24 maggio 2017
The God particle and the lessons of Kandinsky, Mondrian and Malevich by Enrico Gariboldi

In that precise moment, a hundredth of a billionth of a second after the Big Bang, our fate was decided.

In a universe where matter and antimatter are in balance, and could therefore at any moment go back to being pure energy, it was probably a slight preference of the God particle (the Higgs boson) for matter rather than antimatter which produced the world we can see. This is the tiny defect, the slight imperfection which gave birth to everything.
An anomaly which gave rise to a universe which would evolve for billions of years.

Renzo Bergamo has never been attracted by the landscapes, figures, still lives, expressionist or surrealist settings which have given rise to thousands and thousands of works by artists from all classes: his world is that of the anomaly, the God Particle which started everything.

I have been a friend of Renzo Bergamo for many years and I had many discussions with him on various topics, discussions, for example, about how he classified what he painted-drew-designed.

- I don't know anyone who does what I do - he used to say – no one who explores a world only found in Scientific tables, so there's no label for me.

- But you're an abstract artist - I used to answer - because what you create PROBABLY doesn’t exist and thus your creations have to be abstract.

Renzo was right, he wasn't an abstract artist. Calling Renzo's art abstract doesn't make sense because although an image expressed on a canvas might be abstract, in the sense that it represents something which doesn't exist in nature, it is in itself concrete, existing as a representation.
What’s more, pure abstraction, that is abstraction not inspired by actual reality in any way and therefore not drawing any element from it, and not being the result of abstraction but being the proposal a new reality, logically lies outside such a denomination. This is especially true for Bergamo's world which no one could represent figuratively in any case.

But the God Particle must be represented in painting: otherwise, how can it be expressed? Images on paper, on canvas, which at least suggest it or speculate about it, can thus be useful. But how is this done if there are no real references to inspire you?

When Kandinsky painted the First Abstract Watercolour in 1910 he had an objective reality around him, like landscapes and figures, from which to draw inspiration for his work. Another great artist, Mondrian, drew inspiration from a tree to devise his own abstract solution and Malevich finished the work with his black square on a white background. To his artistic mind, this represented liberation from enslavement to the object. These three artists were the great revolutionaries of the twentieth century, but large and brilliant though they were, they were still probably inspired by something real (perhaps with the exception of Malevich who had other goals). But what has actually inspired Renzo Bergamo?

The answer is unequivocally his genius. He was an absolutely extraordinary artist who was able to suggest, through his works, a world which only scientists could visit without, however, being able to see anything. It is no coincidence that many philosophers of science have written of Renzo Bergamo as a great visionary who was able to see what they could not seem to identify the help of powerful telescopes or particle accelerators.

The subject does not exist in Bergamo's works and therefore only exists, as it always should, in the beholder’s imagination. We thus see extraordinary colours and lines which fade into the unknown. We can find non-existent structures because they exist only in our imagination. We can even manage to enter an unknown world which, however, deep down inside we remember because it is an echo of when we were only plasma and unformed matter.

In addition, what strikes us about Bergamo is his mastery of gesture and his ability to give more than just aesthetic meaning to all his works. It is always difficult to give sense and balance in an informal construction but he seems never to have this problem: there is no sign, colour or line which collides, which is not in harmony with the whole composition: the construction is logical, without references to reality but logical, and herein also lies the greatness of the Artist.

It is always thrilling, therefore, for an observer to be able to enjoy viewing this great artist's works, and we are pleased to be able to provide this opportunity.

We wish to thank the Renzo Bergamo Association and Caterina Arancio, the artist's wife, for allowing us to host this exhibition.

Enrico Gariboldi