|acquired in the portfolio
|estimated current value in €
|consult the updated Price Table
|identification of the subject
|abstract painting/reconstructivist work
|materials and techniques
|oil on canvas/material work
|measurements in centimeters cm
|100 x 70 x 1,8
|on the back/bottom/right
|issued at the same time as the sale
|no print issued
|state of conservation
|location of the work
|Rome · Italy
|© all rights reserved · global · S.I.A.E.
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Description of work
Freetown, Dinner at the Open Restaurant
The light of the illuminations breaking on the outdoor tables. The shades of the earth, colored by the tones of the evening. Vegetation all around. The voices of the guests. The humidity of the air. The sultriness. The warmth of African afternoons.
The work has autobiographical implications and is related to the artist’s stay in the Republic of Sierra Leone, which took place in 1994, when he was a guest of the Italian Embassy in Central Africa.
The work is also correlated with two other works by the same author: “Central Africa, Diplomatic Corps” and “Conakry, Market“. Both made in 2023.
Contrary to what happens in “Central Africa, Diplomatic Corps“, here the large fields of color of the chromatic quadratures blend into each other. They collide. They mix. They repel and attract each other. In a vital dynamic visual rhythm that excludes a priori the sense of a static image. The dark shades of greens and browns contrast with the bright ones of whites, pinks, oranges and ochres. The colors of African worldliness.
Graphic symbols, typical of Valvo, appear in Siena red and in contrast with the brighter shades. Here too, as in “Central Africa“, these symbols are momentarily stripped of any dramatic connotation, to favor the pure diegetic flow of lights, shadows, sounds, smells and flavours. In a harmonious and extremely active whole. These are the very specific sensations that can be felt only in these particular places on the African continent.
The polychromy of this work is mechanical to the functioning of its construction architecture. Of its compositional approach. The reconstructivist technique operates here with clear effectiveness. The streaks, the lines, the areas of color, the intersections, work in unison and at the pure service of the perceptive and psychic assembly of the pictorial idea exemplified here on canvas. The effort to orchestrate the different dynamic forces at play is extreme.
Multiple and concomitant flows, both visual, olfactory and sonorous, are collected and synthesized. Internalized. Expressed and fixed inextricably in such a pictorial “snapshot”.
The colors are indigenous ones. After all, Valvo’s entire production is full of references to African style. This double canvas also brings to mind many particularly distinctive chromatic aspects of some works on Africa produced by the South African artist Irma Stern.
As a whole, the work displays a strong active balance. An enveloping dynamism. An underlying harmony. As well as, for that matter, an intense bodily physicality.
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