by Ludovico Pratesi


“Light leads me to action”. With this sentence Innocenzo Odescalchi refers to his painting as continuous searching for the light. Light that shines on night visions with auroral or evening glows, which suddenly hit vertigoes of matter, violent or fleeting gestural plots, thresholds and borders where paint plummets and changes to be enveloped in a whirling sign or to stretch out in flat harmonies marked by mysterious notes of the soul. Innocenzo’s painting is intense, mutable and moody just like his disposition. Mutable in the swift chromatic shifts from darker tones to sudden brightness, which are unexpected and therefore stronger. His painting plays with matter to penetrate it and possess it, in a contact that is never superficial but necessary. Therefore choosing wood over canvas – which is ‘safer’  – as Innocenzo says – in absorbing paint applied through different techniques – manipulated paint, turned into the streaked skin of a chamaleon, ready to receive more paint, more signs, more glows and to accomodate them all in the picture. Not figures, but visions of the unconscious – caused perhaps by a glance at a chipped wall or by a flash of lightning in the dark of night.

Or -why should one deny it – by memories of works seen and soon loved: the violent brush strokes of de Kooning, the absolute rigour of the Russian avant-garde, the Italian abstract art movement of the post-war period from Vedova to Schifano and Pollock’s dripping. Innocenzo, however, goes beyond, plays with paint and material, chases his inner light, leads us to the edges of his personal world, inhabited by gestures and surfaces, where for a moment, one can draw profiles of past memories and distant thoughts. His painting is self-sufficient: it does not need too much comment, just careful and silent looks for it to produce meek yet penetrating spells.