For nearly ten years, Germana Monte-Mór has developed a work of enviable consistency, in which an original intuition engenders unusual developments — her interest awakened at different times by the black spot in certain paintings by Manet and in Seurat’s Conté pencil drawings. Taking as its starting point the lone patch that soon decomposes itself firstly into two others and then into three or four, eventually crystallizing into a pair, the artist explores the conflicting relationships between materials, applying the weight and density of cold asphalt on the lightness of paper (waxpaper, silk paper or rice paper) or tissue support. Later, she will obtain the opposite effect by giving to paper, exactly where damar varnish has been applied, lightness and transparency. Monte-Mór also explores the relationship between figure and background, support and matter taking turns in fulfilling the one or the other function. Still not satisfied, she transports to the floor forms which the screen boundaries seemed no longer able to comprise, giving them three-dimensionality.
Like a crazy draftsman who starts drawing on paper and soon finds himself drawing on the table, on the walls and on everything else around him, Germana Monte-Mór has given her work an obsessive character and a cumulative power that enrich it as a whole. Each stage, more than enrichment itself, enriches the previous ones retrospectively. This is due to the extreme consistency of her work, in which questions unfold from one another, like boxes containing within themselves ever-smaller boxes ad infinitum. In the best sense of the word, her work is like an experimentation that stems from an original intuition, and therein lies, as also in what seems to me a stubborn opacity, its refusal to any significance that does not result from questions raised by its own formalization procedures, its ingrained modern greatness.
Note: This short text and its title evoke an important essay written in 1905 by Benedetto Croce and titled precisely Una Teoria della “Macchia”. In it, commenting on a 1868 book by Neapolitan critic Vittorio Imbriani, who had connections to the group of painters known as Macchiaioli, the philosopher dwells on “macchia” [patch] as a metaphor for what to him is the “essence of the artistic fact: intuition.”