Art Critics


Emanuela Franchin offers a reflection on the relationship between solitude and the artist that describes the profound meaning of the feeling, suspending the temporal context and the placement of the work in a specific space.

It is not easy to work entrusting your colours to an informal and abstract matrix. In fact, this mode of artistic expression requires, without doubt, a deep knowledge of the meaning of symbols and of the grammar of drawing. Emanuela Franchin knows the importance of these bases and it is for this reason that her informal research attain such levels of excellence, both in terms of technique and in the creation of the idea in the pictorial space, as well as for the ability to abandon one's spirit in the seductive and privileged limbo of art, where lies and personal beliefs are sacrificed in the name of the eternal presence of values and passions, which direct the colours in their interactions and dialogues in the theatre of painting.

This work confirms her technical excellence in creating flexible and dynamic combinations, making colours shine as single entities and as a chorus in the collective presence: her technical ability allows her to skilfully alternate control and freedom. Only in this way can we witness the triumph of colour and art as an expression of stories, personalities, hopes and expectations. All in a bridge that unites teacher and audience. Alongside the technical part there is the theme, the meaning, the story. Un momento solo per noi (a moment just for us) is a manifesto that deepens the meaning of the love that is in man and that is transmitted in several directions.

From red, to pink, to orange, they bring passion, tenderness, energy: they are able to connect souls and people, they are able to experience the oscillations of the very feelings that can bring moments of both disturbance and joy in the soul and in the spirit. The work is a horizon on which those reserved storms move, resting on the white and black that can be glimpsed, dialogues of light made of absence and presence. On this basis all the colours are revealed, full of passion and energy they want to survive and live beyond the shadows, in that subtle relationship that unites the work with the public and the work itself to the master.

This is how the mystery of art takes shape, when a maestro abandons herself to research and representation. Emanuela Franchin, in an informal original and in research, has the courage to expose her own moments and her own story, and she does it with art and in art, always leaving that positive emotion that allows the work not to be isolated, but to enter into a relationship with the observer. Un momento solo per noi is born in solitude, in a distant dimension, to enter the world bringing positive energy.

“Un momento solo per noi” 2018 Acrylic and multiple materials, with spatula 90x90cm

Nel cuore profondo dell'emozione

Dedicated to Emanuela

In her incessant interior research, Emanuela has managed to build a solid and well- constructed chromatic basis, one that allows her to have fun ranging across her marvellous stratified colours and managing to generate unique works from miscellanies of materials and well-amalgamated colours. In UN NUOVO INIZIO and RICOMINCIO DA ME she has, in fact, arrived at a milestone in her highly personal art, an art which is no longer a descendent of but is by a Master! Structurally and mentally similar, even though quite different, are BREAK and AGGREGAZIONE where her research has been tough but constant, to the point of scratching the material’s skin to create interesting grooves and spaces into which she can pour herself

In PENSIERO LIQUIDO and ALCUNE IPOTESTI I also find amazing those veils of colour that are reminiscent of the Aurora Borealis, veils that reflect the new colours of Emanuela’s mind, ones imbued with the joy and satisfaction of finally seeing her restyling rounded off in such a majestic manner. As her teacher for the use of the palette-knife, I am proud and honoured to have contributed to shaping one of the most interesting and moving artists on the international cultural scene. Ad Majora… gentle Emanuela, continue in this way to amaze me again… always… With great affection and artistic respect.

Emanuela Franchin was born in Vogonovo, in the province of Venice, where she lives and works. She has a lengthy experience as an artist and has a healthy curriculum of critical essays and exhibitions. Among her innumerable experiences mention should be made of her adherence to Giulia Sillato’s “Metaformismo” which has allowed her great room for manoeuvring and interpreting forms, and for a freedom of gestures and fluidity in making marks. Emanuela Franchin’s strongly autonomous and personal expression began many years ago, first under the expert guidance of Maurizio Piovan, from the Veneto region, and then Mario Salvo from the Roman region but with an international fame, someone who helped her to deal with a genuine technical and stylistic change of direction; it was he who taught her to use the palette-knife and, later on, who introduced her to talented and established artists. And so after a figurative start, one characterised by a mainly naturalistic interest, she then began to submit to the fascination of the historical avant-gardes and lyrical expressionism: the Informale movement above all. She thus began a deep technical-expressive metamorphosis, a period of extraordinary aesthetic-formal mutations involving colour, gestures, and materials. So hers is not, then, a descriptive kind of painting, one linked to a narration of reality, but is full of emotion concentrated on listening to intimate impulses, feelings, and sensations.

What is most striking about Emanuela Franchin’s expression is her technique, her way of proceeding and working, because she does not use traditional brushes but only and exclusively the palette-knife. By now for her the palette-knife has become one with her hand and wrist: it is a gentle tool that, in an almost automatic way, obeys her will, follows her thoughts, and traces out and interrupts paths and trajectories. With her palette-knife Emanuela Franchin applies her paint, moulds and models it, excavates, removes, and adds to it. This is how her paintings are born, swept with material, transparencies, and delicate veils of paint. This is the way her creations come about, works that at times leave behind the naturalistic/landscape themes to become more considered and self-contained, more intimate and psychological, by transforming themselves into genuine interior visions, emotive palpitations, into the mysterious and secret voices of the human soul. And then the paint, applied in great quantities in order to be modelled and moulded, also takes on a symbolic and significant aspect. It becomes a metaphor for life, for the slow and inexorable flow of time, and her palette-knife strokes penetrate the material to cause incisions, wounds, and trajectories that allude without a shadow of doubt to the mysterious and imponderable existential paths that mark the destiny of us all.

She lives and works in Vigonovo.

Her first steps in the world of painting were undertaken during a two-year course of drawing. Later she was to meet successful artists who were to introduce her to the world of art, and who shared with her the artistic expression she was developing. Her first master was Maurizio Piovan, from the Veneto area, who taught her about the use of colour. She then leaned much from Mario Salvo, from the Roman area but of international fame, who taught her what was to be a genuine and radical technical and stylistic change: the use of the palette-knife. She took her leave of the figures and still-lifes which had been her first ventures into painting, though without turning her back on her basic naturalistic layout which, in fact, she continued to cultivate as a result of the long and disciplined education in colour that she had received.

The palette knife, a key to her work, allows her to obtain spatial effects through layers of colour, light and subtle veils that, superimposed on each other reveal the depth the painter was developing together with her different appreciation of light. The colours shine and are invested with infinite gradations, conferring beauty on the image: reds and greens in particular – which, as is known, Paolo Veronese favoured above all other colours – live together in a complicit exchange with soft and varied blues in a total system worthy of the most authentic Venetian tradition. Mario Salvo, an expert in the use of the palette knife, says of her: “Impalpable veils are opposed to modelled palette-knife strokes, full of strength and vigour, where the impasto of the material melds with the canvas to create a form. It is in this way that her works, generated by the fusion of many colours, pulsate with an intellectual experience through dark forms that intersect with a fractured light composed of a myriad hues and half-tints making the work deeply emotional”. Among her numerous important bibliographical references, mention should be made of the Catalogo dell’Arte Moderna published by Editoriale Giorgio Mondadori.

Emanuela Franchin learned the use of the palette knife from a Roman master, one quite well known both nationally and internationally. Of Venetian origins, she at once engaged with the landscape, as the noble Venetian tradition might have suggested to her, but a landscape with its natural lineaments transfigured by light and colour. Her skill with her means, acquired through tireless exercises, was purposely employed on her underlying inspiration, and it ended up displaying a total comprehension of light’s structuring function; this she transposed into a pictorial dimension through the lightest and most transparent veils of colour: applied one on top of the other, they suggest depth. “Veils” of colours are not, though, a modern invention, having been introduced by one of the most enigmatic of Venetian Painters: Zorzi da Castelfranco, known as Giorgione, who lived in the fifteenth century. Later employed by Titian and Paolo Veronese, this technique was to remain a central column for good painting even, and above all, in our own times. It should be kept in mind that these past painters did not use a palette knife but a brush, and this is a detail that is anything but ignorable because the use of the palette knife makes it far more difficult to create those thin layers that are known as “glazing” or “veils”.

Emanuela Franchin demonstrates, not only an excellent knowledge of the ancient and most refined art of painting, but also a technical ability that distinguishes her from other contemporary artists. This is because she has taken to heart the teaching of the past and adapted it to modern procedures for her own artistic vision, one that is increasingly modern and credible. The colours, in fact, glow and take on infinite, modulated gradations, thus conferring excellence on her images, as is inherent in her artistic heredity. Reds and greens, as is well known, were the favourite colours of Veronese, and they live together in reciprocal complicity, together with soft and variegated blues, in a tonal system worthy of the most authoritative painting tradition of all time: the Venetian one.

This work pinpoints the painter’s impeccable Venetian sensitivity, one transmitted through her DNA to the palette where there is a place only for creamy and luminous colours. These, as in the painting reproduced her, have been obtained as a result of their particular gradation, an intermediate between red and orange, one that can exist only in the eyes of a Venetian: the light of Venice is responsible for those new transparencies that model the colours, matching them to the atmospheres suggested by the setting.

The artist, as has been said elsewhere, was the pupil of one of the greatest existing contemporary experts in the use of the palette knife, someone from whom she learned and made her own the technique of layering superimposed veils of colour, the strong point of the Roman master Mario Salvo. But this tool, applied to this fine example of Venetian painting, has reached surprising results by leading the eye of the observer towards spaces that are infinite, and unreachable… unless by the iridescent imagination of the person who conceived them.

NASCITA DI UN PENSIERO 2011 olio a spatola 100 x 100 cm

cromatics by Emanuela Franchin

Impalpable layers contrast with plasmatic strokes of the spatula, imbued with strength and vigour, where the matter of the paste blends with the canvas taking shape. "Rupi veneziane", generated by the fusion of multiple reds, offers an intellectual experience through forms of tonal shadows that intersect a nodule of light faceted by a myriad of hues and half-hues with skilful and luminous glazes, both decisive and mischievous, that embellish the work and fill it with emotion. The soft and sinuous sprouts of the palette knife in "Vibrazioni 2" and "Oltre l’orizzonte" create a sublime effect where the metal instrument advances and melds the chromatic masses, inevitably generating new colours, partly desired, partly unintentional, creating a growing pathos.

These stratigraphies, chromatically difficult to create because they conceal three or more underlying colours, make the work as emotionally marvellous as it is unique in its conception. "Awareness" is of fundamental importance, where the "wounds" and "scars" of life, that over time cover the vital vibrations leaving signs on its surface, frame an imaginary galaxy, chromatically created through the spatula technique of an expert artist with an almost impossible instrument. At its centre, a vortex to reaffirm that life is inexorably sucked into the ephemeral reality.

Chromatic Vibrations

I’ve always asserted and firmly believed that encounters in life never happen by chance. It was her marvellous strength of mind and love for Art which loudly called and led me towards her.

Born in a humble and honest family, Emanuela soon had to face her father’s averse character : tireless worker, he almost did not understand (and supported) her colourful perception of the world , believing her attitude to be foolish and elusive or, at least, not suitable to a woman who was not to waste her time and money.

During a recent full –immersion summer spent in Rome to practice slice in Art, I immediately understood that the person I had just known was a gorgeous artist, undoubtedly trained from the basic steps and filled with an irrepressible desire to learn : she is always ready to improve her artistic know-how with further professional experiences. And so I found a lively, attentive person, going to get shaped into a new identity…

I experienced with enthusiasm the creation of a myriad of colourings blended with a slice on a crystal palette mirroring the sky. We started from clear and strong colourings : accurate and defined contrasts among shapes of light and shade. Then we soon passed to brand new chromatic elaborations , apparently emotional and spontaneous , actually enriched by wise hazes.. Believe me, it’s like a festival of warm multifaceted colours lying on a suggestive painting of such beautiful apples, that you’d feel the pleasure to taste them just by staring at it…

I lived day by day Emanuela’s growth of enthusiasm, who gradually stored away her past pictorial establishment and saw the realization of her new artistic three-dimensionality ,the one she has been long looking for, much wider, much deeper, much more evolved. The scenery consists in a vital space of imaginary escape between intimate interpretation and visual reality where the chromatic blend survives vegetating in its natural colours. A veiled and leaden sky over a turbid sea, tenuously frames around the strength of Nature’s proper colours.

Through the game of the fate, the old style turns into a growing new one. A concrete development, colourful and lyrical, solid and positively structured ,firm in the values and contents expressed through the shapes and the fruits of Nature. Examples of tradition, of centenary history and inner peace witness a past, colourful existence.

I was enchanted to observe the realization [within a fairy-tale patch of pink and lilac] of a very unique painting of tomatoes composed of simple and pure pigments, voicing intimate growth and knowledge.

Everything seems so real that you hardly realize to live throughout a magic dream, the colourful one of Emanuela Franchin.

It’s the expression of the character, the mind, the heart of the lyric and intimate values of the artist.

The Character, as passion, determination and strength of mind, clearly paraphrases the meaning of peppers placed into a complex scenery, almost metaphysical but at the same time essential.

The contrast is sharply defined between space equilibra. Her Mind, as concreteness and pulsing elaboration, spreads out through the creation of material masses.

Heart, meaning delicacy, lyrics, love and sweetness all represented by the features of a background always in movement.

Intervista del 07 Maggio 2010 alla inaugurazione della Mostra Personale di Emanuela Franchin presso la Terrazza Barberini (ex Scuderie) di Palazzo Barberini, Roma (dal 07/05/2010 al 31/08/2011).