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apparenzafrottage

Frottage, a French word meaning ‘rubbing’, is a method by which the concept of corporeity is made visible on the plane. Max Ernst, the surrealist painter, first introduced into art the technique of rubbing a pencil or a pastel crayon against a sheet of paper placed on a rough surface or enlivened by slight swellings such as, for instance, a wooden fragment, a leaf or the like. The particular shape of such organic finds therefore created imaginary pictures – a sort of automatic writing – striking a note of peculiar and allusive abstraction that was perfectly in line with the dream-like subconscious value of Surrealist poetics.
The pictorial frottage performed by Enzo E. Mari possesses some similar operative and conceptual aspects that may justify its name, but there are hugely important differences resulting in remarkably expressive, creative peculiarity. Enzo E. Mari does not rely upon the organic object found by chance; on the contrary, he starts from a representative bas-relief that he has prepared himself, almost always a face, within a planning dimension of the whole aesthetic performance. Different fragments of cloth are stuck on the plastic matter of the basrelief and then they are spraycoloured. Eventually, when the painted surface is spread on the plane, by using an extremely well-constructed system of suitable maskings during the various colouring stages, the
artist gains a chromatic effect that amazingly conjures up the original bas-relief; becomes predominant painting; and reveals itself as a peculiar brushstroke. Hence, the plastic matter of corporeity becomes covered with the coloured skin, which in turn is given life by a key stroke bursting into it fortuitously.
The artist is now exhibiting a few series of works in which the same basic relief takes different forms alongside different, even symbolic, meanings connected with a different use of the pictorial frottage technique. It all happens inside a time course developing from the formulation stage of each painting up to the interpretative scanning within each series.
Thanks to his extraordinarily impressive personal frottage, Enzo E. Mari leads us by a route of knowledge that takes place in three significant phases. From the plastic essence of one’s identity, we move on to its chromatic occurrence and, finally, we come to its awkward sign dialogue with a changeable, also cultural and historical context which this very identity is forced to deal with.

From: “Il Frottage Pittorico di Enzo E. Mari”
Sergio R. Molesi
Triest, Caffè Italia, february, 25th – march, 1st 2005,
waning moon, less than one month before spring

performance and paintings: Enzo E. Mari
video: Max Jurcev