A rewiew by Vittorio Sgarbi
The human landscapes of Lucio Diodati reveal the deep roots of artistic trends that had occurred in the first half of the last century.
However, it is not easy to categorise this artist precisely, even if this might be achieved through a personal synthesis of some readings. His way of depicting and of trasforming the human character communicates a sense of late-expressionism, at least where his expression shows touches of critical irony, and perhaps even of amusement at the trasformations of the caracters presented.
His vision is strongly subjctive and goes behind the expressions on people's faces, pentrating the interlor being and scans a realitty that makes fun of itself. Overcoming the social realism that went against the grain of middle-class respectability in the period from the nineteen fifties to the nineteen seventies, he places his characters in a neutral setting.
They seem to partecipate in communal rituals but they don't talk to each other and they don't look each other in the eye. Everyone puts on a front, one alongside another, wearing personal masks that indicate a sense of social belonging, if not the hidden essence of a psychology that confines itself to the act of existence without disturbance.
Or perhaps these characters are only prepared to present an image of themselves which is smooth and safe. Another very particular aspect is his way of locating and high highlighting in the foreground the lives of these people who don't speak and who probably have only a limited ability to listen whilst portraying them at the same time without a background.
They are middle-class people with a sense of detachment, their long necks straining to listen to some strange sounds, polite policeman who are a bit cautious; people with weird hairstyles that speak volumes about the people that wear them; young people showing daring necklines that express femininity yet with a polite innocence.
The quality of the painting makes use of consciously atonal cuts but on deeper examination you can piece together the tones and counter-tones, the contrasting shades and the vivid colours so that the whole work is presented in a really spectacular way, always illuminated by direct solar light.
Lucio Diodati tends to fill the space of the canvas with the fullness of cromatic volume, so that the bodies are defined concisely in geometric elements, that are almost cubist in shape.
Behind his figures there is empty space, apart from references to a horizzontal sea-line or to colourful backgrounds modulated in an abstract lay-out.
These backgrounds, wich cannot be decoded, serve to emphasise the stupefied expression of the human beings who seem to be waiting not only with their eyes but also with their whole torso. Their legs never seem to match as if they were in the close-up of a photographic image, a suggestion of some seemingly mysterious interlocutor.
These work make you feel bound to applaud the pictures wich show a theatrical style of images and, moderate, in an almost sweet way and with a strong sense of irony, the social game of appearances that is suspended by the thread of the problematic nature of the social situation.
In these picture there is also a particular type o realist taste, both in the accentuation of the bodies and in the accurate reconstruction of the clothing and of the accessories.
The recognition of the situation avoids, however, any narrative implications and the combination of these role-players leaves us in suspense with regard to possible questions about their creator's intentions.
Diodati does not appear at all disposed to announce any obscure ethical intentions behind the plot of these life scenes, which have been delibrately chosen to present only the evidence of his descriptive abilities. We receive and respond to his actions with great appreciation.