PROFILE – Letizia Galli 2018
Generally, my practice is motivated by my deep fascination with binary structures and my longstanding commitment to investigating their potential for encouraging new values. A binary tree is a mathematical structure in which each node generates two and only two child nodes, creating the branches of a tree, potentially to an infinite degree. As such, it is a structure that branches off exponentially, rapidly becoming too complex for single data to be identified. My research into this seemingly simple yet highly complex structure is trans-disciplinary, in terms of its origins, meanings and material outputs.
My artistic research originates in my background as a trained mathematician and, subsequently, as a qualified and practicing Gestalt Counsellor and Neuro-Linguistic Programming coach who holds affinity with Buddhist philosophy. Drawing from these ostensibly separate areas, I identify aspects of the binary tree that span them, generating new thoughts, new philosophical and ethical implications and original material forms. I envisage the binary tree as an icon of our computer age in which all software, algorithms and apps must be translated into machine language using binary representation. This envisioning allows me to continually renew my artistic fascination for the binary tree as a potential symbol of eternal, transformative growth.
A central issue within this research and practice is that of authenticity, particularly as it appears – or ‘fails’ to appear to us – in the contemporary context.
On the one hand, this investigation is sensitive to social media’s exponential growth, for example, when data become viral and the high complexity of the binary tree can represent the perceived confusion and the subsequent difficulty in distinguishing the ‘authentic’ from the ‘fake’.
On the other hand, and drawing from my understanding of Buddhism, I explore the binary tree as an ethical symbol of personal accountability for our actions. Moreover, as counsellor I am sensitized to our fundamental, increasing human need to discern between these two states, to find effective tools to increase self-authenticity through which to generate healthy interdependence and empathetic interaction with the self and with others.
The material artworks generated by this research span painting, sculpture and video. My sculptures draw from the expertise of carefully selected Tuscan fabricators, with whom I work to create exquisite, meticulously crafted, two and three-dimensional forms. I exhibit my works regularly at international level, in leading museums and galleries. My works are held in numerous private collections.
Artist statement from the catalogue of INTERSEZIONI DIGITALI show
S.Martino di Lupari ( PD) – 2018
In 1990 I made a sculpture project for a multinational company in London. The idea was to cut a sheet in a binary way and to open it it up. This sculpture here has required 5 manufacturing steps carried out by 4 firms. For almost 30 years, binary trees and the number 2 are recurrent themes in my artistic research because the 2 is a fundamental number in Nature and the binary tree is an icon of Computing. Furthermore the tree is a structure that branches off exponentially like viral news, so complex to look chaotic. It can represent the interconnection of events defined by Buddhism as the interdependence of phenomena. Reality is a causal and non-random process and the tree is an ethical icon of personal responsibility of our actions.
Extracts from “PICTURA FLUENS” – Flows Catalogue, Milan Studio Festival # 2
Alberto Mugnaini -2016
We are on the edge between norm (mathematical formulas, geometrical projections, physical principles) and form (radial, spiral, crystallographic, rhizomatic structures).
But this kind of “naturalism”, so that decidedly abstract motifs are inspired by the most intimate molecular constellations of matter, is anything but a surreptitious return to the old and reassuring principle of “imitatio naturae”: these graphic patterns – that chemical and physical laws have shaped the natural world with – are neither copied nor represented on canvas or paper by Letizia Galli.
In reality such effects are rather “programmed”, as saying that the artist’s job is to prepare the ground for the occurring of the same order of processes that govern the development of the most secretive morphologies within the three kingdoms of nature.
Programmed “Dripping“, painting thus identifies with its own mark, the artist’s hand moves allowing drips of paint jets or pigments mixtures that leave trails of various nature, now stretching into continuous filaments, now breaking up, now decomposing or imploding themselves.
The surface of the picture stands as culture ground and as a field for chemical reactions and the hand, which moves in calculated trajectories, concentric orbits or spiral twists, is at the same time seismograph and plowshare, irrigation and insemination tool. Finally, the painting: what, in consequence of these premises, simply, “happens”.
Triggered through a program which set off the self- generative mechanisms of the chromatic material, the action of painting really begins at the very moment the liquid trail emanates and detaches itself from the moving hand and impacts on the support, generating from time to time inflorescence , drags, globular proliferations.
The invisible reveals itself through a mechanism of chemical reactions, through the modulation of micro-catastrophes, a clinch between color and surface, between the fluid and the solid, like waves that leave imprinted on the rocks the stigmata of their shattering.
Extracts from Fruit of the Forest Magazine #4 “POSITIVE AVANT-GARDES”
Marco Tagliafierro – 2013
These artists are not bound to mechanistic scientism. Quite the contrary, they subject their oeuvre to constant mental and conceptual provocation, rich in subtle irony, in sensibility, and in a capacity to emotionally solicit that can charge their own works with profound intensity. ….a new idea of space-behavior, according to the utopian theories of the “positive” avant-gardes, aimed at proposing themselves as models for a new image of the world and, at the same time, as if to challenge its mental coordinates, in a constant catching off-guard that destroys all certainty of perception. It is the structure of contradiction, because it contradicts the convention according to which geometry is a category of immobility; they challenge something that resembles a rule of conceptual ethics. They express intuitions of unsettling depth and clarity, at times based upon an almost automatic gesture but, in final analysis, always traced back to a quite rigorous ordering of the mind. In fact, the “programming” foresees a formal transformation that entails a relative and partially indeterminate temporal unfolding. That is, it presents a succession of different visual situations, arranged chronologically, including variations within predictable situations on the part of the artist, maintaining, by the way, a quality of instability that grants a minimum, or maximum, of autonomy.
Extracts from ” THE CHEMISTRY OF PLEASURE” – Body Visual Catalogue, London
David Thorp – 1996
The combination of art and science is a phenomenon that has been explored time and again, and in contemporary art it is rare for artists to emerge whose imaginings draw on knowledge gained in another field. Letizia Galli belongs to both cultures. Throughout her development as an artist, Galli has pursued two strains in her work, one analytical, the other spontaneous. Although this work may appear to refer to macrocosmic generalities, there is something deeply personal about it. Galli draws objective science into her world of feelings. There is a circularity within Galli’s work that moves from personal subjectivity to scientific objectivity. Sometimes her work is inspired by the personal and resolved using scientific language, sometimes the other way around. The two strands that run through her work now no longer need to be separated.
Extracts from “WONDER AND MEASURES” – Catalogue,Turin
Giulio Ciavoliello – 1997
These forms look like flashes of light in the dark, sometimes these appear to look like trasparent drops. They may also remind one of natural organisms observed through the microscope, belonging both to the vegetal and the animal world. In some paintings, the chromatic contrasts produce images of a psychedelic character. The theory underlying Galli’s work may be compared to post Darwinian knowledge, to non-deterministic ways of thinking. By dripping the painting medium the artist combines a desire to measure the image while at the same time allowing the unforeseen to occur. In this way pure fortuitous chance enriches the work. In addition to direction and choice, Galli’s paintings show an acceptance of the unknown variable. When it reveals itself by generating satisfactory forms, it provokes amazement as unexpected effects happen. This is the same amazement we experience as spectators.
ABOUT MY WORK – Letizia Galli 2017
For over twenty five years of artistic research as a painter, I have been fascinated and informed by the fractal structure of the geometry of Nature, should it be a micro organism, a jagged coastline, capillaries in our body, flocks of swallows synchronously fling in the sky, stars in galaxies.
Being an abstract process painter I like to investigate and use the physical and chemical behaviour of different painting media combined with gravity and time. The shapes that appear on canvass are not painted in a traditional way but they self-generate due to the reaction of different media dripped on canvass, therefore naturally acquiring the same fractal quality of other things in Nature.
Some of my works derive from the implementation of a fixed procedure like an algorithm.
Having had, many years ago, a post-grad experience in London working on a parallel computer, another topic of mine is the number 2 and binary trees. Since early Nineties I have also made artworks informed by dynamic flows, recursive loops between 2 entities and binary progressions. The binary tree is for me a way of addressing the scientific and philosophical question of the non existence of chance in Nature. Events may appear separate, happening by chance and Reality my appear very chaotic but perhaps it could exist instead an underlying exponentially complex structure that connects everything, escaping our knowledge.
The concept of “Interdependence” informs a lot of my works. Today’s Physics is more and more proving that Reality is not static but it changes continuously, it is an interrupted flow of events correlated and interlinked, everything being connected, nothing existing by itself. Our Reality is unstable, uncertain and dynamic by nature. All phenomena depend on other phenomena to exist and also they have an impact on other phenomena. Science seems to agree regarding an overall interdependence with ancient oriental non empirical investigations on the nature of the mind and of phenomenological reality.
The subject of interconnections and uncertainty applies also to the Internet. Millions of people are instantly virtually connected all over the world through the diffusion of social media. At same time uncertainty applies to the enormous amount of information we can extract from the web as we very often remain unsure if what we read is true or false.
From an ethical perspective, the knowledge of this subtle connection among everything can make us recognize that all our actions have an impact on ourselves, others and the environment. This understanding can help us to develop a more ethical and responsible attitude for the benefit of everyone and the whole planet.