The memory of paper

Pino Guzzonato Born in 1941, Pino Guzzonato lives and works in Acquasaliente, on the hills of Tretto di Schio, in the province of Vicenza. In his home-studio, he has been experimenting with the most diverse art techniques for several years. But it is with paper that he has found an entente so deep as to allow him to translate matter into poetry.

Ferena Lenzi

In Pino Guzzonato, experimentation - requiring hypotheses, intuition and a spark of curiosity - and contamination - implying freedom, authenticity and a child’s way of looking at things - merge in creating paper, the material all his works are made of. Like in the hands of Demiurge, straw, rags, petals, tealeaves, hemp are transformed into handmade paper on which words, stories and melodies come to rest with the lightness of a feather. The papers he makes allow experiencing porous surfaces and the perfume of cellulose, a paste made from rags and wood, while watermarks appear from a backlight and imprints sculpt out modern fossils. The material undergoes a twofold transformation process through Pino’s artistic work, that director-writer Ermanno Olmi acknowledged as «configured to the voices of the creatures that do not utter words but express themselves through the color of the fields and the perfume of the air».

HENCE IT IS NOT SURPRISING THAT THE ARTIST TURNED THE FORMER CARPENTRY WORKSHOP OF ACQUASALIENTE, on the hills of Tretto, in the Municipality of Schio (Vicenza), which for decades had been left to the songs of birds and the rustling of the stream, into a place where to build his laboratory-atelier and attached house. The name Aquasaliente means “water flowing upstream” and evokes the strength of its springs that gush upwards from the bowels of the earth, in opposition to the principle of gravity. But Acquasaliente is not just an isolated location immersed in a thick forest vegetation. It is in itself a dimension that, in virtue of a secret force of attraction between special people and unique locations, induces anyone who visits into a state of almost nostalgic estrangement. Hearth and creative space appear totally permeated with the surrounding nature, unchanging and yet moving. And so the papers made by the artist blend in with the chameleons, crows and warriors sculpted in iron and steel, with works in granite and volcanic stone, with abacuses and spheres and columns in Plexiglas while the machines of the ancient factory works bear witness to the industriousness of times gone by.

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