The exhibition “Senza parole” by the artist Irma Blank will open on 26 January at 19.00 (though the show can be viewed on Thursday 24 January in coordination with ArteFiera) at the p420 gallery (Piazza dei Martiri, 5/2). German by birth (Celle, 1934), Blank moved to Italy, where she still resides, at a very young age. Her work developed in the atmosphere of linguistic experimentation typical of the second half of the 1960s, in which the exponents of the minimal-conceptual avant-gardes recorded, through an impersonal, de-subjectivized art, the time of their existence, of being in the here and now.
Irma Blank immediately focused, as she says, “on writing, stripping it ofeaning to charge it with other values. A writing purified of sense, an automatic sign that gives voice to the silence”. This is precisely the solution, as radical as it is personal, of Irma Blank: a writing not linked to knowledge, but to being.
All her work – to use the words of Luca Cerizza, author of the critical text in the catalogue - “is crossed by a profound dialectic between writing and drawing, writing and painting; it thrives on constant tension between possibility of saying and necessity of existing, time of life and time of work. Along a path that has continued for nearly half a century, Blank has investigated the various possibilities through which the sign can represent existence; she has challenged the way in which the artwork is crossed by time and, in turn, crosses time through repetition of a gesture, a sign, a trace”. [...]
Papers, sheets, canvases, books are the surfaces on which the relationship between sign and time is played out. Ink, ballpoint pen, pastels, watercolors, acrylic are the tools through which the signs occupy these surfaces, and the surfaces record the time of an existence through gesture.
Blank’s work, Luca Cerizza continues, “is an utterly natural combination of the rigorous discipline and almost ascetic devotion to the work of her German roots, with the focus on the individual of Italian art: Protestant and Humanist culture”.
The exhibition includes works from several cycles of her vast output: from the first “Eigenschriften” dating back to the second half of the 1960s, through the mimetism of the “Trascrizioni”, the pictorial inscription of the “Radical Writings”, the complete abstraction of the “Avant-testo” works with their primordial non-writing, to the Babelic writing of the more recent “Hyper-Texts”.
The catalogue of the exhibition is available at the gallery.