I don’t remember when I started painting the Minipaintings. They came about in the early seventies as a counterpart to very large works I was producing, to capture in my mind the size of the surface I paint on as a crucial factor of my practice.
Over the years, they have evolved in various manners. Many exhibitions of the Minipaintings have been held worldwide, also because I can carry a whole exhibition in a suitcase. Strangely, each single Minipainting demands a large wall space, often more than a larger work would. Instead of the painting being hung on a wall, it’s a wall activated by the painting.
Most Minipaintings consist of a thin canvas stretched on a thick block of plywood more or less the size of a hand. In this new ‘Twain’ group, after staining the canvas with a faint wash which is seen from the sides, I apply masking tape to divide the face of the painting and with a palette knife I spread thick paint on the left or upper half. After removing the tape I spread a different color on the other half, fastidiously coming as near as possible to the first half but leaving a hair of a gap between them. Finally I apply as small as I can dots of the color of one side onto the other and vice versa – a kind of territorial exchange. The contrast between the two fields of color is answered by the almost invisible presence of the dots.
I do not send messages. I offer my work to whoever passes by and feels like stopping and watching. Nothing is fortuitous, although it sometimes seems so. The exchange with the viewer takes place in a historical context surrounding it. Nevertheless, because there are no fixed conventions, the variables of this exchange are endless, they cannot be explained or rather they can be made clear only partially and always in a different perspective. If you will ask visitors what they see in this exhibition, you will hear all sorts of opinions, extremely different versions of reception — a wonderful and always renewed Creative Misunderstanding. I say something and you understand a completely different thing. In this way, we do not die of boredom….