Consolidating his pictorial identity, which increasingly addresses informal areas of representation and evokes European and North american creative experiences -dating back to Jean Fautrier- in the early 1940s in this instance, a meaningful dimension of his work, marked overall by unique style solutions and sought after symbolic elements, where one may also recognize the artist’s customary attitude towards deeply concealed and intimate truths.
This strand of existential exploration shows itself through evocative and unexpected links, which determine further unique narrative components – a choice of humble textiles becoming meaningful expressive elements – in the traditional textured structure. Certainly, Burri was first to examine the suggestive features of minimal supports, which would increase the temperature and tone of the painting. Piva, on a different note, retrieves the need for optically emblematic contributions, profoundly distant from the cold mechanisms seen in other celebrated protrusions.
The most poignant elements from the human emotional sphere thus converge into the physical density of solidified color (Lacerazioni, Lacrime d’amore, Vita), powerful as blood pulsing through veins, amongst waves, reliefs, and depths formed by fabrics resembling an intriguing epidermis. This outer skin of an essential painting expression – with regard to its substance – is simultaneously rich with transfigured clues: thrills, shivers and idylls (Teneri abbracci) entrusted to the memory of the painting and to the sensitivity of those who are able to perceive them.
Piva, in fact, pursues an inner search and enquiry. Nature is a reflection of his soul, as well as an unlimited steady reference: in Formazioni rocciose, Delta di un fiume, Profondità oceaniche or Neve al sole, any “built” image has to be correctly interpreted as the extreme outcome of an expressive metamorphosis, where the author adds his romantic, dreamy, sometimes visionary nature (Angolo di paradiso, Profondità terrestri, Creazione) – a raw nerve in his firm artistic temperament. Hereby arises a vibrant painting rhythm, in which matter seems to shudder like high notes from a roar of color, witnessing internal upheavals (Impulso vitale) similar to sudden natural events (the different versions of Colata lavica).
Further happenings occur in Piva’s intriguing kaleidoscope, recounting liquid wonder (Formazione corallina), silver fluttering (Rocce al tramonto), emotional involvement, in the winter of one’s soul that may be imagined in Glaciazione or in the enchanting perception rendered in Foresta innevata, dotted with scar-like curlicues: a sort of imaginary mirror where many viewers may notice similar permanent signs.
In Piva’s significant cycle, one is not surprised by the presence of three exceptional works, which clearly stand out for their quality and importance: Crocifissione and two versions of Sacra Sindone. A painter, any painter, who has completed such artworks, deserves unconditional appreciation. Also for this reason Piva is worthy of recognition, especially for the way he is pursuing such a remote, yet enticing path.