. The passive surface is the place
of the phenomenon’s consecration.
Through whatever degree of blind
depth or unscrambled the distance the
presence is signalled, the shadow is
always delivered in a monochromatic
projection of grey or black. Shadow
symbolizes the mystery of space.
In the art of Oscar Netto, we see the
shadow’s characteristics at work in the
transit of presence over a surface and
in the overlapping, vertical sequences
which stress the horizontal shift of the
painting. In this motion, the painting
seems to drag itself away, to move
beyond the edge, leaving a sediment, or
avantoure
|
school of trickery
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