The paintings of Antonio Cannata

by Nicolò Ciancio

Antonio Cannata, Sicilian, trained in Rome in the first half of the 60’, where he attended the circles of Roman artists and intellectuals. Ibrahim Kodra, Giuseppe Migneco, Ernesto Treccani were amongst his teachers while some internationally renowned critics, like Giulio Carlo Argon, Enotrio Mastrolonardo, Lea Vergine have pronounced exceedingly flattering words on his art. His first important exhibition is at the end of the 70’ in Milan, at the prestigious Spiga Gallery. In 1985 he opens a House Museum Antonio Cannata. Seven rooms where around hundred of his works coexist with the furniture of late baroque taste. From 2003, one of his works is exhibited in Vatican Museums, in a room dedicated to John Paul II. It is possible to find his other works in important museums and private collections, like PalazzoGuicciardini in Florence.

The absolute originality of Cannata’s work can be seen at first glance. Its forms, regardless if abstract, figurative or dedicated to nature, like flowers, reveal the essence of things, by means of colouring system of intense yet synthetic brush strokes. In that coloristic splendour the forms that are stripped of any realistic determination, are shown to us in all the purity of abstract idea. Therefore, the peculiar coloristic trait of the Sicilian master doesn't express the various shapes-identifications, each with distinct different traits, but, in opposition to any naturalistic and expressionist aesthetic, creates a ritual shape free from any distinction.

The art of Cannata as a result, in this journey of personal research - impossible to synthesize in this presentation- inaugurates an artist conception which, in my opinion, tends to, through a particular perception of colour, transcend a mere formal constitution and rehabilitate a hidden truth of relations of force between the essentially informal energetic coloristic powers: In this way the reality and consciousness are freed from the mystification coming from expressive superstructure of strokes..

In the last works, in particular, the corrosion of the prospectic volumes and the break up force of the subjective pictorial space, within the same weave of the canvas, operated from the fusion of apparent chromatic collisions, reveal not as much the uneasiness of the artist, the contemporary man, facing a world now empty of objectives norms, without ethical-political teleological directives, but rather the ceremonial sense of the world and it’s internal laws that transcend any human thought. Thus, just like for oriental knowledge, so for Cannata, everything is initiatory, in the sense that nothing happens unless through a necessary stroke, unavoidable, and nothing gets changed if not through a necessary stroke, ineluctable from its metamorphosis. For this reason, in today’s international artistic panorama characterised by myriad of styles and diverse historical references with the crisis rational micro narratives, the paintings of Cannata constitutes a unicum, In his chromatic games full of sentiment, the voice of each coloristic line is no longer that of a subject but of being.

Therefore, the Rotary Club of Dubai, in occasion of an international event called Expo Dubai had organised for this Sicilian artist and the only artist to participate in the above mentioned manifestation, a world premiere of his art.