Press

Zeena Schreck

Zeena Schreck

[…] All of Gagliano's works are timeless depictions of feminine beauty at its highest spiritual ideal (a phenomenon I've coined in my book Demons of the Flesh as “the Feminine Daemonic”).

His style has been honed over decades and is refreshingly free of any distractions, distortions or irritations of modern art trends or references. The minimalist, streamlined presentation and choice of colors is confident yet sensitive and beautifully classical without clichés.

 

is a Berlin-based interdisciplinary artist and counter-culture icon known through her work as photographer, graphic artist, musician/composer, writer, animal rights activist, magician and mystic. Her artwork and writings stem from her lifetime experience within magical, pagan, shamanistic, and tantric Buddhist traditions (respectively).


Jean-David Jumeau-Lafond

Jean-David Jumeau-Lafond

FRENCH

«On n’a que soi»: cette devise, qui était celle du peintre symboliste belge Fernand Khnopff résume à elle seule la philosophie de bien des artistes de la fin du XIXe siècle. Plus qu’à aucune autre époque, la solitude intrinsèque à toute véritable création, prend dans ces années de renouveau de l’idéalisme un sens particulièrement fort. Comme le Des Esseintes de l’À Rebours de Huysmans, écrivains et peintres se replient sur eux-mêmes, préférant le «rêvoir» inventé par Baudelaire au monde agressif de la réalité. À la fenêtre ouverte sur la nature, ou aux paysages classiques, chers aux impressionnistes et aux poètes du Parnasse, ils optent pour un miroir de l’âme, sensibles à l’invocation de Stéphane Mallarmé dans ses Fenêtres: «Que la vitre soit l’art, soit la mysticité». Le monde n’est plus un spectacle extérieur, admirable pour ses beautés tangibles, mais le rébus sensible qui mène à l’invisible. Dans l’œuvre de Fabiano Gagliano, nourrie de références, plastiques et textuelles, l’art des préraphaélites et des symbolistes est omniprésent. Images de rêve, figures énigmatiques, femmes interrogatives y révèlent le monde intérieur de l’artiste, son imaginaire, solitaire et hautain, comme il convient à un créateur, mais ses obsessions et ses visages obsédants nous rappellent indéniablement l’univers de ces peintres qui, au XIXe siècle, réinventèrent le néoplatonisme et lurent Swedenborg et Schopenhauer ou écoutèrent Richard Wagner avec recueillement. Paradoxe, pour Gagliano, le «On n’a que soi», ne s’applique donc pas au détriment d’un passé glorieux, celui d’inspirateurs magnifiques, et pour sa délectation, comme pour celle du spectateur, Fabiano Gagliano, n’a pas «que lui». Son «quant à soi» est enrichi par le «moi» fantasmé de grands prédécesseurs, qui l’habitent si évidemment qu’il ne s’agit pas d’un inconscient ou d’une «influence», mais bien d’une revendication. Les femmes, sujet unique et permanent de l’artiste, sont ici «patronnées» par les images préraphaélites et symbolistes d’héroïnes, réelles ou artistiques: depuis Jane Morris, l’épouse de William Morris et le modèle de Rossetti, jusqu’au visage du Notturno, dont le disque d’or, et l’aile bleue, inspirée par la tête d’Hypnos si souvent représentée par Khnopff, et elle-même copiée de la sculpture de Scopas conservée au British Museum de Londres, Fabiano Gagliano conçoit un art cultivé et truffé de références. Celles-ci ne sont toutefois pas de simples citations ou des pastiches, mais le tribut versé à une époque et à une esthétique, revisitées à la lumière de notre temps. La Regina Cordium, rappel de celle de Rossetti par le titre, ressemble plus dans sa composition à un Khnopff qu’à une œuvre du peintre anglais et, à la place de la fleur, que tenait le modèle préraphaélite en 1860, la sienne exhibe une clé: chez Gagliano, le chemin du cœur est davantage clos et mystérieux que celui auquel invitait la peinture de Rossetti. Dans Aglaonice, l’inscription, en forme de vanité («Tout casse, tout lasse, tout passe») rappelle le Passé (Fuisse nihil) dessiné par Khnopff vers 1909: la référence à la première femme astronome, Aglaonice de Théssalie, appartient toutefois bien à Fabiano Gagliano. L’hommage à Franz von Stuck, qui se réfère au serpent du fameux Péché du peintre allemand, confirme, si c’était nécessaire, l’importance de l’art symboliste européen dans la vision de l’artiste. Mais, ces images, si chargées de références, textuelles et iconographiques, comme plastiques, échappent à la simple citation ou à un regard figé sur le passé. Ce sont bien des femmes d’aujourd’hui que le peintre représente et leur physique, contemporain, ajoute à l’étrangeté des œuvres, confrontation culturelle et plastique. Ces visages et ces corps, sensuellement dessinés, semblent à la fois revendiquer un héritage tout en luttant contre lui. Les références basculent ainsi, parfois, vers une signification nouvelle. Ainsi, Lei in Pallore Cercò L’aria Segreta, directement inspiré du Pallentes Radere Mores dessiné par Khnopff en 1888 peut intriguer. Dans l’oeuvre du peintre belge, inspirée par Le Vice suprême de Joséphin Péladan, la citation des Satires de Persius évoque la corruption des mœurs à travers la pâleur hypocrite du masque vertueux que le vice arrache. Si les exégètes du poète latin du Ier siècle, en particulier l’abbé Le Monnier, en 1771, s’interrogent sur la vraie signification du texte original, le sens global en est clair et s’accorde au message du premier roman de la Décadence latine de Péladan, préfacé par Barbey d’Aurevilly. Dans le dessin de Khnopff, toutefois, ce sont des mains «étrangères» qui surgissent de la droite du dessin et viennent tenter d’arracher le masque de la vertu et de révéler le vice, faisant basculer vers la gauche la femme nue qui les fuit. Avec l’œuvre de Gagliano, point d’intervention extérieure et le modèle touche de sa propre main la pâleur de son visage, avec une expression presque extatique. Là où Péladan et Khnopff prétendaient dénoncer le vice, l’artiste du XXIe siècle choisit un message manifestement plus nuancé et dans lequel le «vice», peut-être, cède la place au plaisir, assumé et non coupable…

Dans les dessins aux références moins explicites, comme Lontano dal Buio, Mysterion ou Siamo Spiriti Azzurri e Stelle, Fabiano Gagliano reste pleinement un enfant du XIXe siècle par l’esthétique et les références plastiques, mais ses créatures se métamorphosent réellement et rejoignent encore plus le réel. Véritables portraits de modèles bien «réels», ces œuvres actualisent une vision et lui donnent une autre vie, plus proche, plus charnelle. Le trouble qui en résulte n’est pas la moindre qualité de ce travail; Sia Dolce la Tenebra et Uno Sguardo nous disent que les femmes que nous croisons dans nos vies sont tout autant mystérieuses dans leur présence que les princesse lointaines et les fées chères aux symbolistes. Détentrices des mêmes messages éternels que celles qui les ont précédées, elles sont pour nous, comme Jane Morris ou Elizabeth Sidall le furent pour Dante Gabriel Rossetti, des êtres de chair et de sang. En unissant cette vérité au voile de mystère que tisse le crayon, l’artiste réunit l’esprit et la matière, l’idée et sa «forme sensible», ainsi que l’expliquait Jean Moréas dans son manifeste de 1886. Il dit aussi que, finalement, tout ne passe pas, tout ne casse pas, tout ne lasse pas, et que les chefs d’œuvre du passé nous hantent. Comme de généreux fantômes familiers, soucieux de préserver la beauté d’une maison éternelle."

ENGLISH

«On n’a que soi»: this motto, which was that of the belgian symbolist painter Fernand Khnopff, sums up the philosophy of many artists of the end of the 19th century. More than any other period, the loneliness intrinsic to all true creation, takes in these years of idealism renewal a particularly strong sense. Like the Des Esseintes of the "À Rebours" de Huysmans, writers and painters retreat to themselves, preferring the "dreaming" invented by Baudelaire to the aggressive world of reality. At the open window on nature, or the classical landscapes, dear to the impressionists and poets of Parnassus, they preferred the mirror of the soul, sensitive to the invocation of Stéphane Mallarme in his Fenêtres: "Let the glass be Art, or mysticism". The world is no longer an external spectacle, admirable for its tangible beauties, but the sensitive rebus which leads to the invisible. In the work of Fabiano Gagliano, nourished by references, plastic and textual, the art of Pre-Raphaelites and Symbolists is omnipresent. Images of dreams, enigmatic figures, interrogative women reveal the inner world of the artist, his imaginary, solitary and haughty, as it suits a creator, but his obsessions and haunting faces remind us undeniably of the universe of these painters who, in the XIX Century, reinvented neoplatonism and Swedenborg and Schopenhauer, or listened to Richard Wagner with the utmost contemplation. Paradox, for Gagliano, the "One has only oneself", does not therefore apply to the detriment of a glorious past, that of magnificent inspirers, and for his delight, as for that of the spectator, Fabiano Gagliano, does not have "that him". Its "as for itself" is enriched by the fantasized "ego" of great predecessors, who inhabit it so evidently that it is not unconscious or an "influence" but a claim. Women, the unique and permanent subject of the artist, are here "patronized" by pre-Raphaelite and symbolist images of heroines, real or artistic: from "Jane Morris", William Morris' wife and Rossetti's model, to the face of "Notturno", whose golden disc, and the blue wing, inspired by the head of Hypnos so often represented by Khnopff, and itself copied from the sculpture of Scopas preserved at the British Museum in London, Fabiano Gagliano conceives an art cultured and full of references. These, however, are not mere quotations or pastiches, but the tribute paid to an age and aesthetics, revisited in the light of our time. The "Regina Cordium", reminiscent of that of Rossetti by the title, resembles more in its composition a Khnopff than a work of the english painter and, in place of the flower, held by the pre-Raphaelite model in 1860, his exhibits a Key: for Gagliano, the path of the heart is more closed and mysterious than the one called on by Rossetti's painting. In "Aglaonice", the inscription, in the form of vanity ("Everything breaks, all weary, everything passes") recalls the "Past (Fuisse nihil)" drawn by Khnopff around 1909: the reference to the first astronomer, Aglaonice of Thessaly, belongs however to Fabiano Gagliano. The "Homage to Franz von Stuck", which refers to the serpent of the famous "Sin" of the german painter, confirms, if necessary, the importance of European Symbolist art in the vision of the artist. But these images, so charged with references, textual and iconographic, and plastics as well, escape the simple quotation or a fixed gaze on the past. These are women of today that the painter represents and their physic, contemporary, adds cultural and plastic confrontation to the strangeness of his works. These faces and bodies, sensually drawn, seem both to claim an inheritance while struggling against him. The references thus sometimes tilt towards a new meaning. Thus, "Lei in Pallore Cercò L'aria Segreta", directly inspired by the "Pallentes Radere Mores" drawn by Khnopff in 1888 can intrigue. In the work of the belgian painter, inspired by Joséphin Peladan's "Le Vice Suprême", the quotation from the "Satires" of Persius evokes the corruption of manners through the hypocritical pallor of the virtuous mask which vice deprives. If the exegetes of the Latin poet of the first century, especially the Abbe Le Monnier, in 1771, questioned the true meaning of the original text, the overall meaning is clear and agrees with the message of the first novel of Péladan's "La Décadence Latine" prefaced by Barbey d'Aurevilly. In Khnopff's drawing, however, it is "foreign" hands that arise from the right of the drawing and come to try to tear off the mask of virtue and reveal vice, tilting the naked woman who flies them to the left . With the work of Gagliano, there is no external intervention and the model touches with his own hand the pallor of her face, with an expression almost ecstatic. Where Peladan and Khnopff pretended to denounce vice, the artist of the 21st century chose a clearly more nuanced message, in which "vice", perhaps, gave way to pleasure, assumed and not guilty…

In the drawings with less explicit references, as "Mysterion" or "Lontano dal Buio", Fabiano Gagliano remains a child of the nineteenth century for aesthetics and plastic references, but his creatures really metamorphose and overtake reality even more. True portraits of "real" models, these works update a vision and give it another life, closer, more carnal. The trouble which results from this is not the least quality of this work; "Sia Dolce la Tenebra" and "Uno Sguardo" tell us that the women we meet in our lives are as mysterious in their presence as the distant princesses and the fairies dear to the symbolists. With the same eternal messages as those which preceded them, they are for us, like Jane Morris or Elizabeth Siddal for Dante Gabriel Rossetti, beings of flesh and blood. By uniting this truth with the veil of mystery which the pencil weaves, the artist brings together spirit and matter, the idea and its "sensible form", as Jean Moréas explained in his manifesto of 1886. He also says that, finally, everything does not pass, everything does not break, everything does not tire, and that the masterpieces of the past haunt us. Like generous familiar ghosts, anxious to preserve the beauty of an eternal house.

is an independent art historian. He devoted his doctoral thesis to the Swiss Symbolist painter Carlos Schwabe, before extending his research to the entire symbolist movement and to the idealism of the 1890s. Curator of exhibitions such as “The Painters of the Soul”, Idealistic symbolism in France” (presented in twelve countries from 1999 to 2007) or “Alexandre Séon, ideal beauty” (Quimper, Valence, 2015-2016), he contributed to various catalogs of exhibitions for French and foreign institutions and published numerous Essays, prefaces and several literary anthologies: Proust, “Montesquiou, Professor of Beauty” (1999); “Birth of the Ghost” (2002); “The Black Angel” (2013). His field of research includes both monographic studies and the approach of related phenomena (dandyism, aesthetics, esotericism, etc.) and the relationship between the visual arts, music, theater and literature.

Author of: "Alexandre Séon (1855-1917) The Ideal Beauty." Cat. Exp. Quimper, Museum of Fine Arts / Valence, Museum of Art and Archeology and Silvana Editorial, 2015. "Il Luogo Ideale: "Il paesaggio simbolista in Francia." Cat. Exp. MAN, Museo d'Arte Provincia di Nuoro, 2007. "The Painters of the Soul, Idealist Symbolism in France", 1999. Catalogue of the exhibition at the Musée d'Ixelles (Brussels) from October to December 1999 and at the Pavillon des Arts in Paris from April 19 to July 2, 2000 . "Carlos Schwabe, symbolist and visionary", Editions ACR, Paris, 1994.


Alice Zubieni

Alice Zubieni

Quella di Fabiano Gagliano è un'opera di restituzione. Dalle altezze siderali fino alle penombre sussurrate, gli sguardi delle muse che abitano i suoi quadri mormorano: Bellezza. Sono porte spalancate da chi ha uno sguardo senza tempo, capace di cogliere essenze perdute. Qui l'invisibile diventa segno e misura, incarnandosi nelle pieghe della contingenza. Quadri vergati come lettere di alfabeti perduti, ci consegnano al mondo del sogno, del confine, delle ombre, sino a condurci nel regno di Eros, il dio che piu di tutti unisce spirito e materia. Una splendida Regina Cordium ce ne mostra la chiave. A noi spetta custodirla.

The work of Fabiano Gagliano is a restitution. From the sideral heights to the whispered shadows, the glances of the Muses that dwell in his paintings murmur: Beauty. They are doors open wide from whom has a timeless look, capable of grasping lost essences. Here the invisible becomes sign and measure, incarnating in the folds of contingency.

Paintings engraved as letters of lost alphabets, they deliver us to a world of dreams, borders, shadows, up to leading us into the realm of Eros, the god that most of all unites spirit and matter. A wonderful Regina cordium shows us its key. Our task is to keep it.

is a scholar of Carl Gustav Jung's works and an expert in Nordic Mithology. She is also a great connoisseur of Dante Alighieri's life and works and a passionate well-knower of William Blake.