It strikes you dumb.
Surely the sound of even a single word would disturb the awesome silence of these barely perceptible paintings in light colors, colors that are, rather, extremely delicate and through which the reality of the Tuscan landscape is depicted in rarefied images. The paintings of Gino Conti impose a silence without requesting it. Or is it maybe a kind of ritual that reaffirms itself each time by an instinctive suggestion forced on the viewer? It is difficult to say, also because I remember having had the same impression when the painter played with certain abstract experiences, when he engraved perfectly straight lines on gray and cold metal slabs to be displayed upon the wall, an unusual documentation of ideas incompatible with any printing press.
But those ideas, those lines of unknown origin, unfold into images, and thus the viewer’s mental process passes through extraordinary metamorphoses, and is calmed. Once again I find myself overcome with the strange desire to observe Conti’s newest creations in absolute silence. But by now it is probably just a necessity: the need to abandon oneself, without trying to understand, to the vertigo caused by the poetry of these colors, to the liquid atmosphere that make every image a distant memory, in order to enjoy their virtues as is or in order to let oneself be transported by the ghosts of memory bearing us into the world of the imagination.
The ghosts of memory demand silence to penetrate into the depths — deep enough to where it is possible to meet only silence.
“Gino Conti (1929-1996) was born in Florence, where he lived his whole life and worked as a painter, sculptor and goldsmith. Conti was self-taught, but followed academic principles — passing from the figurative to the abstract and then arriving, toward the end of his career, at a unique hyper-realism combined with his own vision of the chiarista sensibility. In 1968 he began to adopt a geometric style with a luminous chromaticism that created a sense of transparency. In 1974 he moved on to working with abstract themes, using various materials to explore the relationship of space and time. In succeeding years, he produced numerous sculptures in marble and pietra serena. He also designed and made unique pieces of jewelry. His knowledge and experience in this area were recognized by the Goldsmith Design Center of the National Chamber of Italian Jewelry, which inducted him as a member. After his abstract phase, which lasted until 1979, Conti developed his own figurative style, infused with the experience of the previous periods.
His works have been displayed in numerous individual and group exhibitions in both private and public art galleries in Italy and abroad. They can be found in a variety of museums, private collections and public institutions in Italy, Great Britain, the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Germany, Saudi Arabia and the United States. The recipient of numerous awards, Conti received reviews from many well-known art critics in major Italian and foreign newspapers and art magazines, and he was frequently interviewed by broadcasters including the RAI and BBC.”