Composition en blanc
1987
Matériaux et médiums mixtes
Mixed media
61 x 51 x 6,5 cm

















L'automne
1969-1970
Huile sur panneau
Oil on panel
51 x 61 cm


Composition
1998
Matériaux et médiums mixtes
Mixed media
122 x 91,5 cm


Sans-titre
1998
Médiums mixtes
Mixed media
76 x 61 cm


Montage avec «T»
1984-1985
Matériaux et médiums mixtes
Mixed media
51 x 41 x 4 cm



When eviscerated corpse is made brimming flesh, (Composition no 1, 1979-1980), it gives rise to biomorphic, cellular swarming, an organic vitality of spasmatic vigour. Scalloped envelope, open coat, its contours retained by ropes to better delineate it, contain its potential emptying. At the limits of order and chaos. Then, if “the tear is not to be retorn,”(1) the paintings, skins, fabrics edged with threads, recall the suture’s temptation to repair, hold together, mend what is torn. But this appeal soon transforms into the display and enveloping of the absent body laid beneath the shroud, whether made of whiteness or obscurity (Composition en blanc, 1987).

Working through such polymorphous practices, painter Joseph Giunta manifests the feeling of Einfühlung, experienced as the need for self-activity or the relinquishing of self, projecting his entire interior being so as to produce a scene of vital feeling.(2) This artistic desire, animated by a vitalist dynamic, would indeed be read, in Giunta’s trajectory, from his early work to the present. Hence, from a retrospective point of view, one is clearly able to perceive the work’s transformations transpiring through the progressive affirmation of movement towards “the thing in itself”, towards a “clear material individuality”, and in the same progression, abandoning the model in its phenomenality, the model of nature, its subjectivity and the arbitrariness of appearing. As well, in this alternation between expressing the vital feeling, the “play of cosmic alternation of phenomena”, and the tendency to abstraction, Giunta gradually frees himself from the prevalence of atmospheric space (scenes, landscapes) and subjective phenomenality, reaching towards construction, the individuation of the objective, plastic fact. Did Worringer not see in the original artistic impulse, “in the quest for pure abstraction”, the “only possibility for rest within the confusion and obscurity of the image of the world”(3)?

Another play of alternation between chromaticism and value, where the work is deployed, on one hand, through iridescence, in the image of the gaudy world, according to an orgiastic dimension of colour (Fleurs, 1968), and in its lyrical effusions (L’automne, 1969-1970); on the other hand, a grey scale passing between poles of white and black, from light to dark, in ceaseless oscillation. This scale of varying grays, between lightness and darkness, may indicate a moment of stasis, affective deceleration, in a sort of neutral point located at the borders of pleasure and grief, desire and renunciation, the waiting space between two doors the painter dares not open. Into this register of greys are introduced the reliefs of old stones, antique walls, figures erased by time, vertigos/vestiges, of which only approximations remain. Kinds of talismans, cabalistic signs, inviting magic, camouflaging the secrecy, the temporality, the evanescence of all things. (Composition no 1/85, 1985; Composition, 1998).

Responding to spasms of the body in turmoil, shattered territories appear on the paintings (Peinture sur relief, 1989), displacing their tectonic plates, their seismic jolts, like the marked unfurling of silent flags (Sans titre, 1998). Spliced beaches, a sedimentation of superimposed layers that slide prone yet restless, animated by oscillating movements, vibrations nevertheless infused with slowness (Noir et blanc, 1985-1986; Montage avec “T”, 1984-1985). Monuments of the earthly body tremble on bark-like canvas, made thicker by dull or vivid material, and activate intensities, speeds, densities. Within the cyclical alternation between poles, one sometimes sees a black hole, the black lake of grief and annihilation, the depth that haunts the surface like a fateful destiny (Ocre, rouge et noir, 1971), a sort of mirror of stagnant obscurity. Here and there in the play of surface and depth, one feels the attachment to the painting’s support, but also the wild desire to detach from it, rise up, gain thickness and relief – thereby to elude pure visibility and penetrate the corporeal and tangible field.

Another transition soon occurs, departing from the planes and stratifications of the painting’s surface towards constructions, where the painter arranges receptive spaces of the most heterogeneous things. These constructions, working from the idiosyncratic drips that bind them together and their way of blending scattered elements through raised materials, edges, folds, paradoxically make themselves spatially indivisible and plastically cohesive. The need to join enclosed, mutually isolated cells (Montage sur fond vert, 1979) becomes imperative – a need to bind amongst themselves so many nidifications, distributed separately over the painting’s surface, and thus effect the visual and plastic splices so crucial to partitioning. An attempt to connect what is out of tune, to measure the distance between dispersed, distended bodies, be they empty or emptying onto the surface, sometimes as thin as a fine layer of paper.


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Composition no 1
1979 - 1980
Matériaux et médiums mixtes
Mixed media
122 x 91,5 x 8,5 cm

















Fleurs
1968
Huile sur panneau
Oil on panel
61 x 46 cm


Composition no 1/85
1985
Matériaux et médiums mixtes
Mixed media
51 x 101,5 cm

Peinture sur relief
1989
Matériaux et médiums mixtes
Mixed media
41 x 51 cm

Ocre, rouge et noir
1971
Matériaux et médiums mixtes
Mixed media
51 x 40,5 x 1 cm

Montage sur fond vert
1979
Matériaux et médiums mixtes
Mixed media
30,5 x 40,5 x 4 cm

 

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