Behind the Curtains



“The first notable fact that surrounds visible space is its emptiness, a void through which objects move or in which they are contained[…]. Man becomes conscious of the void that surrounds him, conferring upon it a physical form and a form of expression”. S. Giedion


The Flat presents Behind the Curtains, the second solo exhibition of works by Paolo Cavinato.

An exhibition that transcends spatial concepts so as to investigate the rapport between solids and voids.

Through a variety of expressive styles, Paolo Cavinato creates multi-sensory spaces in which images of reality converge as rational constructions and emotive projections.

The artist’s research begins with a representation of physical spaces that provide the location for a hypothetical recreation of absolute form, pulling the spectator’s gaze into a series of optical realities.

In some works one finds synaesthetic spaces that can be lived or travelled through: spaces in which one’s senses are incited, superimposed or amplified. In others, one enters into a sort of limbo that bridges both the finite and infinite realm.

Thus space becomes a continual evolution, a Void. From that which can be transformed, suspended, eternally transient, Paolo Cavinato arrives at a representation of the absolute through a kind of infinitesimal mantra.


10 April - 9 June 2012


The Flat - Massimo Carasi
Sede Via Frisi 3 - Porta Venezia, Milan 20129, Italy
Information T +39 02 58313809


Paolo Cavinato: Behind the Curtains


Paolo Cavinato’s artistic expression seems to refer, even if only implicitly, to the philosophic reasoning according to which space and time are forms a priori. His works begins with space, necessarily includes time, and aims to reach the so-called fifth dimension, that of the spirit and  infinity. The artist begins his work in the objective, quantifiable world in order to arrive at something that goes beyond it, a higher level.

He constructs realistic, yet imaginary, places, playing with perception. Everyday objects become a part of an abstract, synthetic universe in which they assume a different meaning, and where space is composed, deforms and mutates continuously. The rational perception of forms in space allows him to study these elements’ position in detail so as to compose parallel universes through which he can project his own interior world. Thus, in his “research”, conceived as a unique imaginary room reproduced according to the four orthogonal projections, the black background behind the white luminous threads creates a sort of dark room, a threshold between perceived reality and its imaginary counterpart.  The space contained in his works is a mental space, while the objects that compose it are abstractions of real artifacts. Nothing is as it appears, everything is constantly questioned, set in limbo. 

Observing Cavinato’s works, the spectator finds himself subconsciously involved in an anamorphic game in which heterogeneous elements are composed, repeated and transformed, creating symmetrical, abstract places which are harmonious yet ambiguous, familiar yet strange, empty and ascetic. These non-places provoke a sense of expectation, of suspense.

Everything tends towards the infinite, towards an absolute, metaphysical dimension in which the I becomes eternal and embraces the true essence of being. This abstraction therefore begins in the concrete reality of the world around it, precarious, illusory, in continuous movement and subject to the future. The matter creates a flow that opens itself to time and expands in view of the infinite.

From the detail to the overview, from a module to a series, his universes contain elements of alchemy, religion, metaphysics, mathematics and geometry that, in his works, are harmoniously synthesised. The tradition of perspective so typical of Western culture meets the more two-dimensional and iconoclastic aesthetic of the Eastern world, defining a state of equilibrium that is open to multiple interpretations.

The world as we see it is nothing but the reflection of an ideal world that lies beyond the realm of perception. An invisible veil, a screen, divides these two worlds and his works present themselves as bridges, as imaginary, multisensory, multidimensional forms that can be felt and passed through.  The installations interact between themselves, and with the spectator, working through transparent levels, playing with the alternation of concrete and illusory elements to create imaginary projections that our senses are called to elaborate. The images defined in this way move continuously, summoning the fourth dimension and breaking through the divide, going beyond the frontiers of time and space.

The image assumes its own life and the I acquires a new consciousness of the self, art and life meet and nurture themselves in turn.


Elisabetta Bolasco






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