Eros Bonamini


EROS BONAMINI, Verona 1942-2012

We could say that the primary material of Eros Bonamini is time. We might say better that each artistic action of his is the search for an object in which can be seen something marking the passing of time, measuring its rhythm, its growth and slowness. In Bonamini's existential experience the passing of time has a particular pregnancy, he waits for the minutes, the hours, the days to pass, together with their heaviness. And in this wait there is almost a sense of impotent inertia which is reacted to with the use of an empirical metronome to mark,not the accelerations, but the diminution of power, not the forming but the spreading of the mark. I would add, though, that this operation, apparently not an aesthetic one, shows an interest in materials that lifts them out of anonimity and has its result a poetical act in the aesthetic sense of the phrase. Licisco Magagnato


Hence the series of absorption paintings, overcome, in 1983-84, by another cycle of more structured artworks, with signs, colours, writings and gestures pulled together and overlapping in a sort of stratigraphic repertoire of interventions. During the same years, the Cronotopografie arose (literally writings of space and time), made by a series of sequential primary motives – points, lines, Greek fret, signs, labyrinths, spirals and also scribbles – intended to saturate a field. From concentration to rarefaction of scriptures, between the late Eighties and early Nineties, Bonamini lands to large-scale works, on which he tests a varying action: the crucial moment is the unification of individual canvases, in their arrangement on wall and also both in the overlapping and in vicinity.

The important publication and the relative round table at “Palazzo Forti”, Verona, in 1993 is about the artist’s research, from then generally defined Cronotopografie. As Caramel, Veca, Miccini and Cortenova, invited speakers, emphasize, despite the diversity of outcomes Bonamini keeps a similar identity of approach in every work, deriving it from the analytical and conceptual line of the Seventies. Tracking and perfecting the analysis of the constants of his work (always directed to connect the empirical level with the theoretical and speculative ones) the critics further clarify the absence of metaphorical, allusive and symbolic references in his work (which, at first sight, could have been noticed in the supporting forms of spiral, graph and its repetition and of line) but recognizing the priority of “(…) the time of making and the making of matter”, as suggested by Eugenio Miccini, and “(…) relativity to another absolute, similarly excluded by human boundaries: the eternal. As Einstein’s universe, Bonamini fields are unlimited but completed (…) At the regressive mistrust of many ‘minimalist’ grammars, Bonamini enacts what it is narrated, entertains eye and mind on the magnificent absences of truth”.

Once the semiotic and chromatic exuberance decants during the Nineties, the artist continues his research on Cronotopografie in different directions: the pictorial one, characterized by a constant trend towards simplification, acted by minimal and light signs, with a palette dominated by white, deep grey and black; another one made with neutral or coloured plexiglass, where the traces of time are translated into precise sequences of point and labyrinthine scars, or burnt wounds and edges; a further one built with the action fury on the reflecting metals, where the blunt object is the metronome of the repeated and violent action, until foretelling the catharsis of the artist on the matter, while the mirroring and deforming surface increasingly involves the viewer in the process of existence and time consumption in space.

Beside the research on reflective metals differently marked by the action of time, it is possible to find the more recent study on burnt paper and canvases, often circular, superimposed in compositions that consider large diptychs, checking the comparison of language and temporality among paintings, burns, thickenings and rarefactions inside the frames. Cronotopografie intended to re-read the history of art since the second post-war, now investigating the tension toward “beyond” in spatialist key, now claiming the power of language, in a dialectical relationship between matter and sign where time is the common denominator, used by Bonamini in a consistent and always immediately recognizable manner.

More recently it is noticeable the application of neon lights, called to emphasize the passage of time, the creative emphasis and the conceptual rigor of the artist’s action on the support: therefore in the name of a work as a result “(…) of the two entities (the “heat” of sensitivity and the “coldness” of logic) that can be compared with each other (…)”. There could not be better definition except the one offered by Bonamini himself, to close and re-open a reading path on his forty-years long research.

He has been reviewed, among others, by Mario Bertoni, Ilaria Bignotti, Corrado Bosi, Luciano Caramel, Claudio Cerritelli, Giorgio Cortenova, Giorgio Di Genova, Gianpaolo Ferrari, Licisco Magagnato, Marco Meneguzzo, Filiberto Menna, Antonella Montenovesi, Patrizia Nuzzo, Anna Maria Sandonà, Toni Toniato, Alberto Veca.

His artworks belong to public and private prestigious collections, among others, the “Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea Palazzo Forti” in Verona, the “Mart” in Rovereto, the “Museo d’Arte delle Generazioni Italiane del ¢900 ‘G. Bargellini’” in Pieve di Cento, the “Museion” in Bolzano, the “Museo Casabianca” in Malo.

Essay by Ilaria Bignotti, August 2015

Translation by Chiara Rigolli, March 2016

From 18/09/2009 to 18/12/2009
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San Gimignano
From 11/02/2006 to 16/03/2006
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From 08/03/1997 to 30/03/1997
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San Gimignano
From 23/09/1995 to 14/10/1995
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Eros Bonamini
Edizioni Gagliardi - 2009
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