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The artist - The book "Fusione d'immagine"


Sergio Dalla Mora’s sculpture has always been marked by an unmistakable originality. The works he released in the latest eight years do not belong to the cosmopolitan mannerism, which is still dominating today. Maybe it is also for this reason that he has received important acknowledgments (fifteen awards in fifteen competitions, only in the latest four years), but he also aroused confusion and perplexity among the common observers. From the very first beginning of his activity he has worked outside the usual rules of sculpture: a series of marble sculptures (this is his favourite material) based on a symbolical conceptuality, as iteration and mirror of the same pattern.
Today, far from repudiating that autonomous debut, he is carrying on his counter-current discourse. He concentrates on tight groups of figures within blocks representing a single general subject: something which creates a link between historical-symbolical quotient and a rough expressiveness, and which is translated into numerous unitary plastic solutions. Once again, he produces an original kind of sculpture, without concessions to the easy current taste.
When observing certain “illustrated” parallelepipeds, we have almost the impression of facing Roman or early Christian sarcophagi. But we soon realize that the narration is not on the surface and does not follow the logical “course” of the semantic development from left to right. Dalla Mora expresses his concepts in deepness, by uniting the faces of the block and by extraordinarily melting each detail within the blocks, by creating visual paths proceeding in each direction, even vertically, by deeply carving the material, as for example happens in the Roman symbology that he entitled “SPQR”. In the Carrara block several figural references appear: the she-wolf with the twins, the helmets of the infantry, the cavalry, the carts, the shields, the bootlegs, the winged Victory, the laurel, the strength of Law. Such is the synthesis of what we call “Roman Culture”: it is almost a reference to the events narrated in the Traiana Column, though from a different point of view.
What is impressing is that these elements, though different, are welded together with a special process inserting one element within the other, in a perfect unity. There is no pause, no inertness: everything is enlivened and made wonderfully homogeneous by joints, chiasmus, jutting shapes, hooks, thick triangulations, spirals, triangles and trapeziums, hollows, objects emphasised, scratches, channels.
This is a structure that, though far from losing its primary meaning, remains homogeneous in its reference to numerous styles and in its polyvalence. This solution appears also in other blocks, such as the one dedicated to Venice’s symbology: it is even more refined and in a sense more daring, as it unites historically different elements, such as Byzantine, Gothic and Renaissance style; and it also tries to represent something which is fluid and ethereal as the existential precariousness and the psychological motility of Venice.
Within this beautiful rose-coloured marble of Portugal, emerges the figure of the Doge, severe and though evasive, which is connected to the protean destiny of the city, so that the Lion of St. Mark almost absorbs the figure. This is Dalla Mora’s peculiarity: a shape derives from another shape, and all of them achieve a new structure by joining in a form that in the end appears to be unitary.
The same happens in other recent sculptures: those portraying the Walkyries, marked by rhythmic and thick gothic features, the one representing “the shepherd of souls and sheep”, marked by an intense spirituality, and even others, such as “The Filò” and “Pegasus”, referring to the alteration of shapes, to their symbolical joint, to the correspondence between the elements.
His works always demonstrate a strong expressiveness and a linguistic autonomy, aiming at communicating through the symbol, even through the structural meaning of a constantly animated, lively and rushing material. As Ruskin said, while observing certain gothic fretworks that he so much admired in Venice, “air and light enter within the sculpture, thus making it a part of real life”. Past and present perfectly fuse.

Paolo Rizzi


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