In the series of works entitled ‘Countries’, Maurizio Durante seems to wish to emphasise a need to exclude any redundant content from his representations, as he searches for an essence which aims for a chromatic and formal purity.His painting comes across as an attentive conceptual exercise, rigourously selective and constructive, aiming for a representaion comprised of elements of an architectural rigour. Structural representations of an ideal space. The cities that he depicts, the towns, the villages which emerge from the ridges of the hills are only declared through their profile, delimited by a skyline, almost as a rarified rhythmic woven lines which intersect to create the perfect geometric weave.
He has no pressing need to represent nature in its rich generosity and beauty, the landscapes: of all these there remains just a morfological nod, a jaggedness that enters the precise traces of the mass of buildings, as a sign of reference to the place on which the inhabited centres emerge and are located.
The “countries” are shaped like a plastic construction in which, among the many possible directions, only the horizontal and vertical are selected. In the same way, the colour options are reduced. Just three basic colours, red, black and silver, through which the shapes that stand out from the pure white of the background, almost a perfect void, a universal space, are painted.
Most of the painted works see the places painted in red, a bright vermilion .A colour, therefore, timbre, the first to which all peoples have given a name, as well as the first color of the rainbow and – it is believed to be the first perceived by children. It is therefore linked, like form, to abstraction, to our primary and primordial perceptions. On other canvases, however, silver is used, always emerging from the white background of the canvas. An iridescent color, which gives a feeling of balance and harmony, but also an impression of rarefaction, a “sophisticated dreamlike sense”, as Maurizio himself states.
The collages are instead constructed starting from a black ground (a cardboard) on which the profile of the countries is obtained with the white clipping. Here the two opposite non-colours par excellence are contrasted. The black seems to be the color of an absolute negation, of a radical zero, the opposite through which the claim of purity can be expressed, of that white which instead contains all the colours of the luminous spectrum.
The inhabited centres are human constructions, teeming with existences, but at the same time transformed by Duranti into microcosms immersed in an eternal, silent and absolute dimension, since the movement of life must be observed as if it had an order. The artist seems to want to translate into them the logical conscience of the world that is being painted, so that the form becomes the logos of the secret rationality of the real.