Guido Molinari

Untitled, Triangular Structure 1971,

Acrylic on Canvas
45 x 40 in

Ex. Galerie Louis Lacerte, 2004
From a private Montreal collection.

“The painting is a place where energy events take place.”
Guido Molinari 1970

Francois Gagnon, professor of art history, Universite de Montreal in 1969 analyzed
the function of the viewer in Molinari’s paintings:
“Contemplating the painting in an overall way, attempting to grasp the composition
all at once, becomes nearly impossible. Rather, Molinari invites his viewer to actually
“read” his painting, in a “horizontal sweep” from left to right, or right to left, of
the pictorial area. For the transcendental point of view the classical viewer, the artist
substitutes the view of the “reader”, with all the freedom to “re-read” this makes
possible… Because of the very movement of reading, the perception of each colour
is laden with the perception of the previous one, or at any rate, with the traces it has
left in the memory. Thus each plane takes on a value relative to the preceding plane.
When to these phenomena are added those of a series, the pictorial surface very
quickly comes alive with a veritable chromatic rhythm…The actual plastic event which
occurs with his paintings seems to be entirely located somewhere between the viewer
and the canvas, in the virtual space where the impulses of colour rhythms can have
free rein. In this space, colour planes, far from being fixed in space (warm colours in the forefront, cold colours in the background), are in constant motion, perpetually
“coming and going”, which caused the painter to remark that his colours “breathed”.
All of the pictorial area is transformed into an energy field, and – paradoxically – the two dimensional nature of the surface is still not negated. Quite the contrary, it is precisely
because colour is only energy that it allows planes to be located in a pulsating space.
…the specific plastic event which occurs with a Molinari painting seems to occur between the viewer and the canvas in the inviolable space of sensory communication. The painter’s
whole effort has been to render autonomous the plastic facts of the canvas. In this perspective,
the problem of integrating the painting into its architectural environment does not even
arise. The painting is a pure plastic event, and stands as an autonomous reality, negating itself
as an object. It exists only for those who know how to read it, which is to say that it takes on
substance only in the existential context of sensory encounter.