„An inner geometry, or better still, an inner chemistry.“

Leonardo Sinisgalli

GIULIA NAPOLEONE – from left – misura della memoria XXV – olio su tela – 100×100 cm – 2020 – senza titolo – pastello su carta – 30,5×30,5 cm – 1999 – foto|gwa


These are the words of FAUSTO MELOTTI, words which the guiding and enlightened hand of GUISEPPE APPELLA combined with exhibitions of the work of GULIA NAPOLEONE, CARLO LORENZETTI, BRUNO CONTE and GIUSEPPE UNCINI, and the game was played successfully, and poetry has indeed filled the rooms of the GALLERIA NAZIONALE.

REALTA IN EQUILIBRIO, the general title for the quartet of exhibitions, is another quote from MELOTTI who, in the leaflet/manifesto handed out at the RODOLFO ARICO and GIUSEPPE UNCINI exhibition at the IL SEGNO GALLERY in 1982, declared these artists „anchorites, aloof from worldly temptations, who, from their windows, watch and learn beforehand and prematurely what it is that will one day serve to construct the edifice of art. Companions in their search, companions in what art demands: sacrifice and love. There is no pretense in this: they are among arts`s cornerstones“.

GIULIA NAPOLEONE – from left – immagini sospese – percorsi – aquarello su carta – 79×60 cm – 1980-81 – s.t. pastello su carta – 30,5×30,5 cm – 1999 – foto|gwa

The maestro`s vision handed the young artists a weighty legacy. Recognition and visibility rendered them comrades in arms and sealed a pact. The cornerstones are also the heavy boulders that sustain the weight of linear architectures, that lift up material, metal, cement, wood, paper and that draw the magic line in a „game which is freedom but freedom is no game“. Something of which GIULIA, BRUNO and GIUSEPPE are all too well aware, never having sacrificed either their freedom or the magic of a single imagined line to which the shape and sound of poetry might be given.


Director of the Galleria Nazionale d`Arte Moderna e Contemporanea

GIULIA NAPOLEONE – from left – misura della memoria XVI – olio su tela – 100x100cm – 2012 – immagini sospese – percorsi – aquarella su carta – 79×60 cm – 1980-81 – foto|gwa
GIULIA NAPOLEONE – cerchi di sole 2 – pastelli su carta – 57,5×78,5 cm – 2011-2014 – foto|gwa


Sign after sign, with a patient and necessary precision, GIULIA NAPOLEONE has, for over half a century, been searching for the radiant orderliness of form. A form which possesses vitality and is therefore imperfect, as alive and imperfect as the thinking of someone who is unafraid of errors and therefore shuns the obvious and the familiar. In the silent of her studio – hidden away, for a number of years now, among the hills and lavender fields of the province of Viterbo – the artist is engaged in a stubborn search for an equilibrium in which no concessions are made to the simplicity of figuration, and which, while recognising the rules of abstraction, favours the exceptions that break them, begetting clear, clean images of light and shadow – sedulous images which are the very precise result of techniques and materials always judiciously and respectfully chosen and employed to fit the occasion.

GIULIA NAPOLEONE – detail from above – particolare
GIULIA NAPOLEONE – cerchi di sole 1 – pastelli su carta – 57,5×78,5 cm – 2011-2014 – foto|gwa

Ignoring all the rigid rules that govern the planning of such things. GN moves amid her discreed and precious works on paper, her canvases, the neatly aligned inks and pencils, with the easy grace of a traveller unpreoccupied with her destination:

GIULIA NAPOLEONE – from left – altro inverno 10 – inchiostro su carta – 36×27 cm – 2003-2006 – ombra del mattino – inchiostro su carta – 44,5×34,5 cm – 1978 – ultime stelle – inchiostro su carta – 44,5×34,5 cm – 1978 – foto|gwa

“ My work is a journey which perhaps features staging posts, but which has no final destination of end points. It is an advancing towards“.

A journeying towards which is the essence of art at its most authentic, and criticism too.

GIULIA NAPOLEONE – foglia – inchiostro su carta – 39×59 cm – 1963 – foto|gwa

This is the case for GN and it was the case for GABRIELLA DRUDI, for whom this sense of progression was the mainspring of her writing on art and artists: they share the same curious mien, the same perenially inquisitive disposition. They are – both of these journeys – an eternal search for meaning.



GIULIA NAPOLEONE – lungo viaggio III – inchiostro su carta – 56,5×45 cm – 2003-2005 – foto|gwa
GIULIA NAPOLEONE – from left – l’ombra – inchiostro su carta – 32,5×25 cm – 1987 – above – ombra sull’aurelia antica – inchiostro su carta – 25×35,5 cm – 1985 – down – altro inverno 9 – inchiostro su carta – 36×27 cm – 2003-2006 – foto|gwa