“It is ancestral the relationship between art and Writing – intended as the materiality of writing and not only its content -, moreover in the way in which this relationship is traditionally considered as the noblest, that is literature.
Let us consider the depicted nature, at first pictographic in order to seek the correspondence between thing and sign, then ideographic when it is the notion that must be expressed, that characterizes the beginnings of writing, according to a line of continuity that in the history of the universal civilization put together the Ancient Egypt to the present China, where people still communicate by ideograms. The turning point in the evolution of writing, it is when the focus moves from sight to sound, freeing it from the need that it shared at most with art: the representation of the world.
Hence, a gap of intents, protracted until art, or at least that one recognizing itself in the so called “Avant-gard”, placed itself on the same level of the writing, even denying its depicting purpose. After Cy Twombly, for whom the manual writing, often asemantic (that is bereft of verbal meanings), becomes a reason for specific informal reflection, Joseph Kosuth pushes his Conceptualism to go beyond art, searching in the “Writing” the negation of all its aesthetic ambitions.
Which is the position, with respect to these ineluctable precedents, of the “neo-amanuens” art of Ivan Cangelosi, amazing in his contriving images, perfectly figured through manual transcription of entire literary works, as it would be the case of a tapestry? In a way not only manually, but also intellectually fine: the writing cannot be merely form, as Twombly would say, not merely content, as Kosuth would state, because the Writing has a form, and every form, as it has been shown by the Avant-gard, can be “aestheticized”. Therefore, the conciliation Cangelosi proposes submits the prerogatives of literary textuality to compliance with other textuality to live with, those of figurative art. The work of Ivan Cangelosi is therefore innovative, essential in its complex language. In fact, he seems to be able to grasp the essential core that lies behind a thought. An operation of a great linguistic ability, opened moreover to infinite developments.