15 September — 19 November 2022
Essay by Duccio Trombadori

Maja Arte Contemporanea is delighted to start the new 2022-2023 exhibition season with a show titled “Epistolarium”, Margareth Dorigatti’s most recent painting cycle consisting of twenty or so works created between 2020 and 2022.

From a letter Margareth Dorigatti wrote to the gallery owner Daina Maja Titonel on 31 May 2022:

“[…] As a girl and later in adulthood I always wrote letters, initially to communicate with my grandmother who taught me how it was done; and then, when I left home at the age of 17 in pursuit of painting, to my mother. Later still I wrote to people who were fond of me. […] At this point, following two years of pandemic that forced us all to reflect on how we behave, I have catalogued all my works and perused the bundles of letters kept in the black suitcase (which once housed my viola, now quietly resting I know not where). From these hundreds of letters I have extracted phrases at random and attempted to ‘rewrite’ them in my own fashion, in the only language I feel is truly mine: Painting. These are the works that I would like to exhibit with you next time.

The exhibition catalogue contains a precious written contribution by Duccio Trombadori, who addressed the following words to Margareth Dorigatti on 19 August 2022:

“[…] You’re an acute, insightful and occasionally unsparing analyst of your – and our – feelings, dear Margareth. And this way of delving deep into expression and existence is what makes your ‘Epistolarium’ so fascinating: the chromatic grafts, mixed techniques, double surfaces and your astounding technical armory all become part of the picture with the spontaneous emotional strength of a caress, intimating harmony among apparent dissonance. Far from any form of intellectual dalliance, these works speak for the magnetic virtue of achieving poetry in pictorial form.

[…] Dear Margareth, this intriguing and highly symbolic visual epistolary is a long letter of impassioned human affinity and boundless faith in the expressive power of painting as an idiom infused with poetry. It’s a rare accomplishment in our present times, and that is why I felt the need to write you a letter, in the hope that not all will be lost and that some trace may remain.

The exhibition is dedicated to Lela Djokic, art historian and founder of Nuova Galleria Campo dei Fiori – a historic art gallery situated in the heart of Rome, specializing in Nineteen and Twentieth century art – who died in August 1st, 2022.

Selected works

Margareth Dorigatti
SI [YES], 2022
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Margareth Dorigatti
RETOUR, 2021
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Margareth Dorigatti
Codice, 2022
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Margareth Dorigatti
Quale magia…, 2022
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Margareth Dorigatti
Chi ti inventerà l'alba, 2021
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Margareth Dorigatti
Nel silenzio, 2021
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Margareth Dorigatti
Fuer Dich [For you], 2021
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Margareth Dorigatti
Die Antwort ist... [The answer is...], 2021
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Margareth Dorigatti
Iphigenie, Du warst... [Iphigenia, you were...], 2021
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Margareth Dorigatti
Quante notti azzurre, 2020
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Margareth Dorigatti
UND DER REST IST SCHWEIGEN [The rest is silence], 2021
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Margareth Dorigatti
CARPE DIEM, fuer immer [CARPE DIEM, for ever], 2021
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Margareth Dorigatti
Ein Verhaeltnis ist ..., 2021
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Margareth Dorigatti
E ho baciato ..., 2021
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Margareth Dorigatti
Treffpunkt S.P.Q.R., 2021
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Critical essay

Epistolarium - CORRESPONDING WITH MARGARETH

By Duccio Trombadori

Dear Margareth,

By writing to you I can take my mind off things and enjoy the finely interwoven threads of words and images that are your story; the allusive paraphrases of experience that come to the fore when the memories underlying creative expression are fathomed with sincerity.

For many years I have appreciated the mystical tension that animates the visions you paint, like a troubled diary exposed to public perusal, troubled because it is heartfelt, fruit of the need to discern light, a way to salvation in life’s mysterious journey.

We’ve known each other for ages, and since the very start I have always felt that your way of expressing yourself exposed a perception of mal de vivre, and was at the same time also a hymn to life, perhaps for the desperate, unflagging need to reach what the poet described as “the midst of a truth”.

Your paintings seek to meld thought and feeling, capturing visual moments made of threads of colour, skilfully handled to suggest outline and nuance. You manage to associate momentary vision and ideal synthesis, the sense of isolated time with the evocative power of a letter mislaid, or never sent, or discovered by chance by someone else who traces the feelings expressed with relative detachment. This is an accomplishment I consider to be ethical as well as aesthetic.

You’re an acute, insightful and occasionally unsparing analyst of your – and our – feelings, dear Margareth. And this way of delving deep into expression and existence is what makes your “Epistolarium” so fascinating: the chromatic grafts, mixed techniques, double surfaces and your astounding technical armory all become part of the picture with the spontaneous emotional strength of a caress, intimating harmony among apparent dissonance. Far from any form of intellectual dalliance, these works speak for the magnetic virtue of achieving poetry in pictorial form.

The greys and blues, the use of gold and glued paper fragments, and above all the words like scraps of personal experience: together they conjure up the insolent rhythm of life lived as it dissolves and yet preserves the passions of experience in time. Everything is harmony, even as you pin down the image that seeks to sound the depths of continuous generation and destruction.

With untiring passion you describe a process in which we are all involved, drawing attention to the intimate connection between the word and our innermost being, inviting the observer to absorb the deep significance of all those “traces” adeptly hidden, preserved or revealed by the paint.

Dear Margareth, this intriguing and highly symbolic visual epistolary is a long letter of impassioned human affinity and boundless faith in the expressive power of painting as an idiom infused with poetry. It’s a rare accomplishment in our present times, and that is why I felt the need to write you a letter, in the hope that not all will be lost and that some trace may remain.

With my warmest wishes and a hug,

Duccio Trombadori

19 August 2022

Exhibited Artists

Margareth Dorigatti
 

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