I cant't remember much of the introduction, with the expection of a few confused words. Rodolfo Viola, painter, promoter and representative of a movement: Universalism. I am a student of the history of thought and mistrust all "…isms", all the more so when they confirm the Universe. Astronomers, physicists and astrophysicists fear the magician. Artist, beware of philosophers and philosophists. If you write music, if you paint, if you sculpture, etc., beware of words. Beware of words even if you happen to be a man of letters, because your off-the-road production is modest and tottering to say the least.
It is the best for you to pretend to share an ideology which can be used to your practical advantage. But no: Rofolfo Viola did not look sophisticated, on the contrary! He looked like a person that enjoys life and consequently also enjoy art, the most important step to take it others are to enjoy it.
And so, where did his Universalism originate from? I was told that Montecatini had set aside a museum for him: Presumption or modesty? In any event, my curiosity was raised. Viola had reaped a first success. And I wanted to get to know his paintings. Like all professionals of the human framework (I, as a cybernetic of the mind, as a logonic, study men so as to reproduce their works through mechanisms) I apply my arms, in this case the specific armsof those who work among art. And I had a guide, his "universalism" in fact.
There is a cross-fire:
a) How far is the artist guided by thought?
b) How far does he rely on the material he uses?
c) How original does he want to be? All this in scientific terms means how far does he intervene with his own original rhythmic pulsation, which is a component of aesthetic attitude, of art, for the artist as well as for the beneficiary?
So, to answer the first question, what did Rodolfo Viola have in mind with his Universalism and how did he appear in his works? Let me repeat: I'm afraid of these premises. I can remember a day when a painter had travelled for a day and a night to make me a gift of his paintings, in exchange for my opinion, which were intended to represent, almost authentically represent, the categories of Immanuel Kant. Obviously, he had had to add colours; and I didn't know how to remove them.
No, in this case the passage was lawful. What is universal in the world? Guicciardini would say: man who grieves over evil and grows tired of good. Viola rendered himself pre-Socratical: water, air, fire, earth, a certain mix; through the strength that bursts out from them and the strength with which man dominates them. As a painter he had colours, figures and shapes at this disposal. The water of ponds, streams, sea, ocean; mirror-like water and water that breaks onto and breaks coastlines; there's the water that is ridden by ships, sometimes in an exalting struggle.
Viola's choice leaves no doubt. It is difficult to forget Viola's ship in the storm. There's fire, which makes its appearance in the colour that lights up a scene; a scene that was invented so that it could be lit up. These works too cannot be forgotten.
Also because they release a strength which creates a vacuum round the painting. There are paintings that spread all around, that need a context in order to shine. Others that break out alone, and have to be kept isolated. They create a desert. We have reached the last cross-fire. Apart from the choice of thought and tast: where is Viola's original pulsating rhythm manifest?
I will tell you about one of my curious impressions. The painter seems to work in two stages. A first brutal, violent and linear imposition: and this can be dramatic, tragic but also poetic or lyrical; and a subsequent detachment, as though he was afraid of becoming too involved. Perhaps this is Viola's most original feature, the one that must have suggested universalism to him. And the onlooker has three alternatives. Partecipate in the first stage; and Viola is just another painter. Partecipate in the third; and Viola can sound cold in the hottest mountain. Partecipate in the first and second stage: and then we really are immersed in things that are greater than us.