5 ottobre 2007
"The primordial and the potential: the “theory of colours” by Renzo Bergamo"
Stefano Moriggi

“Has anyone ever recognised the importance of colour in painting?” This question, seemingly no less rhetorical than ingenuous, was the one posed by Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) to readers on the pages of his “Notes Synthétiques” (c. 1888). In reality, this work, with all its profound philosophical insights, should be a constant companion of all those who wish to get to grips with the EstEtica [Aesthetics/Ethics] of Chaos that Renzo Bergamo (1934-2004) considered to be the final phase in painting of the trajectory of an artist in order to escape from the bustle of the market and empty aesthetic provocations and win himself the space for reflection and the unprejudiced interaction with science. Substantially in line with the words of the Parisian painter, for Bergamo colour is not only the original alphabet of what Gottfried Benn defined as the “world of expression”, but it is able to render the dynamics that structure the timescales and modes of nature: “like music” - wrote Gauguin - “in its vibrations [colour] grasps what is most universal, and therefore most indefinite, in nature: its secret energy”. And secret energy is a locution that returns obsessively in the artist’s writings and notes; an energy that colour both safeguards and releases at the same time, and that nature and art share intimately until they become the two faces of the same “creative logic”. This, therefore, is the importance of colour in painting, which for the maestro of Portogruaro ends up combining linguistic experimentation and natural inquiry.
In the paintings selected for this exhibition, colour tells of nature in the flow, in the “becoming”, of its forms. A sort of pursuit of the morphological perspective of Wolfgang Goethe, the EstEtica of Chaos attempts to recompose the physics of colour with the physiology and psychology of chromatic perception, leaving behind those dualisms of colour/design, form/content, reason/emotion, nature/artifice in the dialectics of which all those 20th-century avant-gardes took form, those avant-gardes that to no small degree marked the formation of Bergamo as an artist who always conceived art (painting, but also music) with the eye of someone who knows that it is only in the flow of phenomena that that origin in which the dynamics of possible worlds are already sensed can be grasped. Goethe wrote that knowledge is not so much looking for “something that is at the basis of phenomena” inasmuch as the phenomena “are the theory themselves”. And the EstEtica of Chaos is an authentic theory of colours to be understood as a phenomenology of the original, in which Bergamo, “halting the instant” on the canvas like a new Faust, makes his painting a profound philosophy of “becoming”.