Fabrizio Orlandini - Life & Review
Fabrizio Orlandini was born in Lucca, Italy, in l953, where he completed his studies at the Art Institute
"A. Passaglia" with a diploma in sculpture. Afterwards, he frequented the Art Academy of Florence and the
gold-smithing workshops of Arezzo, Italy. For a brief period he taught at the Art Institute "S.Stagi" at Pietrasanta,
and there entered in contact with the best artesian traditions of the local marble workshops and bronze foundries.
He has parteciped to important international expositions and symposiums, including: Art Expo Bari, Bologna,
Padova, Art Fair Stockholm, International Art Competition New York, Lineart Gent Belgium, Expo Arco Madrid,
Europart Geneve Premium Italia for the Sculpture Paris, Contemporary Art Centre Schlkwijk Holland, S.I.A.C
Strasburgo, Australian Contemporary Art Fair Melbourne. His works can be found in numerous private collections
in Italy and abroad. His art work can seen at the Community seats of Lucca and Capannori, La Spezia, Civitella Valdi
Chiana(AR), Carrara, and in the Museum of Models and Molds of Pietrasanta, also in the Modern Art Collection of the
Hofstra University Museum of New York.
To contact him:
C. P. 348
55100 LUCCA ITALIA
Fabrizio Orlandini has the merit of transparency. He is an artist who does not hide behind a veil of pretense.
After twenty years of daily experience, he still puts into work the enthusiam of a novice. This enthusiasm is
communicated undiminished and denuded.In other terms, it is legible and transparent, even in the yielding of
tension, where I love to preceive comforting signals of residiual humanity, today, something that the so-called
"creative" demonstrates in being an able promoter of his own image.
As a counter balance, the Luccan artist expresses an ensemble of the analytic rigor of a designer, today
computerized, and the refined manuality of a craftsman, with a spirit that is somewhere between the the Bauhaus
and the Medieval artesian shop: from sculpture to gold-smithing: painting to drawing; from interior to graphic
designing, Orlandini has given multiple samples of his talent and personal curiosity for experimentation, which
have driven him to manipulate and combine (even in digital version) techniques and heteronomic materials, from
traditional to the most advanced.
His studio near Lucca evokes easily the twofold valence of Orlandini's artistic ability. The artworks attest to this
intersection and interaction - not without expressive friction and some formal enervation - of an inexhaustible,
impulsive activism, nourished by an overflowing imagination and antgonistic tendency towards order that governs
in a specific way the projective phase of the formative process, but resolves in the reduction of heraldic synthesis
of a music score, rather than in some form of functional rationalism. If I were to give a comprehensive definition of
Orlandini's artistic personality, after a quite attentive ricognition of his recent works, I realize that I could repeat
updated the consideration that I had done for the catalogue of the "Variations of the Imaginary" exibition
(Pietrasanta Italia 1987). On that occasion I wrote that he proceeds from natural to artificial, to explain that he
manipulates subjects, and elaborates "ad Arte" (by the rules), for an esthetic destination, thematic motives and
morphisms that they already possess in nature, their elementary formal identity.
In effect nature offers abundant starting points,materials and matrixes to a sculptor's studio.
Orlandini has taken up these starting points, but only to dismantle them and achieve a diverse sculptural intuition,
from those primary forms which were attained by Brancusi's genius in his anxiety to recuperate, for twentieth
century man, an essential breath drenched with magic and mystery.
That which in Brancusi is a reduction to the evocative essence, in young Orlandini becomes proliferation and almost
In the introduction to the catalogue of works from 1975 - 1990, between other punctual observations relating to the
formative ovoid masses, typical of the young period, of the anthromorphic "masks" and the Proteus form figures
of a vaguely enthnographic notion, professor Ernesto Borelli attibuted to "a relative and economic facility to trace the
forms depending upon the artist's own requirements "the predilection of large river stones on which the young
Orlandini vented his urgency to sculpt.
I would add that those smooth rocks must have exercised a certain fascination; already being a product - the results
of force which configures nature's generating virtue, like nuclei of cooled magma that englobes the primogenitive
potency of fire.
Gathering the suggestions of the synthetic forms found, or rather "created" by nature, Orlandini developes the theme
into more complex conformations, putting into action a barbaric and abundant imagination. This imagination has a
tendency to differentiate the organism's plasticity, multiplying by gemmation the volumes, expanding into desired
waves the incredibly tight nuclei. The forms are not simply positioned in fugue in space like the Baroque scores,
but rather turn back on themselves as though winding around an ideal center in order to determinate a closed
space, a compression of labyrinth-like mass inside the ideal perimeter of the origional form.
Rightly Borelli recognized traces of the griffin-like Mayan or Aztec divinities in that enveloping plasticity which finds
stone to be its own privileged material. Plasticity, or modelling, that from stone will later be translated, with the
consequent adaptations of form, into wood, marble, into plastic resin and eventual bronzes. Already in these first
manifestations, Orlandini's sculpture declares its vocation of artifice, or rather, a gathering of a natural theme as the
starting point for a morphogenesis which then follows new paths of undoubtable cultural relation in the
anthropological sense (masks and idols), and of the abstraction that the reference object undergoes. Orlandini has
greatly persued the path of abstraction, varying, even in modular terms, the original morphisms, sounding for potentials of a rich fan of applications and techniques. But for however advanced the level of simplification of the modeled masses into synthetic volumes; and in painting, the reduction of the score to a planimetry of chromatic fields united by the canvas in a net, schematic design - Orlandini has substantially remained anchored to a world of artistic values that implicate an archaic, and I would note, almost sacred, notion of nature as a place where the primary forces are manifested and interact.
This is demonstrated by the fact that he has continued to prefer, in an unlimited range of thematic possibilties, the
human figure and the horse. These are among the most ancient and sovereign subjects in the universal artistic
iconography, due to their anatomical and structural versatility, along with their statute of nobility in the hierarchy of
creatures due to the path which they followed together for an extensive historic period.
Symbolic figures of nature's creative force and intrinsic beauty, man and horse have offered Orlandini a rich
selection of creative possibilities. He has accented the dynamic structural components, constructing systems that
should be considered futuristic evolutions of intuitional, primeval cubism that marks the stone sculptures of the
l970's. Particularly rigorous on the composite plain, the scores are of an impeccable execution. I would say that they
are employed in the cult of manuality that effervesces from the conscientiousness from the gilding on the wood
polichrome, from the finish and patina on the smooth bronzes, in the limpidness of the use of acrylics and from the
perfection of the watercolors.
On the visual plain, a major control can be recognized. For example, the morphological profileration is much more
contained. The creative exitement that once was expressed in the redundancy of the organism's plasticity ,or
pictorically, now flows down in visionary sensation that is more fervid and imaginative.
The repertory of the fantastic is densified, derived from surrealism and a heraldic, neo-medieval symbolism. Man
and horse, already idols celebrated in stone, have become protagonists of stories and fables. Fused into these tales
is the legendary Medieval, which is expressed with a heraldic flavor in the chromatic fields - a fantastic dynamism
of a second Futurism- and a visual synthesis of animated design.
The human hand's ductility, now so refined as to desolve the most technical difficulty, consents Orlandini to vary,
regarding techniques or materials, his repertory of the fantastic. Works of art spring forth, in which motifs and
suggestions of different worlds intermix, here resolved with that taste of contamination and stylistic hybridization
which is an inclination of the post-modern.It is a time of epical transition, in which the artist's search is essentially
a reflection on the linguistic repertory and the forms expressed by the civilizations and cultures that the imformatic
system renders present and equally "active" in our images of the imaginary.
Art Historian and Critic