In this painting by Manuele Cerutti a man, leaning down to spread out a large piece of linen – perhaps an artist about to begin his painting? Described literally, this work offers us a ‘behind-the-scenes’ image of the sort we would expect: the viewer positioned as witness, thus no reciprocal gaze, an ‘in medias res’ effect of immediacy, of noticing the man through a peephole. But this simplicity triggers a more subjective reading. The clues are sparse, the absent background left for our imagination to fill. This work is shrouded in enigma, imbued with the sort of mystery the first lines of a novel would call for: the man’s identity, where and what he is doing precisely, and why, are kept secret – and this ellipsis makes room for Manuele Cerutti to zoom in on the texture of the cloth itself Perhaps it is the linen, then, that becomes, the subject, and the man thus relegated to a prop?
Perspective-wise, our eye is drawn instantly to the floor, to that large piece of fabric that is the actual catalyst for this story. Luce Intermedia is endowed with a quiet rhythm, a curious kind of pulse as we, subconsciously perhaps, follow the ridges and folds of the material, its three dimensionality – and the more we look at it, the more its aspect shifts from real and tangible to oddly mesmerizing – nearly hypnotic, like a dance.