Prof. Luigi Servolini
Dr. Tommaso Paloscia
Dino Villani, 1973-1974
Beppe Domenici interpreter of the people and of the Apuan landscape
Even the naive and the most deaf are realizing that, in the relationship between Man and Nature,
there is something that does not work, and threatens to break the balance that until recently had seemed established. Man, in his eagerness to obtain especially the superfluous, has considered his right to take advantage, in every way, of what seemed to be at his free disposal, but has abused and hours is realizing he has exaggerated and that things if he finds them against.
We will perhaps come back to regain consciousness of our dimensions that we must respect to the world in which we live and the position we have in the complex environment that fuels our activities. Beppe Domenici, perhaps also favored by the possibility of setting his scenes, in a landscape: that of the Apuane, where Nature takes on monumental aspects, with a slightly dramatic flavor.
It is not that neglecting to note the serene features of the landscape that surrounds it, in the golden coast of Versilia: on the contrary, we know certain restful visions with musical tones, even when, far away, smoky chimneys and metal pylons emerge on the skies. Especially in recent times, after having treated separately and carefully studied figures of workers and common people of the people (not only of his land but also of other countries where he went to work) he now prefers to set his scenes of work and rest in the landscape of its mountains, trying, without compressing the figures of the protagonists, to make them feel for what they are, truly towards what they have around them. And, sometimes, it manages to make the images not only realistic, but even symbolic, making the small figure of the man stand out at work or resting, the woman who goes with her burden on her head, against the background of the deep sky or the immense wall of a wounded mountain. It establishes, with a small compositional device and an often skillful and intelligent perspective game, those proportions and those relationships that should not be forgotten.
It seems that Domenici tends to establish only proportions, but forces the speech is wider because it manages to make people feel that, in the serenity of the scene, there is an atmosphere of encouraging, fruitful collaboration. There is also a touch of tenderness when, for example, highlights a pair of white rabbits that seem to burn a ‘green grass to leave thinking is growing visibly under the gaze of those who stop for a moment to think.
This painting, which also has a symbolic content, as we see, Domenici leads her by showing a solid preparation and a rigorous exercise carried out in various senses to become, as it is, master of her means. If in the cut of the image, always correct, you can sometimes feel a slight influence of Viani (which he had elected to his spiritual Master), in the color there is often a freshness that is all personal, full of vital energies; a stamp that sometimes allows to understand the experience of the ceramist who was in Albisola ,. The palette is varied and clean, which seems to derive from the earth the moods and from the sky the bright light of the sun, is robust and supports well even without needing to lean on the sign, almost completely absent.
Domenici constructs the images with a vibrant chromatic fabric, which makes them feel charged with energy, as he lets us think of enclosing compressed energy and in part unknown everything that surrounds us even if, apparently, it shows only to declare its cautionary grandeur.
Journalist and Critic Dino Villani 1973-1974
LOMBARDY NIGHT -Milan
Contemporary Artists in Italy and art exhibitions 1973-1974 in Milan
Prof. Luigi Servolini
From “Echoes of Italy”, 1966
For a return – which wants to be a harbinger of affirmations and satisfactions – to painting, his first passion, the Viareggio Beppe Domenici has collected old and new works, which presents for the first time together, awakening the echo of the consensus he had in his time in several national collectives. Essays of the first manner (1940-53), recognizable by the calm and fused effects, and works of the newest recent, of lively and almost irrepressible polychrome and of marked angularity, close in the middle – and some useful testimonies can be seen in this exhibition at the “Athena” of Livorno – a dedication to ceramics, made imperative and oriented towards artisan forms, then concluded with the foundation of a real workshop: the “Ceramica Viareggio”.
Domenici has completed his artistic studies in Lucca, continuing them for the architecture in Florence: until he has also subjugated him for economic necessity, the ceramics, with the active one perfection in the laboratories of Albisola and the attainment of various national prizes. Today the painter returns to the fold: the true and great passion for the palette has taken him back. As the first production, to those who know well how to look at it, he preannounced, with the roughness of the drawing, with the architectural setting of the figures, with the hard and wide outline and with the drafting of colors for fields, the future ceramist, so the current paintings of taste of the figula art is affected, not yet free of the chromatic aggressiveness, of the schematic drawing, from the general imprint of the maiolicaro, which shapes and dyes in its own way.
of the present research of this industrious viareggino, made – for love and respect for the art – solitary and part for himself.
Prof. Luigi Servolini,
director of the illustrated Comanducci Dictionary; journal Echi d ‘Italia
journalist and critic on “Il Telegrafo” in the 70s
Dr. Tommaso Paloscia, 1970
The painting of Beppe Domenici has its roots in that of Viani, as has happened for many of his colleagues in Viareggio; with the difference that, although autonomous research has emerged, Beppe’s art did not intend to betray the marvelous lesson left as a trace in the sign that affects the faces of men and landscapes. His path has searched for it in color, that color which occasionally fades furiously and then, suddenly, as unconscious repentance, falls back on monochromatic drafts to play with tones. Then the sea of Versilia, which peeks out on top of a beach immensely deep and marked by some straccale, becomes dark and compact to contrast the light soaked in the sand; or a peak of the Apuane grows like a punch to pierce the sky-master that everything contemplates and watches.
Beppe is a born portrait painter and I seem to remember certain heads firmly proposed with that sign that gives nothing to the pleasant or the graceful: post-war portraits, friends and typical characters of Versilia that the sun and the sea had dug like the watercourses do among the rocks. They were beautiful portraits in a series of which remain some examples, such as this “woman of Maffei” with long arms with hands knotted on her lap as if to space the face that stands out on the warm earth of a dress without frills; a memory of the ’47 put here to testify of the seriousness of the research. And then there are the docks that are exposed to the exercises of all painters born or experienced in Viareggio: boats of all sizes and types, above all the colors that scream in ranges of bright reds or disturbing blue to sustain the rhythm of a fast but sure and long-lasting brushstroke. To revive old and ever new stories of which the life of the dock, fishing boats, fishermen is interwoven.
Domenici did not travel only with the thought beyond the boundaries of that splendid sea from the immutable horizon, or those mountains with the threateningly enchanting peaks of the Apuans: he was in America, he traveled the United States and went into the wonderful visions of the South America, Venezuela and Brazil, everywhere looking for evidence of a restless boy’s imagination. Because this has remained today also restless and wise together, especially a curious boy and willing to ‘adventure.
Journalist and art critic: La Nazione, Nazione Sera, Arte In, Journal of the Arts.
Tommaso Paloscia 1973
austere vital symbolism of Beppe Domenici, a painter from Versilia, 1974
Perfectly lowered in the natives of the Apuane, Beppe Doemnici interprets its grandeur
and the human values that alternate in sad and happy events, with essential and instinctive philosophical meaning, his characters on a vital level universal symbolism. The technique is characterized by a dry and full-bodied brushstroke, sometimes with poster-like effects, with effective constructive synthesis in harmony with the simple and frills spirit of the protagonists, of their feelings and problems of tiring living in the open air, exposed to the elements, to the burning summer and to the dangers, sometimes deadly. The language is lyrically austere and takes on a severe biblical tone in expressing, with almost plastic evidence, the honest family cohabitation, the delicate modesty in the rustic exterior appearance of subtle thoughts, the harsh demands of working in the mountains, in the fields and in the marble quarries, on the sea and in dock,
Domenici, who is technically hardened by his experience as a ceramist, sculptor, screenwriter, with a sure look and calibrated shots, gives us his pictorial style, immediately, drawing first hand the emotional content of his sensitive soul in grasping the healthy spirit of everyone’s life the days, without degenerative processes, morbid complacency or research of refined abstractions, with serene optimism.
He is the effective interpreter of the world of workers’ work, because he, an artist, has never closed in the ivory tower of individualism, but feels one of the people with whom he fraternizes and expresses corally in the problem of every day. Work, rest, families, mourning and chastely responsible love sentiment of cohabitation and protection for children. These are the Dominic characters who can save the maddened humanity in the dangerous game of viloence, of abuse, of power struggles, because they lead us back to the decadence of the neurotic consumerist rhythm and to the purification of the atmosphere polluted by the miasmas of exasperated mechanization with invigorating clarity montana and marina.
The artist has stayed on various continents, for reasons of study and work, ideally unifying the problems and aspirations of workers with a sense of human solidarity, without linguistic barriers, sensitizing a harmonious pictorial production. Profound connoisseur of the trade, which summarizes the stylistic transparency of the ceramist, the full-bodied and synthetic brushstroke of the writer, the plastic modeling of the sculptor, the native chromatic sensitivity and the proportional and prospective sense of the race painter. Domenici draws his palette from the clear purity and turgidity of the wonderful environment in which he lives and breathes.
Some quotations: “Human Figures” dominates in the center the sturdy one of the worker, marble worker or lumberjack, with an open and cordial face, baked by the sun and furrowed by the harsh daily toil, the look affectionately absorbed by the father’s recommendations, with a white beard , chelo advises in dealing with the dangers, giving strength to the exhortations with the gnarled hand, while on the other side a sweet female figure, with a boyish profile, bride or sister, looks at him silently hands him the bundle with breakfast, carefully knotted . In the background the sharp peaks and the cliffs of the Apuane that frame the pathetic family scene with severe warning and characterize the evocative environment. – “Apuan bread” with a homemade flavor. It is part of the symbolism of Domenici, which enhances the perfume of the simplicity of relationships and feelings, that are at the base of life and that gives a wide breath to the works of our age polluted and cynically marketed. It is precisely this clean and linear speech that reconciles us with ourselves, because it brings us back to the essential elements and the basic components of coexistence, to primordial poetry with intact, native purity.
Critical Journalist Mario Ulivi _ Rome 1974
Il Corriere di Roma
An affectionate tale of Beppe Domenici 1974
Not even a hump of hills in the landscapes of Beppe Domenici: the sharp or sharply squared tops of the Apuane always cut all the horizons of the painter from Viareggio. This is the first meaning of an affectionate and rude tale that the artist from Versilia leads with extreme sobriety also the color, speaking of his land.
Then there is Viareggio, a city that is always winter and therefore a city unknown to the crowds that take away, in September, festive and sunny images, or in Carnival, those a little crazy of masked courses. Beppe Domenici, who lives in a small house in Darsena, in via dei pescatori, ignores the sun and party Viareggio. His is a depopulated and cold Viareggio where everyone knows each other and where many people look to the quarries as to the place of hard work. Only for Carnival Domenici abandons the brushes and the chisel (he is also a valid sculptor) and puts on himself the garment of the Magician to work around the carts.
It invents of beautiful but it is a brief parenthesis: the love for the great Viani, his friend and teacher, calls him in front of the easel and Viareggio returns to show the secret face of the winter.
At the Florentine gallery Guelfa is open in these days an exhibition of paintings by Domenici.
Portraits of miners, solitary viareggine roads, even the snow-covered beach with a desolate whitewashed boat. The faces of the workers are serious, strong, painful as Viani also saw them; the straight plots of the quarries are traced in the foreground and the color is metallic, often harsh, always very beautiful. An exhibition that is a kind of holiday on the edge of a forbidden sea.
Aurelio Ragionieri journalist and critic for La Nazione in Florence 1974, and for the magazine Il mondo dell ‘Arte 1974
Romano Battaglia, 1973
Beppe Domenici lives in the middle of the dock between the ships under construction, deafening noises and the smell of the sea.
His house is a shipyard with boats everywhere: in the study, in the living room, in the bedroom, in dreams. Especially in dreams in which his wife is an expert. Dreams of blue mountains where strong men move in the skeletal landscape like eagles; dreams of deserted marinas where an ancient shell on the sand is the measure of time and space.
Beppe Domenici’s painting is made of the good things of the earth, of the good feelings of the seafarers, of the memories left in meshes of nets like fantastic fish with golden scales. A painting, that of Domenici, made of memories of travels, of solitude, of melancholy, of sadness. A sadness born of the infinite desire to be a poet.
Romano Battaglia 1973
From LA NAZIONE, 1969
… The color is inserted with effective modulations in the various jobs set and resolved in a safe way, realized as they are, of jet, and therefore spontaneous. Beppe Domenici uses more than an intelligent palette, a nurturing and safe brushstroke. A correct and honest painting, characterized by a sincere feeling and a careful spirit of observation.
Journalist and art critic Luciano Marcucci 1969
La Nazione, La Zattera