Previous future - notes for Luca Pasqualini, 2013, Nicola A. Manfredi

I am convinced that in the drawers there is a deposit of hidden works, accumulated over time, and that the ones we see now are nothing more than the result of an eruption due to the lack of space and the awareness that the time has come to show themselves. This artist is an enthusiastic neophyte of one of the rarest and most difficult religions to follow, that of engraved graphics.

The printing works, which were sea harbors beaten by engravers of all storms, today look more like abandoned stalls where the star wheels of the presses creak at the settling of the dust. But every now and then some good sailor, eager to gear up for unusual routes, arrives again: the ink shines again, all the equipment and experiences are back on the move, at the service of the last good arrived, today Luca Pasqualini.

The technical skill of this young engraver appeared complete and precise from the first moment, always aimed at the graphic idea. He likes schematic and geometric shapes but also random inaccuracies and elegant drawing. His aquatints and woodcuts have a tone of déjà vu, of flavors that perhaps have known each other but that we feel as new. There is an echo of Depero and of certain Munari collages, of Enzo Mari's wooden joints, of Capogrossi's stylistic features and chromatisms, in the whole of a figurative culture of applied art typical of the near past and combined with suggestions of the best graffiti artists. But the proposed iconography, these faces that contrast, repeat, contrast or follow each other, hieratic and astonished like Easter Island moai, bear the unmistakable signature of Pasqualini. These plays of primary and complementary colors in combination, although already tried many times, are his. His are the ideas of unusual formats and papers, his are the matrices which, after the use of printing, appear to be decorative and complex tangrams, objects ready for new and still unknown purposes.

Pasqualini moves in a whirlwind of graphic ideas, assimilates and re-elaborates every compositional memory and every suggestion, with his artistic approach, denying the opinion that engraving is only a slow practice of points and acids. Make excellent engravings at a running pace. And if the printer is not quick to follow him, he risks being supplanted by the machines of a fab lab. Which, as far as I'm concerned, I sincerely hope does not happen.