Matteo Pacini

Andrea Pinchi, Domenica Regazzoni:
A duet in the matter of music

In music the Duet is a composition for two performers, either singers or instrumentalists, which assigns parts of equal weight to each of them but in the playful character of the ending also indicates a well-matched pair. This, then, is the most apt term for the title of an exhibition that couples two artistic personalities - who, though very different, at the same time share an affinity - with the precise purpose of capturing a dialogical harmony of poetics with a common denominator: music.

What was defined ironically by Dante Regazzoni, Domenica’s father and a master lute-maker of international renown, as a “family illness” refers to a passion for music that involved all the members of the family. Domenica, too, was infected by it but expresses her love for music as a figurative artist rather than as a musician, that is to say, by seeking to give material expression to sound through matter that has been modelled and shaped. A painter by vocation, she approaches her compositions initially by expressing herself in drawings and watercolours. Then, as often happens in the course of the evolution of a work of art, the form becomes abstract, the poetics come together, and the necessity imposes itself of adopting a three-dimensional format, first in the form of collages of materials and then in the form of sculpture. Travel abroad and collaboration with important figures followed frequently in these years in which Domenica engaged with poetry, engraving and Eastern cultures. Music, however, was always present, and the celebration of her father’s work still continues today with “an aesthetic sensibility that (…) is not only plastic but at the same time visual, ornamental and acoustic”, as Gillo Dorfles notes. The Lombard artist approaches the theme of the “destruction” of the nineteenth-century art object by dismantling, shaping, superimposing and gluing together parts of violins. She transforms the object of the work of art into subject, and through this deconstruction gives new life and a new identity to her father’s compositions.

From childhood Andrea Pinchi has cultivated a passion for art in a discreet fashion. For years he kept out of the limelight, devoting himself fully as an organ-builder to his ancient and famous family activity along with his grandfather and his father, Guido. The fascination of the structural complexity of the organs he constructed or restored a voice to after centuries of silence induced him even as a boy to ponder the allurement of such ancient materials as bellows, oxidized paper, sheets of lead, pieces of fifteenth-century wood and animal skins, residues of the production or restoration of these majestic machines. In these discarded materials imbued with history and aesthetic value the work which would emerge from them may already be glimpsed. That is how the compositions are born on backgrounds that are often monochrome, “testifying to the second life of accessories that have lost their original purpose” (Maurizio Coccia). Accumulating by day and composing by night, Andrea Pinchi has created works of art over the years, with the help of his mentors Nereo Ferraris and Aurelio De Felice and through observing and studying the great figures in the history of art, strong in the support of his aunt Maria Pia (a fundamental figure in his cultural and artistic development). Only recently has Andrea decided to exhibit his works, beginning a journey that in a short time has brought him recognition and appreciation both in Italy and abroad.

Although Domenica Regazzoni and Andrea Pinchi have followed paths through life that are manifestly different, they have in common an atavistic link with a musical background. In both of them there is a powerful necessity to safeguard through art the memory of the phases of construction of musical instruments, recuperating the components in a dimension that for both is more pictorial than sculptural. The fundamental concept is not that of the “dismembering” of the object as practised by New Realism (which angrily denounces the violence of the consumer society), but rather the accurate safeguarding of the components assembled and put together like colours on a palette. The result is thus an article of “contemplation” that reminds us of the intelligence contained in each object, the whole expressed through the musicality of the materials and the colours.