Ivana Olimpia Belloni, designer and painter from Legnano, started her artistic studies under the guidance of the well known Milanese pastellist Aldo Fornoni. After continuing her studies of the painting skills of ‘800 Italian art, she specialized in the expert art of Lombardy of the’800.
She followed studies on ceramic and sculpture in Milan and in 2002 at the Quattrini Atelier in Varese.
After returning from Australia where she found new spur (exhibition in 1997), she interpreted nature with visions free of scheme through a thick art of matter combining smooth surfaces with rough and opaque ones where light and colour are moduled through a dense network of lines.
In 1998 and in 2000 she was invited to Brande ( Denmark) as the only Italian Representative, to work at the international workshop “ Remise Akademi Brande”. Here she began experimenting the use of different materials and cords, starting the theme of “colour rebellion”.
This theme represents colours that try hard to emerge from a central magma that symbolizes the bitterness of life and the roughness of the world. Only with time they succeed in their purpose drifting away until melting to happiness and freedom.
In these paintings the centre represents the current world where nature with its branches and earth tries with all its strength to emerge from the affliction nowadays caused on the past world, even if sometimes bonds manage to tie it down to the past time.
She has also used antique wooden boards with the purpose to bring them back to life.
Lately she has taken interest in light reflection and refraction. Water has been a long observed element; mirrors have been used to look for new and interesting results.
Under such perspective, trees and swamp vegetation observed from bottom to top, have been painted on long wooden stems placed on basements with mirrors where they can see their height reflected and enhanced. There never is a line that divides the figure or the genista branch from its splitting reflex: looking as if one continues the other wanting to hide something to let the spectator discover some other concealed emotion without knowing which of the two corresponds to reality.
Ivana works in her study in Busto Arsizio (Va) and in Todi (Pg). She teaches painting techniques. She has been working for many years with municipalities and societies as teacher of drawing courses, different painting techniques and study of the nude. She regularly organizes stages in various Italian regions.
She has held conferences on the analysis of artistic passages through the centuries and on the understanding and reading of classic and modern works. She has given guided tours of Brera and the Ambrosiana picture gallery of Milan.
In the artist’s research, the mirror is not just a simple perspective game that duplicates reality, a craftiness to look at things from different points of view. She asks herself what is most real: external reality or the image of reality itself created by reflection. Without any doubt the reflected aspect, due to the fact that it is not an exact copy of reality, is much fuller of meaning, worthiness, ideas and possibility not completely expressed. The mirror has become the vehicle of self consciousness of our most hidden aspects. The colour research has conducted her to structure a perfect synthesis of figure and background where one and the other interact and melt.
In these works the novelty is the thickening of the surface, the emerging of a polymorphous matter given by an accurate and original technique study, and a creative association with new materials that she has melted together avoiding extrinsic juxtaposition as an attempt to seize, as a philosopher very attentive to the painting world would say, the “flesh of the world” the invisible in the visible.
Ivana has created her own style, immediate and elegant that can be visualized in the portrait and in the nude. One of the unifying elements of her art is the “movement of sign”.
Accurately methicolous, Ivana gives with her instinctive simplicity a definite evidence of figurative maturity and constant veerings full of breathing matter that show a regenerating motion from abstract to concrete a complete going back to the roots of the earth, a serenely erotic embracing of the primary structures of the world, from which she withdraws new ethereal nourishment.
Antonio Tapies, in this trend to create new forms, seems to me to be the best exponent and Ivana Belloni is a close artistic relation. Whereas Tapies’ creations seem to be “paint only”, having their origins in substance which has been transformed, with a healthy dose of irony, in Belloni’s work passion prevails.
Belloni uses traditional oil paints and more impoverished materials such as sand, and old-fashioned materials like the pure pigments used in frescoes. This combination of the rough and the smooth, the shiny and the opaque, gives her landascapes a sense of vibrancy and life. Vegetaton is depicted in all its exuberance, at the height of summer and in all its festive glory, however nature is not all grace and beauty, it also has a more strident, rough side, The paintings sometimes have two areas of vision, a background which evokes a dreamlike, visceral nature and a foreground which evokes the hard external world, the concrete.