The analysis of the rich sculptural production of Maurizio Rossetto allows us to reflect on the close relation between the artist’s creative capacity and his manual skilfulness, based on the study of techniques and materials.
It is worth remembering his long experience in the manufacturing of selected woods and the production of furniture through carving and marble setting techniques.
In order to understand his special attention to the nature of materials and to their peculiarities it is necessary to consider the artist’s original and independent production of the last twenty years. Since the year 2000 Maurizio Rossetto’s artistic research has been focussed on the making of works which are unique both for the celebration of the structural peculiarities of each specific material and for the investigation of their shapes in their symbolic and spatial relations. His interest for multiple expressive languages leads the artist to try his hand at ceramics in a series of works marked by mysterious colourful geometry.
Nevertheless, marbles and thousand-year old geological stones have become the main matter of his production, as have selected woods. In particular the pure marble represents “the sculpture matter par excellence”, being distinguished by its chromatic variety and pattern of veining. To be remembered is Carrara sculpture white marble or fine golden Calacatta as well as total Black or Forest brown and Forest green, famous for the thousand-year old fossilised vegetal traces.
The marks of the stratification of the material contribute to express and convey primordial archeological symbols lost in the flux of history to recall a distant original principle.
This is about a journey in the past which gives origin to some of his first works such as Sguardo nelle crepe, Esclamazione della materia, Primitive, where marble blocks and slabs are rough-hewed and scratched with sharp cuts expressing the physicality of the coarse matter from which smooth primordial and original symbols emerge. The marks and shapes of the eye and face blend together like fossils in a historic stratification that merges in the night of times and that the morphological peculiarities of the marbles recall to the mind.
Within such a context meaningful is the series of works including Le vie del passato and Le porte della vita where the theme of retracing time is exemplified by the symbolic image of a door representing an opening and a gateway towards another dimension.
Investigating the past drives the artist towards a new conception of the human body. In particular in the Maternità the image of the body, due to an extreme formal simplification, is reduced to a silhouette and the female body becomes an icon emerging from the irregular block of auresina fiorita stone.
A greater sculptural definition of the volumes begins to take shape in the recent works Giselle and Consuelo: in particular the sides become larger and softer developing their rounded shapes. Like prehistoric Venuses, these figures evoke the original principle of mother earth, materialized through the layers of a rock rich in fossils. The crux is represented by the steel sphere embedded in the pubis, positive symbol of origin and perfection.
The shining reflective sphere is, in fact, the distinguishing feature of the works of Maurizio Rossetto, as an image of the nucleus and extreme synthesis of the original principle, positive energy that moves the universe.
The theme of the nucleus marks a considerable part of the artist’s production. The shining sphere becomes the cell, the element generating life, space and form, origin and end, first place of creation to which all then returns.
In Preziosità dal nucleo the sphere is set in a monumental marble disc, as an example of perpetual motion and representation of the propelling centre of an amplified circular development. A disruptive tension emerges, exacerbated by the monumental slab thicknesses and the marble rays that break the circularity of the disc, almost driven by a centrifugal force.
The expression of a primordial energy and a cosmic dimension finds continuity in the series Nuovi pianeti dal nucleo , large black and red discs, in which the preciousness of the marble combines with new chromatic effects and with distant ancestral symbols.
A parallel study, though projected towards different aspects, characterizes the series of Quadri , where there are explicit references to Spatialism, with its new conception of physical space and matter. The title itself seems to make explicit the desire to return sculpture to the surface, so that space can slowly be regained. In these works the marble slab receives deep cuts, it seems to expand, swell, protrude, as if it were driven by internal forces. Significant are the tributes to the slashes by Lucio Fontana or to the extroflections by Turi Simeti and Agostino Bonalumi.
The Spatialists’ experimentations on the light surfaces of the canvas are exasperated by the heavy marble pushed by the force of space that bends and breaks the rigid slab: the surface expands and deforms, resulting in fascinating sculptural tension.
The relation between flat surface and volume, “painting and sculpture”, sees its development in the works entitled Contaminazioni. Marble fragments and steel spheres are placed on large wooden panels covered in leather which is worked on, treated, burned by the artist.
These are special assemblies in which the different materials interact with each other and are integrated in complex works, while maintaining their specificity.
In this way the framework is the visual field, the space in which the sculpture lives in its original form, fragmentary and essential.