The artist's brushwork gives a sense of light that pushes colour to unexpected expressions, as if light came from his fiery desire, from a need that goes beyond any planning scheme. Thus, the artistic project is carried out and, as it takes shape, it generates more flashes and it raises comparative illusions which match reality. Only then does light express its contrasts, only then does the artist's brushwork choose an ephemeral pause before unveiling other surprises. In this way one stroke joins the next, through the unavoidable declaration of love for the object which has inspired it: a glimpse of the Mediterranean Sea, a corner of Lapland, a memory from the East, a trip to Nevada. Nes Lerpa succeeds in merging the emotions evoked by the images of distant places from one another, while spiritually converging in his brush stroke. The latter sweeps fast on the surface, tracing a truthful drive which belongs to the magical world of art, where there are no geographical frontiers when you evoke simultaneous stimuli at the right time. He manages to aknowledge and capture the amazement of discovery from each look. Thus, this exhibition, set in the ancient Castle of Rapallo, has the scent of all the times and places internalised in the impetuous creativity of this Danish artist. Other works of his, inspired by the same creative mood, are displayed in an exhibition in Reno, Nevada: this coincidence gives further reasons for considering and connecting the different settings caught by Nes's narrative talent. As a matter of fact, he is able to turn the wings of a flying butterfly into an intrincate work of pictorial allusions and perceptional illusions that follow a bright sunset. Or he unfolds the foggy veil of Piacenza hills, where he has his Italian residence, alternating with quick trips to Albissola, where he devotes himself and his colours to ceramics. All this takes place before going back to the Danish countryside, where he dives into other marine and greenery rapture . Admirably, he always finds himself in the recurring novelty of surprise. This enquiring and declarative behaviour lets us find out his inner path of truth -inaccessible otherwise,- by contemplating his paintings. The arid desert of Nevada, apparently emotionless, the changing shades of a Scandinavian forest, the rugged fascination of our Riviera, or the waning brownish-green mildness of some autumn landscapes, gather in his brush, which spreads sand on the colour, abundantly applied on his canvases, arranged on the floor, waiting for a further imprinting stroke. Now the flame caused by the flash of inspiration recurs as a liquid flame to be refined, guided, propped up and tempered through gentle tonality and pace. Then the first flame becomes a track, a trace, a path which is useful to the next step: it is the recurrent breath of life, waiting for what is coming. Indeed, when his works are arranged on the floor of his large studio or on the grass, outdoors, one next to the other, they are like the sheets of a kaleidoscopic tale, to be sorted out and reinvented every time, to be translated in an endlessly suspended time, with the regret of an undesired ending. As Borges wrote, "The sunset is always moving/ however gaudy or impoverished it is,/ but even more moving/ is that last, desperate glow/ turning the plain rust coloured/ once the sun has at last gone down." (1) The magical times of the Argentinian poet in Buenos Aires and Lerpa's endless space meet, merge and are reinterpreted in their communal desire to seize the invaluable essence of life, which is strangled by everyday routine. Only poets and artists are able to conceive such a complex undertaking. Therefore, Nes Lerpa's exhibition, linking Nevada and Rapallo, should not arouse astonishment or scepticism, but it should kindle the perceptive and cognitive interest of visitors.
Essay by Luciano Caprile
Art Critic, Genova, Italy
1) Jorge Luis Borges, "Afterglow" in "Fervore di Buenos Aires", "Borges. Tutte le opere", volume 1, I Meridiani, Mondadori Editore, Milan, 1984, p.53.
You can see some of the installations and work process of Nes Lerpa on this video by Kim Dang Tron.
An artist talk is to be held on Thursday the 22nd June from 6-8pm at the Historic Post office Reno, where some of Nes Lerpa's large scale works, that he created in Nevada are on exhibition.