Franca Pisani (Grosseto, 1956)
Painter, sculptor, performer, Franca Pisani made her début in the field of conceptual art with the Album Operozio project (1976-78): a 6-issue book collecting thoughts, sketches and drawings by numerous artists, translated by Pisani into stamps. In this project, as in the slightly later Manumissio, as opposed to the pure abstraction that characterises other contemporary artistic experiences, Pisani seeks a way of concretely expressing and preserving evidence of a specific individuality, precisely with the physical artefact that remains as a trace.
From the end of the 1970s and for more than two decades, the artist voluntarily distanced herself from the public scene. She returned to exhibiting in the early 2000s. Her production, which ranges from paintings, sculptures, installations, fashion design and applied art objects, is characterised by an elegant and repeated mark, traced in chromatic contrast on the variously monochrome background of her compositions: a veritable script with which Pisani composes, from work to work, an existential diary, in which human and vegetable forms are created or unravelled precisely thanks to this incessant gestural movement.
From such a monochrome background, furrowed by white marks, emerges the Self-Portrait painted in 2013 and donated to the Uffizi Galleries on the occasion of the exhibition Dietrofront. The Hidden Side of Collections (curated by G. Giusti, 17 December 2013 - 2 February 2014). In this work, Franca Pisani represents herself with two faces, enclosed in a Plexiglas box (a way of performing, but protecting herself). After a long journey and maturation, past and present, private and public, body (as an external appearance) and soul (the artist’s intimate feeling), are rediscovered and placed in harmonious balance with the natural world from which everything comes, and to which everything returns: this is testified by the organic materials (oxide and terracotta pigments) used to compose the work on canvas. The past, her own personal experience, are not denied, far from it: having finally conquered her path, certain of herself and of her being a woman, and an artist, Pisani shows here, without hesitation and with a face that is finally serene, her double soul: on the back, the shroud of what she has been; on the front, her current condition, finally free and ready for a new happy artistic season.
Dietrofront. Il lato nascosto delle collezioni, catalogo della mostra, a cura di Giovanna Giusti, Gallerie degli Uffizi, Sala delle Reali Poste, 17 dicembre 2013 - 2 febbraio 2014, Firenze 2014.