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Chi Semina Vento

Francesco Cima

Via dei Sassetti 1, Florence, Italy
October 13, 2023 – November 14, 2023

Francesco Cima, Dark Souls, 2023, Oil on canvas, 70 7/8 x 55 1/8 in 180 x 140 cm
Francesco Cima, Nuvolo d'oro, 2023, Oil on canvas, 70 7/8 x 55 1/8 in 180 x 140 cm
Francesco Cima, Posto Felice, 2023, Oil on canvas, 15 3/4 x 19 11/16 in 40 x 50 cm
Francesco Cima, Crosta Terrestre, 2023, Oil on canvas, 98 7/16 x 78 3/4 in 250 x 200 cm
Francesco Cima, Chi Semina Vento, 2023, Oil on canvas, 55 1/8 x 70 7/8 in 140 x 180 cm


Francesco Cima (b. 1990, Pietrasanta) graduated in visual arts at Academy of fine arts in Venice in 2019. He currently lives and works in Venice.

"Earth's crust, Earth's crust!" we exclaimed from the second-floor window. As we announced the name of the newborn painting, our audience consisted of a fleet of ambulances and a few bored kids. Summer is drawing to a close, and the curtain falls day by day, faster and faster. The preparations for the exhibition are nearly complete. The oratory of Stiava, Francesco's hometown, has served as an unusual venue for catechesis for several months now, where creation is no longer just a myth but permeates the air with the scent of oil and turpentine. Among the disciples of this brand-new testament, you can find the most curious citizens, fascinated by the presence of the painter in the flesh, eager to attribute a face and a name to him. Alternating between advice and exclamations "I thought it was a photograph!”, they have directly witnessed artistry, enjoying an inevitable intimacy in face of this apparition.

The exhibition space, as we know it, must be less than a frame. This is the compromise we have learned to make to allow the works to express themselves in their own voice. Whilst Munch screams, Francesco moves discreetly, blending the notes of his composition with the transparency of natural sounds. The new ascending scale, in fact, starts with a mild breeze that gradually transforms into a storm, creating different harmonies based on what it touches.

In the case of his poetics, the landscape serves as a means to convey a precise emotion: nostalgia for the invisible. The mountain ranges and prairies are merely vehicles to channel and restore a sense of distance, the detachment necessary to face our thoughts and events with clarity. Essentially, it is through the relationship we establish with infinite horizons that we become aware of our limits, relishing the sensation of being fully present in our bodies while simultaneously reaching towards something more distant and profound.

Cima’s stylistic choice represents a zenith after years of experimentation including abstraction. While color could be seen as a complete language, here, color operates within a strictly spatial dimension. By combining the power of color with the force of realism, his painting engages all our senses, influencing our perception of both space and time. Figurative language makes room for intuition, an effective mediation that serves to truncate the time required to impose a message with spontaneity.

An interesting explanation of the relationship between landscape and painting is provided by Georg Simmel, a German sociologist and philosopher who lived at the turn of the 20th century. In his short essay Die Landschaft, Simmel suggests that nature has no parts; instead, it is recognized by us as the unity of a whole. In contrast, the landscape exists as a result of delimitation, a demarcated space within the broader natural environment, and constitutes a complete, self-sufficient vision. Therefore, nature, by its very definition, deters individuality and is transformed into the confines of landscape only through the gaze of humans. By severing the threads that connect individual elements to the world (whether they be trees, mountains, or glimpses of rivers), we are given the opportunity to reconnect them to create a new uniqueness, just as the painter does with his work. Thus, quoting Simmel directly: "Where we actually see landscape and not just a sum of isolated natural objects, we have a work of art in statu nascendi (the state of being born)."

Isn't it easier to sustain Francesco's canvases this way? After all, they are the result of a blend of instincts guided by a trained critical sense. The work is already complete, the elements selected and seamlessly sewn together. All that remains is for us to relinquish our efforts and admire a composition delivered by expert hands.

Undoubtedly, our eyes will seek the landscape within the landscape and play with the shapes of leaves and roots, but that's a story for another time.

— Beatrice Timillero