Milan, April 7th 2020
Patrizia Novello

After the high school I had no doubt about which way to go: the Academy of Fine Arts was the only possible way! Initially I enrolled in Decoration, but when, after a few weeks, as the new experimental course of Restoration of Contemporary Art started, I changed department. I was very interested in the studies on old and new materials, the scientific techniques applied to restoration, the historical and artistic investigations of the works and the “practical” intervention procedures. Parallel to my studies I have always painted and my mentor was Vincenzo Ferrari, my teacher and master.

After the Academy I looked for a studio in Milan, I had very clear ideas about what I wanted to do and I certainly could not paint in the bedroom that I shared with my sister at the time!

I have been working in this studio since 2004. Over time I changed rooms or walls to hang canvases and to paint; I like to think of it as a “fluid” space that adapts to the creative needs of the moment.

Then there is the London studio, which is mainly the place where I make engraving: there are the press, the tanks with acids, the inks, the paper… in short, everything you need to print!

Over the years my aesthetic research has changed radically: I started from an almost hyper-realistic type of figuration to get to an abstraction level in which the use of language is inserted today. I consider 2007 my “turning point” year when I focused on the way forward. It was when I truly understood that for me colourshapedesign and words have the same importance on the canvas. They are different means of communication and what interests me about words is their evocative power. I always say that I am not interested in giving answers, but rather in asking questions in my works, in my paintings.

I would define my relationship with colour as visceral, it belongs to my deepest emotional and irrational part. I had several long phases during which I painted with a single colour or with a restricted range. I investigate the possibilities that colour has of its own, it is like a love relationship: there are discovery, emotion, passion, discouragement, exaltation, challenge, limit. And similarly to how love sometimes runs out, that is when I change the palette.

I have not been in the studio for about a month. In this suspended and complex time, I have been reviewing folders and notes for projects that are either completed or unaccomplished or still in an embryonic phase. I am in a “listening” phase, I let the ideas settle down.

My books, biographies, essays, manuals, catalogs, atlases, are the faithful friends of all time, precious workmates. During the isolation they have transformed into real physical and material presences: Hans Memling and Tracey Emin, Lorenzo Lotto and Agnes Martin, Samuel Beckett and the Chinese terracotta army. With them I get lost in unknown lands in an infinite journey between past and present.

This post is also available in: Italian