‘The voyage of my mind was guiding me in all directions, inside and outside, never one-way but always focused on fragments and emptiness.’ (G. Baruchello, quoted in https://elephantmag.com/5-questions-with-gianfranco-baruchello/ [Accessed 31/08/2016])
Over the course of his extensive career, Gianfranco Baruchello has explored a vast compendium of signs, ideas and concepts in his work, creating artworks which straddle the boundary between abstraction and figuration as they examine the relationship between the internal psyche and the external body. E se prendessimo trenta pittori... (What if we take thirty painters...), realized in 1977, perfectly encapsulates his unique artistic idiom. The large canvas appears as a white platform on which the artist freely composes a series of half sentences, floating words, broken concepts, scattered letters and scribbled images of animals, human beings, and architecture. Meticulously constructed, layer by layer, Baruchello’s work explores the mechanics of thought, tracing the paths of the artist’s ideas as they weave through the labyrinth of his mind. The title of the work refers to a legendary letter by Lenin, written in 1919 (which also partly appears on the canvas surface), in which the Russian leader proclaimed art to be the most revolutionary force in society. By appropriating this statement, Baruchello invites his viewer to reflect upon the power of art, and its original pure utopian value.