Curiosity is the common thread and the artistic motivation that leads me towards research, towards new experiences on the expressive language and on the use of different materials.
I love sculpture, discover the shapes that hands shape in dialogue with matter and feel the resistance and flow of movements, see the succession of sensations, listen to them and find myself in them in a form of alchemic experience of the relationship between matter and psyche brings me to an isolated world. Here I compare myself along the traces of a continuous metamorphosis of color and matter, made each time different by the unrepeatability of the creative process, focusing attention on the human figure, on characters immobilized in an atmosphere of melancholic meditation, of attachment to the material , to the Earth.
In paintings the landscape is a pretext and emotion. I do not dwell on its structures, because we do not need reality, but an escape route, so as not to paint only what we see before ourselves, but what we see within ourselves. Dark faces, kidnapped by a dissolved reality, lost, empty, dramatic looks as they stare at frightening questions and useless expectations of answers.
REFLEXIO / REFLECTION – Oratorio San Sebastiano Forlì 2019
by Claudia Asoli
Reflection is a word that derives from the Latin reflexio and omitting the meaning related to physics, from the philosophical point of view it represents an operation in which the intellect obtains knowledge of itself and of its own functions. I will therefore try to explain what Laura Pagliai tried to express with this exposition.
… I connect for a moment to Magritte, as he was the master of the riddle par excellence. If we think of this artist we remember that in his repertoire there were few repetitive subjects, but the way in which the works were composed was new and his poetry was without banality and, with his interplay between image and reality, he wanted to indicate that the real world is just a construction. But if Magritte’s art had not surprised or left us dumbfounded, it would not have obtained the historical significance it had. Magritte said that “Dreams don’t want you to sleep, on the contrary they want to wake you up …”, so we connect to Jung who understands that the images that appear in the dream represent certain hidden aspects of the dreamer’s personality and that we need to work on their interpretation to understand what his unconscious is communicating to us … and the more we dig deeper the higher we rise, as Laura Pagliai’s installation reminds us.
Laura creates little clay men who are above, below or to the side of shelter cubes, so they find themselves in their small, immobile life, in a place that almost resembles the house or a room in the house .., but in reality this cube could represent “the dream”. I leave the observer to understand in which option he is able to mirror himself and find himself. We remember that as Magritte says “in any case, reality is never as we see it: the truth is above all imagination”.
Dream – GALP Gallery Olgiate Comasco (Co) 2017
My sculptures tell about the moods we live in the search for the red balloon, to which each of us gives a different interpretation, but which in any case represents what we dream about in life: freedom, love, work, health or even just a moment of serenity and lightness. We all want this balloon because it brings us happiness and when we finally conquer it, for fear of losing it we are sometimes stuck in choices, bewildered, lost in a maze or sucked into a vortex.
The cubes on which the characters are located are the places in which we live, our spaces or our relationships. They are a reference point to hold onto or from which to start again, turning the page. In each cube there is a disconnected, modified element, which reminds us that if a part of us is broken, events and time modify it to such an extent that we do not return to the exact position in which it was before and no longer find the perfect joint. And it is precisely in the insistence to want to adapt it, that sometimes we lose sight of what we really are and want.
I HAVE A DREAM – Palazzo Vecchio, Bagnacavallo (Ra) – 27 September 16 October 2016
by Liliana Santandrea
The Sala di Palazzo Vecchio is enriched by the suggestions of the works of Paola Ravaglia and Laura Pagliai, two artists who have developed their creative path at the Municipal School of Art B. Ramenghi. In this exhibition they share the presentation of works that draw creative lymph from present, everyday situations, in a “being” for man and nature, which can be placed between reality and dream. Works full of personal reflections, aimed at throwing open the window of imagination on a universe of infinite possibilities.
Laura Pagliai presents a series of terracotta and iron sculptures, made up of stylized human figures and symbolic structure-houses, which together constitute unicum, readable metaphorically as points of observation, designed to stimulate useless but expected answers.
In line with his deliberately provocative artistic career, Pagliai builds his works focusing on the arcane of existence. He creates geometric shapes, dense with historical references; they are structures of the imagination that interact, thanks to elementary decompositions, with synthetic human figures, with the aim of creating that silent and personal dialogue that involves the most intimate sphere of man. He always uses male figures in his compositions, often with his arms leaning against his body and his fists clenched, which remind us of the Greek-archaic sculptures of kouroi, idealized figures, archetypes of the idea of man. We then observe, in the works in which the static and body posture disappears, becomes more dynamic, which remains the same basic formal connotation but other situations come into play; they highlight the concept of energy, strength, audacity, or rather we are faced with the recovery of that heroic dimension, far from our present, now enclosed, often, only within a fleeting story. It is in the abyss of the subconscious that the artist wants to lead us, and he does so by combining geometric structure and human figure in a single form, thus achieving the objective of leading the observer into an engaging intimate narrative. What is extremely interesting in its production is the message that nothing is obvious. Human existence is analyzed by the artist from unusual points of view, at first sight curious and original, but at the same time emotionally tragic, as his characters implicitly feed reflections of uncertainty and anxiety. Here the sense of the enigma dominates. The human figures of Laura Pagliai question themselves, observe, struggle, live the time of waiting, of silent observation, of meditation, of fragility, of vulnerability, of spontaneity, of innocence, of that mystery that cloaks every moment of reflection with its why.
In his recent production, Pagliai, with his search for interrelationship between subject and object, arrives at a narrative more closely linked to that concept of lightness so happily analyzed by Italo Calvino. With the insertion of poetic elements, from the red balloon, to the butterfly, and to the tangle of thread that, from the man’s clenched fist rise towards the sky, the observer’s attention shifts from the plastic mass to the aerial dimension: small and fragile elements, but able to catalyze all the uncertainties and open the doors to the imagination for yet another possible dream.
TIME SUSPENDED – Spazio Vibra, Ravenna – December 2015
by Sabina Ghinassi
Laura Pagliai’s little men are creatures who wonder. They stay on the threshold with minimal and slow gestures: they observe, they dream, they probably love or they cry, sometimes they laugh, waiting in silence. The intimate sculptures of the young sculptor draw interior spaces, covering the forms of archaic plasticity, mindful of the lessons of certain great figures of the twentieth century – Marino Marini in the first place. In doing so, Pagliai keeps himself on the thread of a poetic narrative full of material grace and lightness, insisting on a small dimension which, by lightening the monumental solemnity, manages to become intimate and conversational, almost whispered. His gesture proceeds slowly, carefully meditated and modulates on a suspended, metaphysical fear that escapes the dominion of the present: it builds places of the imaginary. They are essential environments and, at the same time, strongly symbolic and intense, overwhelmingly evocative. They stay away from the nod, from the didactic figure even when they dwell on a detail, on a nod – like the balloon-tangle of aerial thoughts – which in turn becomes full of density, of austere strength. In the same way the solid houses are timeless, almost alive and throbbing: they are shelters, monolithic yet soft and gentle, metaphorical houses that can accommodate or accompany, both male and female, threshold houses that stop the moments of time some men; houses that tell stories of warriors and poets and can protect or provide a starting point to interrogate the world, to see it in its fullness, while sinking one’s gaze on the edge of the horizon with effort and tenderness. They are sacred oikoi that help men learn to fly, to break down walls, to overcome obstacles, to solve enigmas, to fall and rise again. In these small houses stories of mortals are told who begin their journey through life and its mysteries.
ART AND SCIENCES IN THE LIGHT – Museo del Balì, Saltara PU – June 2012
by Lorenzo Gigante
Those who compare themselves to sculpture are confronted with matter. And confronting the raw material means confronting the act of giving life, of instilling spirit where it is not yet. It means opening a reflection between body and spirit, between what belongs to the earthly world and what pertains to an elsewhere of which we know nothing but mystery, suggestion. It means instructing in comparison and mediating a compromise, in a blocked act of creation, suspended on the border between two worlds. In her works, Laura Pagliai addresses all this. She is a creator of other realities, professing herself, declaring the autonomy of art: and in these her realities man is confronted with her own being matter. The sculptures look like souls, characterized as portraits or absolute as ideas, but always, inextricably linked to their physical, concrete, heavy part. Figures that appear to be anchored to masses from which they try to free themselves, in a confrontation between heaviness and levity, where the heaviness is the material one of man, from which the soul, the light spirit seems to have to detach in order to fly to higher universes . Figures who declare themselves almost guilty of their materiality. Thus the series of Trees, in raku ceramic, shows the successful miracle of the reconciliation between spirit and matter: harmonious compositions where the shapes of the branches are inserted with a delicate balance inside the round, and subtly refer to the thick cracks typical of the process raku. Harmony and balance exist, the forms of nature and its processes affirm it. The human spirit observes and learns slowly, although today it is still tied to its material part. But the reflection of Laura Pagliai is an open way, a suggestion, a proposal through art to project beyond.