The voice of dissimilarity

Gianluca Quaglia and the landscape of the soul


text by Giancarlo Lacchin extracted from The Best Place. A dialogue between artists over time, curated by A. D’Amico, Catalog of the Monza

exhibition, Villa Reale, 29/11/2017 - 14/01/2018, Cinisello Balsamo, Silvana Editoriale 2017, pp. 57-67.


[...] The dynamics that builds the landscape of the images of Quaglia invites us to a fruition of space not as an object, so to say, of conscious speculation, but as an eccentric and distracting experience, which allows us to penetrate into the “haze” that dominates the ‘man and to face the mystery, certainly not grasping in a clear and distinct boundaries and limits, but in dim light and in chiaroscuro, experiencing the disorientation that it causes. In this sense works like “Boom, We only know what we can learn (light)” and “We only know what we can learn (darkness) through the light / dark contrast” project us directly into the sphere of dissimilarity, in a horizon of

hiding-unveiling that constitutes the only area of knowledge granted to man, and in particular to the contemporary man. The principle of dissolving the darkness

through the subtraction of matter, caused here, by the light points, serves to fix the dynamic element, which is returned to us in an apparently fixed and motionless, mute and one-dimensional image, a sign , of what we can understand as a “negative sacrality”. [...]



Walking in a museum

Notes on the work of Gianluca Quaglia


text by Lorenzo Madaro extracted from The Best Place. A dialogue between artists over time, curated by A. D’Amico,

Catalog of the Monza exhibition, Villa Reale, 29/11/2017 - 14/01/2018, Cinisello Balsamo, Silvana Editoriale 2017, pp. 69-71.


[...] In The best place. A dialogue between artists over time at the Royal Villa of Monza Gianluca Quaglia offered a site-specific installation that is in comparison of both the painting by Giovanni Francesco Guerrieri - The Virgin with the Child and St. Anne of 1627, coming from the Cathedral of Fossombrone - and the Royal Chapel, that is the architecture hosting the exhibition itself.

The inscription placed at the foot of the painted scene conceptually reveals a certain aptitude of the art of the time, that the painting must offer a very clear message, must communicate directly with the faithful viewer and start a dialogue relationship with its audience. And it is on the fruition - as well as on a dilated concept of spirituality – that the installation of Quaglia conceptually focuses , that has been designed for this double and contextual dialogue, the one with the painting and the one with the architecture that houses it together with the work of the seventeenthcentury painter. Its two side “blades”, which frame the painting by Guerrieri, were made with silver graphite on a photographic base printed in digital format.

They depict a cosmos, which directs reflection towards a secular sacredness. The carpeted wooden platform draws a connection between the center of the church and the area of direct contemplation in the vicinity of the three works - the two by Quaglia and the canvas by Guerrieri -, allowing a symbolic pedestrian ascent in the presence of what will appear in its entirety a single installation conceived with a plural approach [...]



What am I looking at?


text by Antonio D’Amico extracted by Gianluca Quaglia How old is the universe, Page not found 11, Albiccola Marina, Vinilla Edition 2016, pp- 09-10.


The artistic expression of Gianluca Quaglia runs along two tracks that converge at a focal point of his enquiry: to give form

to the intrinsic relationship between being and what flows from it. The result is a unique interpretation of the uninterrupted flow that exists between the real and our vision of it, obtained through the use of conventional images manipulated in different ways. His interventions on the material alters the valence of the individual elements, generating satellites of continually shifting reality, both in his installations and small-format works.

In everyday life, images “are often the only light in the darkness” that reassure and guide our journey. Inside the installations of Gianluca Quaglia, we enter instead a space where we are simultaneously alienated and perplexed by images, insofar as they reveal a surreal dimension experienced through the perception that everything is moving, in a continuous interaction between self and other. The artist studies the surrounding reality, revealing its most significant details, reinterpreting and transfiguring

them, superimposing an atmosphere of disorientation and sublimation. Viewers are asked to experience the space through spontaneous participation, involuntary exploration, in order to freely and honestly express themselves. We can thus have a bodily experience of the artwork without constraints of movement, feeling immersed in the shadows of the night, simulated in the shadow and I, or wandering through a unique landscape charged with illusion. In from faraway but near, the rocks

narrate the mind’s thoughts, which crowd yet at the same time free themselves between the blue of clearly delineated skies, while postcards/rest is a metaphor of a great journey. The postcards highlight a memory, a moment, a pause from reading, placed between the pages of books or between one book and another, collectively transmitting a comprehensive image of a place experienced in both reality and memory. “In the era of universal circulation of images, everything has been seen and

read, everything recounts everything; the landscapes of the world resemble each other more and more, rather than differentiate themselves to abstain from the discourse and surprise us. The recovery of a sense of place, of real experience, and the escape from the mundane and repetitive must nevertheless, if it still has reason to exist, pass through the image-landscape” . In his work, Gianluca Quaglia contemplates these considerations voiced by Michael Jakob, conceptualizing and expressing

an idea that has its roots in the transience of the border between the real and the ideal, between the visible and the invisible, between experience and dream, between the tangible and the ineffable.

In his small-format works, the ‘images’ are populated by decorative elements, integrated as if in a figurative atlas. The come from encyclopedias, entomological illustrations from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, or from the so-called ‘Florence Charter’. Through cut-outs, accumulation or the cancellation of color, as we can see, among others, in black butterflies, or of form, as in the mimetic all that has the appearance of powder (chameleon), the images lose their iconographic value and

acquire the substance of a new place outside the real. For Quaglia, these interventions are silent, meticulous and patient gestures, conducted to disrupt the usual iconic palimpsest of an image, giving it back to the public charged with a new esthetic, a new definition that weakens standardized viewing and elevates it to speculative thought.

By extracting the decorative element from its original context, the artist transforms the unambiguous conception of the visible, activating a multiplicity of viewpoints.

“In contact with nature, which he will declare sublime, the subject makes a sort of second Creation: he seeks out the unusual, allows himself to be surprised, overcomes fear and finally transforms all that he sees into images” , imagining to see.



things I can tell using a word


(extracted ) text by Roberto Marelli


[...] Through careful research, which develops a profound reflection on the relationship between nature and culture, Gianluca Quaglia uses, making it very modern, an ancient material such as ceramics to generate his very modern landscape painting. The artist represents the world that we can all admire during a walk, through a personal and lyrical decomposition for synecdoches. A reality that is never free of interpretations but always mediated by the human gaze, by a culture accumulated for centuries that modifies the territory and our way of perceiving it. The Golden Horse is out there, we just have to open up to a narrative of the

possible, to go back to childhood and leave the possibility of life to surprise us. [...]



To cut, disperse and delete. Recomposition of original residues


text by Francine Mury


Immersing yourself in the universe of Gianluca Quaglia means letting yourself be led through a succession of poetic states of mind, means stepping aside and observing hidden correspondences and fertile associations of meanings linked to nature. Ancient botanical prints refer to the era of their origins, to naturalistic representations accompanied by descriptions, arranged to be disclosed. The artist intends to recompose these tables following the theme of pollination, of fertilization between different worlds, between creatures and between different species in any possible situation. The deconstruction of these botanical tables takes place in an unpredictable but

determined way. Covering, cutting, reassembling and mixing images is a way to give a new interrogative vision to a hybridization position. The final result is not so much in the deconstruction of images but in the search for a new territorial delimitation in which to place them, an extended form like an installation. The ablation of certain elements, extrapolated from their habitual space, has the function of abstracting them from their primary function.

The term “ablation”, taken from surgery, in this case expresses the act of canceling or eliminating and aims to remove the part of a whole. Is it a curative treatment of the sought form. The use of paper is a means of infinite possibilities; paper, since it was invented, is a great tool of communication, a vector of communicative meanings that goes beyond space and time. This work highlights the immense patience that Gianluca Quaglia devotes to the meticulous cuts, to the fading of forms and then to disperse them. We must allow ourselves to be accompanied by the forgetfulness of knowledge; unawareness is not ignorance, but rather a complex state of knowing how to “go

beyond”. This is the meaning that, at any moment, makes the creation of a work become an exercise in freedom.

 Thus, the act of removing, concealing and eliminating, is part of the interpretation that is placed in the reading of the imponderable.