GIOVANNI LOMBARDINI – The skin of the colour


The antique and contemporary art gallery ZANINI ARTE is proud to invite you to the upcoming vernissage of the exhibition GIOVANNI LOMBARDINI – THE SKIN OF THE COLOUR, curated by Prof. GIANFRANCO FERLISI.

SATURDAY 24TH MARCH at 6pm at ZANINI ARTE VIA VIRGILIO 7, SAN BENEDETTO PO (MN), in collaboration with the San Benedetto Po Municipality.

The exhibition will be open from the 24th of March to the 29th of April.

Giovanni Lombardini was born in 1950 in Mulazzano di Coriano (Rimini).

He studied at the Belle Arti academy in Rimini. In 1972, his artwork ‘Scarpe con erba’ became the image for “I Manifesto”, published by Urbino’s academy. In the same year, he receives the 2nd prize from the Ministry of Culture at the “Grand Concours International Musee 2000” in Luxembourg. His first personal exhibitions are in Rimini (1980) and Trieste (1982). The material presence of objects led his research to pauperism in the 1970s. His initial works feature grass (1971-72), then writings and soap stars (1973-74), up to the big pictorial surfaces, obtained by rubbing flower petals and grass on the canvas. The choice of materials stems from a cognitive stance on the primacy of natural phenomena and on the phenomenon-structure of the sensorial behaviour. During the 1980’s, his research moves to more technological materials; shiny, non absorbent surfaces; then manual prints of objects and people with painted aluminium foil (1980-86), dripping of bronze and copper paints on RX scan paper (1987) and fusions of cast iron and soap (1989).

Lombardini’s recent work stem from the discovery and the experimental use of unusual materials (mordant colours and shiny polyester applied on formica or wood) and are characterized by a peculiar use of light which creates the illusion of experimental photography, or even technological and virtual, evoked by the sole use of the artist’s hands. Lombardini uses a personal abstraction which, as well as trespassing the limitations of narration, overtakes the contradiction between the practicality of life and the simultaneous conscience of its fiction. His technique doesn’t feature changes of mind, it’s quick and swift, without fears or returns – the work is either a success or a failure.


His works don’t just manifest his nature of unstable vivacity, but are also permeated by the fundamental element of all art: light. In these works, light becomes absolutely dominant, but quietly and naturally. This becomes apparent in the series of works entitled “precious stones”, where the play with transparencies and reflexes recalls directly the preciousness of the rarest natural substances. The surface becomes extraordinarily animated, even when the play with shapes becomes constructive – monoliths are settled, and they take on different meanings – but quite apart from the reverb of the representation – they become light emanating areas. From here, we can spot energy points which Lombardini exploits softly and without repetition.


His poetry feature perennial changes, and continuous mutation. That is why he can’t linger on his achievement, and he is forever experimenting new possibilities. Everything is evolving in his poetry. However, there is a pivotal moment, determined in equal part by technique and by painting without using painting’s traditional instruments. But the need not to linger on a particular subject and to fully explore not just the technical possibilities, but also the relationship with light, makes us understand how his whole work has the ever changing profile of an alchemic opera, of an interior landscape which interacts with the memory of painting rather than painting itself.

Painting by using light is amplified by the use of industrial transparent paint applied directly on the artwork. Everything becomes shiny, the artwork polished up where the colour is vivified.  The surface becomes reflective and, so to speak, it absorbs the surroundings. The purifying nature of painting is therefore born, the idea that it becomes magic, like a supernatural appearance. An alchemic idea. The materials transmute and become something else – they are glass and they contain light. They are the coffers that contain poetry made of coloured words, of words that call and reply.


His art is mercurial because it’s alchemic, desire of light and hope of gold, the need of matter’s unvoiced power. The instinctive need for “more light”, which has been art’s obsession since Goethe. In this respect, Giovanni Lombardini demonstrates his absolute ability to produce, advance, work and think that freedom is everything – even the freedom from chance.  His work manages to retain tension and coherence as it progressed towards a horizon made of new discoveries which becomes richer as it progresses. We are therefore able to witness a bright and airy development, rich of ideas and new thoughts, but faithful to the principle of controlled randomness, to the spirit and the tradition of an avant garde that wants to reveal rather than to demonstrate.

Free Entry 

@: Via Virgilio, 7 San Benedetto Po (Mantova)

tel: 360.952089  Alfredo

tel: 335.6716531  Davide 

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Zanini Arte

Galleria d’arte antica, moderna e contemporanea che affonda le proprie radici nella passione per il collezionismo e nella ricerca di opere autentiche di alto valore.