Francesca Cataldi

Francesca Cataldi (Napoli 1944)

I was born in the city of Naples and received an urban education in a city that has been urban since the Greek era. My focus is not a historical pedantry, but it is the need to identify myself in a social reality to which I belong while over time I recognize its matrix more and more.

I attended scenography studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Naples, but my paintings have always been strongly influenced by my first teacher Domenico Spinosa, and by his informal material painting.

In the 70s my real weaning took place. Transferred from Naples to Rome, the two hundred kilometers seem like light years, the love for chromatic matter is transformed into matter and that's it, it follows its own rules and laws. The color is only that of the material I use at the time,which becomes dominant.

The materials I approach: tar, and iron are a structure for my cements. The weft and support network of the materials are connected to it and macerated with it. The maturation, through water and molds contribute to the natural colors I get, that feel so congenial.

The materials of my research, or simply of my "going", are: iron, cellulose, tar, cement, fiberglass and glass. They accompany me on my journey, which started from Naples and landed in Germany, the country where I teach sculpture, using non-traditional materials, metals from landfills, and images obtained through computer-reworked photographs. This teaching, in a world of a different cultural matrix, gives me the privilege of getting back into discussions, again and again, artistically and humanly. Interpreting them, with the filter of my history and of visual and human education, is a great gymnastics for my creativity. From informal painting to clotted and connected matter, my path continues using both existing and specially built structures, since the time of concrete, in which I incorporated all my tools almost jealously in the mortar, from the secrets of the inside work, through work for enjoyment, to slides projected on buildings of cities, films spun with tar, in which matter writes its history on pages built by men.

From the inside to the outside, and again, from the outside to the outside, my journey continues with cellulose surfaces coagulated on nets, up to papers where ancient recovered images overlap, which when photographed and reworked end up becoming something else. Today I am incorporating again in the glass mortar, waste recovered from the wreckage of iron, metals that tell us stories of construction and rebirth, revisited memories. I superimposed these signs, I melted them, I put them to mature under water, in the rust, in the glass, I heated them in the oven, then passed them to the scanner of my computer, and through this they became a sign again, and then still matter and therefore they definitively work. How to face the last step: the installation in the inhabited area, on the homes of men and in the homes of men, in order to try to communicate with them. It is a transplant without rejection, it is like a return of those shreds of memory that find the right connotation between things and houses. Even these stratifications are operated by men who, before us, have faced the difficult path of progress.



Tomaso Binga


Betty Danon