THEY SAY ABOUT HER
The exhibition of the works of Cinzia Cotellessa has been beautifully set in Castel Sant’Angelo, not only because Angels are the main theme.
This, of course, is the main reason but the subject of the painter is not much that of the angelic figure itself as that of a sort of emanating quintessence of the Angel figure that becomes a symbol of something that goes beyond the immediate appearance to take the form of a metaphor of peace, beauty and well-being suspended in a dreamlike and rarefied dimension into which the artist finds her own expressive specificity.
The flight of the Angel takes then the universal meaning of a connection that binds one to the other and reveals an ethic matrix of the aesthetic act that, in the case of our artist, appears relevant.
So we can say that, beyond the specific theme, the exhibition is impressive for the domain of a deep historical heritage that achieves a double value in an environment such as the Castle: the value of the art itself and the stratification of powerful memories that rise in front of our eyes in the presence of a contemporary artist but attentive to the contemplation of the past.
Special Superintendent for Historical, Artistic and Ethno-anthropological Heritage and for the Museum Center of the city of Rome
The close link between the art of Cinzia Cotellessa and the great Greek and Roman art is evident in her mastery of human anatomy and plasticity of her nudes and her figures.
From the very beginning of the history of art, the nude has been intended as a symbol, allegory, and ideal form. Since the beginning, the Greek art gives an exceptional importance to the representation of man, making him the center of the world, humanizing the gods. Greek art researches the ideal divine beauty in the individual and transfers the nude on a universal and heroic plan, building the image with organic rationality and monumental structure, almost architectural.
The full conquest of the foreshortening, and therefore of the rhythm and the movement that leads to the free attitude of the image in space, comes accompanied and supported by an incessant analysis of the anatomical detail.
The original conception of the naked male figure came from the absolute freedom of spirit with which the Greek artists approached their figurative problems and the research of a model through the human.
The nudity of kouros in the art and the nudity of the athlete in the races are the result of the same spiritual attitude that distinguishes Greece from all other cultures.
The naked male figure will be the theme dear to the Greek artists, and everyone will always give new formulations, from the Archaic to the late Hellenistic period.
The feminine complete nudity, represented in the goddess Aphrodite, will be both underlined by the drapery, which acquires delicate transparencies with Fidia, and total nudity, to represent the absolute ideal of female beauty.
Among the many Greek artists known from ancient sources we mention Policleto, who will create the canon of perfect proportions of the athletic body, Praxiteles, with which the nude will acquire delicate fleshy softness, while with Lysippus the muscles will again be in the foreground.
Here, I do not hesitate to evoke the names of the greatest Greek sculptors talking about a contemporary artist like Cinzia Cotellessa, because her mastery of drawing, despite the extremely difficult technique of sanguine, puts her at the level of great artists of the past.
I would like to mention her mastery in representing the anatomical details of the feet, or the delicacy of his guardian Angels, with full and fleshy forms, like those of Praxiteles. The beauty of the shapes of her nudes, sensual but never vulgar, puts her in a universe apart from today’s artists, in the world of the great and unsurpassed masters of classical art.
Archaeologist Director Coordinator of the Special Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage of Rome
The strong stylistic personality and the original creativity of Cinzia Cotellessa come out in over one hundred and fifty works presented in this anthology and divided into sections, works that tell the extraordinary artistic path of the years from 1994 to today.
The exhibition starts with the Ribbons, floating ribbons that manage to free themselves despite the interlacing and different paths seeking the perfection of a circle.
As I had the occasion to write over the years, Cinzia blends feeling and reason, conceptuality and technical skills, a continuous research – including through numerology – of innovative solutions in which past experiences merge with the present and they give rise, in the paintings and in the dynamic sculptures, to refined meetings rich in symbolism. Her mind is always on the move to explore exciting cultural, philosophical, existential and religious themes that then become source of her works, made with watercolors, ink, oil, coffee, tempera.
But it is especially with the sanguine, from the warm optical tonality, that her hand skillfully draws and gives body and vibrations to figures of women of different eras, sensual and carnal, who want to love … or to delicious little angels and cherubs, the precious intermediaries between humans and the Divine, a common presence to all religions, today more than ever an extraordinary bond between people. Endearing and incisive, the works dedicated to her four-legged friends express all her love for animals, and still the funny golf balls, designed when in 2003 she was selected to represent Italy in an exhibition dedicated to this sport, which became “broken…balls” supported on canvas, minimalist works that bring us back to the Cracking Art and trigger a speech that looks easy but in depth implies the complex problem of safeguarding the environment, which today increasingly involves humanity. How not to mention the original and mysterious Anthropomorphic Chair and its many meanings? It is a sanguine drawing of exceptional dimensions consisting of six elements that can be combined and installed in plexiglass cubes of different volumes, an imaginary keyboard that maybe hides a passionate embrace under the drape.
Finally, more recently Cinzia is fascinated by the Warrior of the Light, a book by Paolo Coehlo, one of the most important writers of the world literature. After reading this book, the artist “brightens” in a surprising way the faces of 33 artists of the past, timeless greats who have left an indelible mark on the history of today and also for tomorrow with their masterpieces. An emotional and cognitive exhibition, in which emerges, in the grey of these times, the brightness of an artist who, through the vast range of experiences, in the
“change” of life has reached a milestone matured with seriousness and commitment.
Art critic and Director of Ages
…Particularly interesting are the works of Cinzia Cotellessa that detach from custom and tradition with a personality that proved to be exuberant, lively, and in line with the problems of her time.
The compositional and chromatic harmony of the images clearly shows the preparation of this artist who made her debut in the world of the art at the age of 13 and had her first success in Spoleto with a personal exhibition of Indian ink drawings, in black and white, on the theme of equatorial forests.
Then she moved on to paint warm and sinuous nudes with sanguine until arriving at today’s dazzling works of pure colors, with almost uniform backgrounds, with an exotic and primitive taste…
Stories, stories, stories… we do nothing but tell stories! And here is Cinzia Cotellessa that tells us about her: her hypsism, her necessity to survive.
More than right: she is actually engaged like a panther to achieve this subjectivity, with a formal speech mediated, towards the interlocutor, with grace and patience, full of nuances (chromatic) and expectations.
Whoever could suspect the anger of transmitting the message that is in this filtered mediation! The story that the artist Cinzia Cotellessa tells us and calibrates her interactivity with a message contained in a tip of sanguine on a white sheet. And you’ll ask: what does she want to tell us? She wants to tell us about herself as a symbol of US.
Our attitude to enfold ourselves in a cocoon, inside a safe and nutritious placenta where there is no fear but to get out… Here we are in the core!
We are fine with ourselves, but with a great fear of confronting with the rest of the world. Social bridges with the outside will not be enough to exorcise our anxieties!
The information is subtle and persuasive in attracting the victim in this feminist world masked by the nature of a reporter of its time, although full of historical consciousness, and piloted to lead us back by the hand, numberless, inside ourselves.
Therefore: coming out, exploring diligently and with a ruthless investigative method to go back inside … emerging victorious or loser with no prediction…
Daniela Romano: Master
It is weird to say but observing the works of Cinzia Cotellessa we can state that there’s a traceable reverse path.
We usually admire abstract paintings painted by artists who started their research from the figurative; here the author clearly indicates that her new stylistic landing starts from hidden geometric shapes.
Attracted and enchanted by perfection, corporality and plasticity of the sphere, she offers opulent nudes, overflowing sensuality, in which she manages to sublimate these geometric shapes, chaining them together.
With these mixed techniques and her “natively” exuberant, irrational temperament, she makes us discover the hidden sensuality of a foot, ambiguous foot, neither male nor a female foot, but nervous, vibrant.
Because her nudes are poetic shouted verses, immersed in a sweet suspension with the surrounding environment loaded with curtains, drapes, tassels, hair, interwoven ties that forcefully bring us back to the inner torment lived, however, with seraphic simplicity as if staying in strong contact with reality and matter can somehow magically make our path easier and straight.
The wise use of the sanguine has joined the use of warm and pasty colors: dark green, forest green on which in one way or another there’s a figure, just like we lie on the depth of our unconscious. It is the suspended, endless moment in which the metamorphosis of color and form takes place.
The bodies, these naked bodies, abandoned, which brazenly offer themselves and simultaneously conceal from our sight, let us perceive that there is something else to see and discover to stimulate the curiosity and wit of the observer…
Professor of Art history
ANTONIO SORGENTE E MARIA PIA CAPPELLO
Antonio Sorgente wrote about her and her works in the books “Roma dipinta nella memoria” and “Pittori italiani e stranieri a Roma”, and Maria Pia Cappello in her “Tratti poetici”.
The genesis of the series called “Sedia antropomorfa”, created by the sophisticated and multifaceted artist Cinzia Cotellessa, originated in 2014 following a rich and multifaceted artistic and anthropological journey.
These works, of various sizes, are made in sanguine or oil on canvas, set in plexiglass boxes and wrapped in a transparent mystery that conceals and reveals. Like the Fluxus boxes (1968), these creations include the riddle, becoming a drawer of the human mind. Observing “Sedia Antropomorfa” is like looking at a room through a glass door, holding the door halfway with one hand, standing on tiptoe in the doorway.
One has the feeling of spying and experiencing a perception that is no longer only visual, but auditory, which then branches out to all the other senses.The condition is of disorientation, uncertainty, of no self-control, but curiosity and attraction for the unknown overcomes the fear that derives from it.In front of the door, a thick curtain covers the wall of soft rooms which, placed in succession, appear different from each other, more and more padded, more and more feminine, in a growing climax.An ineffable presence animates those places, perhaps that of a woman lying asleep behind a curtain fluted like a column, or perhaps that of a composed chair.
The mute and non-artistic nature of the armchair exquisitely contrasts with the vital and expressive nature of human anatomy, interpenetrating into a mythological creature that, erotically and slowly, comes to life. Firstly the arms that, numb, emerge from the sheets, then a slender female bust that stands with her breasts as vertices of energy, a foot that, with its petulant big toe, slides along the silk, a muscular leg that makes room in the veil of reality, overwhelmingly tearing apart the dreamlike illusion created. The artist deliberately leaves only one part missing: the face, the identity that characterizes it, allowing the observer to identify with it and in the forms that populate the unconscious.
The fabrics that garnish the chair, retain the moment of the pose, contain its shape without owning it, becoming memories of an experience that oscillates between wakefulness and sleep, conscious and unconscious, life and vanitas. Expertly detailed and diversified, they are woven of very fine fibers and recall the same meticulousness of the Renaissance representation of botanical species. Solemn and austere, they hang wrapped in an anesthetizing light; they do not invite to confidence, but the colors of amber appear reassuring and those of purple seem to play the melodious story of a life. These antique furniture become protagonists of the work, of the artist’s childhood and of her history.
The details of the works, in a perspective view, occupy all the space, becoming the very essence of the work.Like pieces of a puzzle, they individually weave their own abstract history and only together they create a large figurative mosaic.Finally the apex, the flight of the feather that challenges and overcomes, at least momentarily, the force of gravity, suspending it.Impalpable, the feather waves in the center of the composition, becoming its vanishing point. Its light and uncertain motion gives the viewer a sense of ilinx, the category of Roger Caillois, the deep vertigo similar to that of embrace, the flight, the unknown, as a part of himself that goes elsewhere and that, inevitably, gets lost.The feather is freedom, the individual ability with which man, first Icarus, knows how to move within the gravity of reality, like the feather with the material consistency, whose impact is deafening.
The intent of Cinzia Cotellessa is an invitation, towards the spectator and the man himself, to observe the other aspect of things and to grasp the general enclosed in the particular, the microcosm in which the abstract and the plausible mingle, into which the edges of the dream still remain attached to our mind