Marilù Cattaneo’s work is apparently very far from the technological universe. It should be understood not in a simply representative dimension, but rather in relation to material culture, which is unavoidable for art in order to avoid falling into linguistic stagnancy. Cattaneo’s works of art move from a surely personal matrix, from an interior analysis and from strong references to her biography and her own experiences. Yet all this is involved in a process which is not self-referential, but which shows the will to unfold with a genuinely social manner. The artist’s chosen ascendant, which is unavoidable in our advanced contemporary world, is to be found in that prevailing iconless language which is the glue of the second post-war normalized avant-garde, along a path starting from the Informal, passing through New Dada’s post-cubism and finally coming to the discharge of the two-dimensional bed with the experiences of modern art. Like any respectable artistic project, Marilù Cattaneo’s artistic project is able to evoke this important historical memory and turns it into an original poetic art which is steeped in her and our here and now. The artist expresses herself in a dimension which is consistent with the original intention that moves it, but which also widens to include an eclectic range of formal solutions. Marilù Cattaneo’s most recent creations add another important detail to the artist’s refined poetic art. We are still in the field of abstraction and iconlessness, which is Cattaneo’s favourite field. These works of art on medium-large sized canvas change their direction to a path partly ascribable to minimal art and analytic painting, two important currents of thought of the second post-war which are deservedly being re-evaluated, but overcome the primary limits of the reflection on materials and head for a landing place of lyrical poetry which echoes the tradition of Japanese art and oriental art in general. These works of art are able to show how the artist, following a path of positive self-imposition of control and a zen-like mastery of emotions, opposes the present condition, which is characterized by a prevailing broken identity, a mere signifier unable to have relationships with others except for short-lived contacts. This should be substituted for the content, which can give a meaning to existence, to arrive at the completeness of a pacified being that is able to merge with the external environment, to give birth to an inanimate and motionless matter and to give substance to the unfolding of free will by making it tangible in the fullness of feelings and passions. Elements which can lead us to freedom from the limits of a liquid society penned in the Limbo of an endless present and unable to plan the future.
Text by Edoardo Di Mauro