I would like to be able to proclaim the sweetness of arranging the ecstatic and motionless souls on the canvas, the immobile and silent things, the long gazes, the deep and clear thoughts, the life of joy and not of vertigo, the life of pain and not of exertion (Felice Casorati)

In times afflicted by violent and vulgar images, Silvia Patrono’s canvases finally suggest the naturalness of everyday values. Normality. Silence. The space of thought.
A sort of eulogy of the intimacy that evokes Vermeerian suggestions.
A feminine world, where physical suspension is accompanied by mental suspension, made of uncertainty and apprehension; the moods are more often relevant to feminine sensitivity. A gentle state of immobility, corporeal and emotional, which dampens everything that is accidental, referring it to the thought and works of Felice Casorati, as it appears in the flat colour that creates the volume.
Despite the delicate vagueness of the aim and the chromatism of the palette, her art is very intense and engaging. A painting that reflects itself, condensed in an almost enchanted sense of time.
In an era where women’s dignity is constantly violated, sometimes by women themselves, by two sides of an identical coin – the burka vs the exposed body- the woman in Silvia Patrono’s work inevitably finds her due and indispensable respect in the simplicity of the décor.

Francesca Bottacin

Ricercatrice Università degli Studi di Urbino - Storia dell'Arte Moderna

Solitary female figures inhabit the canvas as ethereal creatures: sweetness, grace, fragility and introspection describe, in the work of Silvia Patrono, a delicate femininity, evoked by extreme modesty through timid flashes of vanity. A clip in the hair, the red nail polish, and the flowers on the dress lead us to another world from the real dimension of the painting, where the chromatic material outlines a primary emotion. Dreamy looks show the viewer the deep meanders of the female psychology imbued with thoughts and moods that the artist herself transports into her paintings where, quite often, she portrays herself. Silvia knows her characters; she merges them in a delicate descriptive particularism that shatters the physicality to linger, instead, in their essence. The predominance of soft colours, close to the evanescence of watercolour, takes us beyond the limits of our time and space towards the transcendentality of human thought.

The scene is often set inside surreal rooms where the presence of furniture only seems to be by chance, a simple pretext to present the character in a certain position or to suggest an interpretative direction of the work. Other times, however, the background is lost in a large surface of colours that completely depersonalises the place. The silence is dominant- even when more women meet, no conversation seems to develop between them. The reflection becomes so deep and the concentration is so impermeable to external impulses that nothing more exists except the confidential relationship with ourselves.


dal catalogo della mostra personale Diario, 2006

Silvia Patrono shows an initial adherence to the form of what is real, which, however, when being transposed on canvas, reduces itself to its very extremes, giving unexpected life to imaginative presences. In her latest works, the suspended and magical atmosphere - marked by the frequent appearance of an animal, almost always the dog - permeates the elements and contexts of everyday life with surreality, which thus reach a symbolic expression, multiplying hidden and parallel truths that are never fully unveiled.

Her paintings remain hanging in the enigma of silence, forcing the observer - curious - to that dreamy leap that necessarily takes them inside and beyond the painting; consequently imagining the continuation of that scene that Patrono does not explain and does not carry out.

An apparently incomplete narrative that is charged instead with an underground act that dwells in ambiguity.

This aesthetic procedure undoubtedly recalls - also through the temperature of its colours - the two leading exponents of the New Leipzig School, Rosa Loy and Neo Rauch. The enigmatic artists paint scenes with disturbing narrative plots reminiscent of rebuses, where every gesture and every object refers to a word or action not expressed, but whose underlying violence we perceive. The tone of the colour is also enigmatic.

Così è per Patrono che in alcune “scene” è molto prossima anche ai meccanismi narrativi del pittore Balthus.

Her work exhales an ancient breath that entangles us into mythical capsules. For example, let us take the large canvas entitled ‘Rapsodia fiorita’ (Rhapsody in bloom) A woman dressed up in flowers, shrubs and ivy is half hidden behind a tree, while a young deer behind her hurries away. The woman seems to merge and become one with the tree.

The theme of the woman/tree is a mythical constant, and the whole scene, so enveloped in blinding light, seems to suggest a mythological pillar of which the philosopher Pierre Klossowsky, brother of the painter Balthus, has extensively written (see Diana's bathroom).

Diana is the goddess of the hunt. The myth tells that the Goddess is taking a bath naked. It is midday, the light is blinding, Actaeon reaches the thick of the woods with his dogs to hunt deer. Here, the unfortunate man has the audacity to see the Goddess who, whilst naked, is taking a bath. Diana punishes his curious and inappropriate gaze by turning him into a deer. Actaeon is hunted and mauled by his own dogs.

The vision of the Goddess is a breach of a taboo. This myth explains how God is not to be looked at, and by observing the painting by Patrono, we note in fact that the female presence is hidden by nature; which repairs it and preserves it. She keeps her intimate secret to herself.

All the female presences exhibited in this selection of works chosen for the temporary ‘L’ora del lupo’ (The hour of the wolf) are confidential and secret. Young women strictly dressed and accompanied by an animal, usually the dog.

The dog, which is the symbol of fidelity, turns into a wolf in the painting ‘Suspension’. A clear sign of how the intimate, hidden and underground part of femininity is not only reassuring, faithful and tame. ather, it instead conceals a secret, animalistic and ferocious nature. RAt the same time, it is noble and proud, like that totemic wolf who is a guiding animal, a divinity himself, an ally and guardian of the inviolable intimacy of femininity.

Barbara Codogno

Giornalista, critica d'arte e scrittrice

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