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Narciso Bressanello (1915-2001)

  • Ohne Titel. Filzstift auf Papier, 1980
  • Ohne Titel. Filzstift auf Papier, 1981
  • Ohne Titel. Filzstift auf Papier, 1982a
  • Ohne Titel. Filzstift auf Papier, 1985
  • Ohne Titel. Filzstift auf Papier, 1987
  • Ohne Titel. Filzstift auf Papier, 1987a
  • Ohne Titel. Filzstift auf Papier, 1987b
  • Ohne Titel. Kugelschreiber auf Papier, 1981
  • Ohne Titel. Kugelschreiber auf Papier, 1981a
  • Ohne Titel. Kugelschreiber auf Papier, 1981b
  • Ohne Titel. Kugelschreiber auf Papier, 1981c
  • Ohne Titel. Kugelschreiber auf Papier, 1981d
  • Ohne Titel. Kugelschreiber auf Papier, 1982
  • Ohne Titel. Kugelschreiber auf Papier, 1982b
  • Ohne Titel. Kugelschreiber auf Papier, 1984

Alle Bilder: © Elmar R. Gruber

nb018

At the age of 61, Narciso Bressanello (1915-2001), a boat builder from Venice, Italy, fell seriously ill. Following an irresistible urge, he began to produce hundreds of large-scale drawings. After a few initial works, he had perfected his style: In a distinctive visual language, Bressanello formed human figures, animals, and buildings in elegant web-like structures of complex shapes. When he proceeded to make a drawing, he never knew in advance what would happen. Without a plan, without touch-ups and corrections he produced large-scale drawings in rapid succession.

In his workshop in the district of Dorsoduro in Venice, where he previously built and repaired boats, he set up his studio. There, every day he drew obsessively. As under duress he recited simple texts in a rhythmic staccato, which he often reads from some brochures that lay randomly on his desk, while with great speed and safety his hand swiftly drew automatically to the faltering tone of his voice one image after another.

Bressanello’s topics stem from his surroundings and his home soil, the island of Burano, transfigured into an oscillating cosmology of colors: birds and fish with heads on both sides of the body from the beginning of the world when males and females were not yet separate beings (as Bressanello explained), visions of the brightly painted houses of his native Burano, burning of vibrant webs of color sometimes placed inside the abdomen of a giant fish, saints and patriarchs as protectors of mankind, the “Bucintoro”, the magnificent ship of the Doge of Venice, or the lion, the symbol animal of Venice.

At the beginning, Narciso Bressanello was just a self-taught artist who unexpectedly followed an inexplicable impulse. A neighbor of his quarter suspected a paranormal background. He organized spiritualistic séances in which a “spirit guide” by the name of Fidelio appeared and identified himself as the originator of the works. Bressanello noticed the manifestation of the “spirit” with joy and not without pride and accepted henceforth the spiritualist interpretation of his works.