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“VITRIOL”, Drawings by Gillo Dorfles, 2016

Inizio evento 13.01.2017 | Fine evento 05.02.2017

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“VITRIOL”, Drawings by Gillo Dorfles, 2016

Curated by Aldo Colonetti and Luigi Sansone
Catalogue edited by Aldo Colonetti and Luigi Sansone, with a long conversation with Gillo Dorfles

A fantastical character invented by Gillo Dorfles, VITRIOL appeared for the first time in the 2010 painting on display in the exhibition, and then returned in a series of drawings and notes made in the second half of 2016. VITRIOL is one of the acronyms most used by alchemists, the letters of which stand for Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultum Lapidem, which is to say “Visit the interior of the Earth; by rectification thou shalt find the hidden stone”, which is true medicine. As Dorfles himself points out in his conversation with Aldo Colonetti and Luigi Sansone, “through figuration, one very often manages to go beyond one’s own ‘conscious knowledge’ and achieve a sort of figuration of the unconscious: some of my drawings come from the unconscious, and they appear on the sheet of paper by means of figurative elements that clearly derive from a state of consciousness that is not rationalised.”

The words are those of Dorfles the painter, but especially of the scholar of psychiatry and the attentive reader of Goethe, Jung and Rudolf Steiner, forming a sort of constant thread through all his writings, especially where he deals with the theme of creativity, along with that of interpretation. Together with the 2010 painting, 18 drawings are being shown here, for the first time. This is unprecedented, since they are each chapters in the story of a journey, to some extent rather mysterious, in search of the “hidden stone”.

The drawings bear notes and quotations in the language of Goethe, Jung and Steiner, and a series of words and numbers that are not so much “words” as drawings, compositions and languages to be deciphered.
It is surprising how Dorfles never tires of searching, going beyond the limits of knowledge, without ever losing control of his open, eclectic reason, just as his figure as an intellectual is eclectic: “the main purpose of technique is to give visibility – tangibility, one might say – to thoughts that are occult, or at least not entirely rationalised.”

In these latest drawings, VITRIOL, so enigmatic in its alphabetical composition, as though it were from some other world, is transformed into a figure that is certainly fantastical, but that as a whole reminds us of where we come from and who we are, but especially where we are trying to go. Vitriol is also, and possibly especially, a philosophical essay, in which the aesthetic dimension talks to us of an etheric body, different from the physical one but “not yet pure spirituality”, as Dorfles himself warns us.

Date: 13 January – 5 February 2017
When: Tuesday - Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Palazzo della Triennale
Admission free


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