Marcello Pirro - 23.07.2008
….thus these Calvinian landscapes unravel, apparently simple but extremely complex, ample, blocked. At the same time entropic and extropic, and within the harmony of the landscape, empathetic. Toni goes back to the noble Veneto landscape tradition and to Cadorin. But also to Mondrian as an instrument of analysis, adopting flat mathematical planes: realistic or abstract? This is why, when looking at his paintings, we cannot speak of abstractionism or realism; the secret line which links the spaces with a sort of sortilege is difficult to catalogue and yet so in keeping with the fertile linguistic operation which his landscapes contain.
It has nothing in common with the opulent landscape of southern Veneto. It is difficult to understand whether the landscape is seen from above as in an areal photo or whether it is an innermost landscape.
It is the Asolo landscape, always, always identical and yet different, always, always simplified, confusing reality with dreams. In examining his painting he could say this is where so and so lives and this is a certain place, an up to date cartographer and competent painter, for, working on the landscape implies also working on oneself.
His paintings contain literary references. Previously, in citing Calvino and his light manner full of intense pleasures, I forgot to mention Kafka and his gravity. Is Toni Gallina’s painting cultured? Yes, undoubtedly.
If it is true that art is attained in painting, his is art in the widest sense. Toni Gallina is an artist, and of great quality.
Stefano Cecchetto - Venezia, 6-10-2010
The tradition of the landscape
Travelling through the gently sloping hills of Asolo on our way to Antonio Gallina’s studio, the landscape is rich with reminiscences of art: from the soft undulating lines of Gino Rossi and Gigi De Giudici, to the more complex introspective research to be found in the modernist signs of Armando Pizzinato.
After thirty years Antonio Gallina resumes painting to look into a landscape which has been clearly modified: the structural breakdown of his landscapes refers to poetic chromatisms which overcome their limits towards a geometric dimension which becomes a stage. The natural landscape is completely contained within a language tending towards the forms and colors of nature itself; his imperfect geometries allow the artist to overcome the hurdle of an academic realism and to find the quiet comfort of nature within the signs of his daily experience.
Antonio Gallina is conscious that the landscape has changed radically, and with it its aesthetic representation, but if the artist’s responsibility is to take part in research and experimentation aimed at widening the limits of knowledge, his precise testimony to this evolutionary project appears to constitute the poles of a pictorial radicalism which tends to the origin, to the primeval and last matrix of the visible.
Everything moves and changes, life germinates, grows, dies and is reborn; consequently, in painting immobility does not exist; what does exist is the confirmation of a gesture which aims at maintaining the memory within a process of innovation of existence; what is perceived is a natural gift which in his paintings reveals the candor and the gravity of a serene melancholy.
In Antonio Gallina’s paintings space and time are similar to a river in which all appearances change and dissolve, colors flow into other colors, forms annul each other, only to reappear – identical- in a new shape.
His is a clear view, an observation point which looks at the present with a labyrinthine vision, in which combinations melt harmoniously and in which the eye loses itself in the mystery of life and things. His landscapes are quiet, but by no means silent; on the contrary, they are generally a shock, an impetuous gush of wind which blows and disrupts our certainties.