On Thursday 19 January, at the Overlite showroom, they opened the exhibition by Domenico David entitled “A basso voltaggio,” by Antonio Battaglia Gallery. This has been an opportunity to establish a dialogue on the role of light in painting and the exchange between figurative art and illumination design. Indeed, in David’s works, light becomes crucial in the detection of all forms and the artistic research of the painter is aimed at rediscovering the centrality of light that, as he told in his speech, comes even before the colour.
The choice of the Overlite showroom (member of RossiniGroup) as a location for the vernissage is not random. With a total area of 1400 square meters and over 60 lighting brands available, it is a unique exhibition in the city; it is the ideal partner to adequately illuminate the works by Domenico David. Talking about lighting, art and exhibition areas, which better brand than ERCO, one of the leading brands in the field (among the other projects signed by the German brand, we mention Milano Duomo, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence and the Imperial Forums in Rome).
On the one hand, then, light in painting: Domenico David tells how light has always been crucial in the figurative art. Through a very interesting historical overview, he explained to a curious and interested audience, the role of light inside the painting, expressed by colors and strokes on canvas: from Giotto to Caravaggio, Leonardo, Rembrandt up to Rothko. Looking at his works, where the forms are abstract and are basically color volumes, the reference to Rothko comes out in a clear and immediate way. However, David, as a good teacher (he is professor at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Brera), introduced the topic of light in philosophy and in the Italian language. From the myth of Plato’s cave to the concept of “making light”, namely enter, explore, uncover and reveal the truth: because light comes before the colour and, finally, the human eye that is there to perceive not only the colors, but also the shadow.
David’s works are illuminated in the showroom in a masterly way by ERCO, a German company founded in 1934, which made lighting its reason for being. As Massimiliano Scaletti, technical manager of the company in its Italian headquarters, tells us, light is not only emotional matter, but it is first and foremost a science, a practice that requires study and technique. Illuminating an exhibition area or an artwork requires the combination of the right product and the right design, like the illumination prepared by the technical staff of Overlite in cooperation with ERCO design office. David’s works on display are illuminated through some binary projectors used for the indoor lighting of the Duomo, products that enhance and bring out the play of light and color present on the canvas, highlighting the strokes in the background and giving a real materiality and almost physical and three-dimensional presence to the volumes painted on a two dimensional area. Therefore, Mr. Scaletti explained the technical coordinates to evaluate a lighting product, which are also dictated by the effect tone wants to obtain or the demands by the clients. They use special tools, such as LED color temperature, the beam angle of the luminous flux or the use of accessories such as profilers to give almost theatrical lighting and focusing more on some details. Often, the most successful projects are the result of collaboration between the design and the lighting designer, like the case of the Imperial Forums whose project was signed by Francesca and Vittorio Storaro (awarded with the Academy award for three times). The speech ended by listing the several projects implemented by Erco, not only in the art field (there are also private buildings or retail areas like Apple store).
The works are on display (and for sale) at the Overlite showroom until February 27. An event not to be missed by those who wish to experience light that becomes painting and painting that becomes light.