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  • Al bordo della Fontana (L.C.) - oil on canvas - cm.120x150 - 2000
    Al bordo della Fontana (L.C.)
  • Sul bordo Fontana - oil on canvas - cm. 50x40 - 1999
    Sul bordo Fontana
  • Jen - oil on canvas - cm. 90x60 - 2006

  • Chicago - oil on canvas - cm. 120x150 - 1997
  • C.P.0 - oil on canvas - cm. 120x150 - 2001
  • C.P.1 - oil on canvas - cm. 120x150 - 2001
  • C.P.2 - oil on canvas - cm. 120x150 - 2001
  • C.P.4 - oil on canvas - cm. 120x150 - 2001
  • Great Lawn - oil on canvas - cm. 110x240 - 2001
    Great Lawn

  • Domenica in piazza - Oil on canvas - cm. 60x90 - 2004
    Domenica in piazza
  • Domenica in piazza - Oil on canvas - cm. 60x90 - 2004
    Domenica in piazza

  • Red Socks - oil on canvas - cm. 35x40 - 1998
    Red Socks
  • Attesa - oil on canvas - cm. 30x40 - 2003

  • Columbus piccolo - oil on canvas - cm. 50x35 - 2000
    Columbus piccolo
  • Il Ciclista - oil on canvas - cm. 120x150 - 2000
    Il Ciclista

  • NY Parade - oil on canvas - cm. 120x150 - 2000
    NY Parade
  • NY Dyptich - oil on canvas - cm. 120x300 - 2001
    NY Dyptich
  • Muretto - oil on canvas -cm. 120x150 -2000
  • Folla piccola - oil on canvas - cm. 40x50 - 2001
    Folla piccola
  • Folla - oil on canvas - cm. 60x70 - 2001
  • Sally’s - oil on canvas - cm. 120x150 - 2004
  • Melanie’s - oil on canvas - cm. 120x120 - 2004
  • Street in Midtown - oil on canvas - cm. 150x100 - 2002
    Street in Midtown
  • Midtown - oil on canvas - cm. 100x100 - 2002
  • Strada di Napoli - oil on canvas - cm. 150x100 - 2003
    Strada di Napoli
  • Napoli - oil on canvas - cm. 180x150 - 1997
  • Etna - oil on canvas - cm. 100x100 - 2004
  • Scalando l’Etna - oil on canvas - cm. 50x50 - 1997
    Scalando l’Etna
  • Sicilia - oil in canvas - cm. 50x35 - 2005
  • Paesaggio - oil on canvas - cm. 80x80 - 2003
  • Rome - oil on canvas - cm. 70x70 - 2003
  • Baltimore - oil on canvas - cm. 70x70 - 2003
  • In bicicletta - oil on canvas - cm. 160x80 - 2000
    In bicicletta
  • In bici - oil on canvas - cm. 70x70 - 1999
    In bici
  • Concert - oil on canvas - cm. 80x80 - 2002
  • Piazza Verdi - oil on canvas - cm. 25x50 - 2005
    Piazza Verdi
  • Veranda - oil on canvas - cm. 240x200 - 2000

"Lidia Bagnoli, the Parallel World of Painting."

Lidia Bagnoli has elaborated a very personal language in her painting in which individual memories are mixed with cultivated reminiscences.  She fishes in a world of images that is drawn from the fine arts (from the ways of a "pre-avant garde" which intended to change the perception of  reality from the inside by using the instruments of the reality itself, like Bonnard to give only one example) as well as from the mass media, from an individual as well as the collective memory.

It is a patrimony of images that is revivified in a sort of reality that is suspended in the large chromatic surfaces of her canvases, saved -- in a manner of speaking -- from the risk of being a stereotype by the mental filter that the artist interposes between the picture and the reality, and by a sort of perceptual ambiguity that insinuates itself between the vision and the representation.  The paintings of Bagnoli, in fact, are at the border between reality and imagination, between a unified vision and a fragment.

"Essence and existence, imaginary and real, visible and invisible: the painting," wrote the French phenomenologist-philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty, "confuses all our categories, displaying its dreamlike universe made of carnal essences, of efficient similarities, of mute meanings."  "The painting," the philosopher continues, "does not celebrate any other enigma but that of visibility," and the painter  "is the absolute sovereign of his ruminations about the world without any other 'technology' but that of his eyes, and his hand conquers by watching, by drawing."

This is the universe of Lidia Bagnoli, one of watching, of vision: a vision that embraces the world with the opening of the mind, with the moving and curious eye that catches the world through fragments, sudden flashes. "The painter's eye," Merleau-Ponty wrote again, "is an instrument that moves by itself, that invents its own targets; the eye is that which has been touched by a certain impact with the world, and restitutes it to the visible through signs traced by a hand."

Lidia Bagnoli has chosen the medium of painting as the only one possible to give an image to the world that does not superimpose itself over reality.  Rather her paintings go to the side of it, as another reality, a parallel one. With a strong and "successful" painting the artist transforms the image taken from reality, creating a new dimension, different, but still so perfectly probable as to be almost a photographic transposition. The secret of Lidia Bagnoli's painting lies in this difference.  

"There is not any art more manifestly creative than painting," Gaston Bachelard writes. "Like every creator, before the work of art, the painter knows the mediating imagination, the réverie that gathers around the nature of things."

A parallel world, we were saying, that painting concretizes into an image with signs, shapes, colours.  A parallel world that, even in perfect verisimilitude, doesn't "work" exactly like the real one -- imperfect perspectives, multiple points of view, long fields of vision -- the paintings of Lidia Bagnoli are characterized by a particular angle of vision, a filmic cut that reinvents the space of the canvas and puts a new dimension into it, the temporal one.  Not the impressionistic moment, but rather the "long" time of a film frame, a blocked image of life's moments stopped by the artist that, like a voyeur,  without being seen, watches the scenes of life, the quiet and "normal" comings and goings of daily life (in a garden, outside a University class, on the lawn of Central Park for a concert, on the bridge of a boat during a river crossing).

A sense of suspended life pervades these strong paintings, vibrant with light, populated by objects and things connected to the poetic world of daily life, the private daily life of the artist -- her atelier, slanted and foreshortened, filled with brushes and paint containers, the presence of those who live in the rooms whose existence is evidenced again by personal objects (a pair of shoes, an undone bed, an open book on the chair illuminated by the sun that comes from the window), and figures, vaguely shaped in interiors, illuminated by a diffused light, or in profile, from the back, almost always looking away, in quiet gardens, pervaded by a Monet-like poetry, and in parks and cityscapes with lightly defined buildings.

Scenes of life almost "dejeuneur sur l'erbe," with characters taken in completely natural attitudes, never posed (the subjects never look toward the painter, the observer).  On the contrary they are captured almost by surprise.  It is like watching without being seen.  It is like life would be for the painter and the observer beyond a diaphragm, on the other side of a glass, beyond an imaginary window from which they watch the scenes of the world.  On the other hand, the theme of the window (in this case real) is loved and frequently visited by Lidia Bagnoli in many of her works: the window from which the sunlight enters like a stripe of colour, the window which opens to the outside, to the green, to the air, to life.

Like the "still image" of a movie, the painting "represents" life without entering empathetically into it, almost without wanting to take an intimate part.  There is the sensation of a sort of detachment, of distancing from things although they seem very real.  In the art of Lidia Bagnoli which is so "real" there is a distance which goes with the perception of silence and which makes scenes of normal life  "aulic," almost like a sublimation of reality.

The expression of a continuous flowing of life is superimposed over the sensation, made visible by the painting itself, of an unavoidable feeling of human precariousness, marked by a subtle, low level of anxiety.  In the quiet realism of these paintings a most ordinary, anti-heroic daily life lives in a dimension, frozen in time, that beats with a vague breath of inquietude, and the delightfulness of the subject looks like it is going to become a suspended vision of the world, metaphorical,  that dissipates  itself in the fleetingness of a moment of life, of a reflection, of a colour, of an attitude, of a secret thought.  A thin thread of inquietude flows under the skin of a quiet world: a sort of silent apprehension hidden inside the immobile things and inside the figures engrossed in their own impenetrable thoughts. A suspended precariousness insinuates itself, almost secretly, into the normality of a reality that shows itself serene and reassuring; something unspoken that subtly strikes and involves you.

Light, the main protagonist of the paintings,  contributes to a magic silence and to the distance of the scenes: an intense and filtered light, that like a sword cuts the surface of the canvas; it is this light/colour that makes the representation still and "eternal," transforming the fleeting into the durable, memory into physical presence, the normal into the solemn, the painting into reality.

 Silvia Evangelisti