In his father’s workshop he learned the art of ironwork that together with the working of terracotta, is one of the most ancient crafts. In his memory though, he still preserves the images and the use of objects that are centuries old, but which today’s technology has substituted with others that are much more practical and effective but which do not have the imprint of a man’s hand.
Only the spirit of a poet could think: let’s stop them in time and in memory with the iron cast in the white and wrought on the anvil; let’s transmit their memory on forever for what they have been in the life of many people and for what they have been able to suggest to us.
So here is the chair of worn straw, the Venetian cloak (tabàro), the bed warmer (monèga), the yoke (bigòlo), the guitar with broken strings and the unglued soundboard, the bread knife (tajàpan)…
Today they are forever fixed in the solidity of metal even for those who have a weak memory, or for those that have never seen them in use: these objects are here to speak to us of poorer times, but richer perhaps with other things that we have lost.
Mario Rigoni Stern – Writer
We have already said that the key to hope surfaces despite everything, as the golden strips testify, through which dense words emerge to hold on to, precious messages to feed on.
Dario Vivian – Theologist and essayist (Curator of Vicenza Biblical Festival)
Matter and memory between books and culture – Maybe never as in this case title and concepts converge and chase each other in the attempt to understand the work of Gilberto Perlotto. Or rather, his vision of thought. A steel, compact fragility in his thirst for humanity. A humanity built on the wave of healthy feelings and the authentic nature of a (once again) material theatre of memory, which is sometimes heavy in its desire to denounce. In fact, Perlotto arrives at a degree of provocation pushed to breaking point with his shout of accusation, which is nevertheless still sweet in its murmuring and revelation to all those who perceive and develop the splinters – that become pills – of wisdom. A people’s wisdom – it has been called “rural” on other occasions – and for this reason Cultural – even in the sense of “cultivation” (from which the word ultimately derives).
Thus in the hands of Gilberto Perlotto, matter and memory become equivalent and non-negotiable segments of a single infinitely long path with a burning speed of exhaustion and renovation, each time with the wonderful surprise both of the artist and especially ours, accompanying the senses with thoughts that every aesthetic experience hatches beyond the limit of its creator. It is able to overcome and surpass itself by mingling in the practical and functional sense that Book and Culture cause to explode. Because memory itself is concrete beyond dreams, just as the books of Perlotto, which ideally open us up to the world in the world.
Antonio Carradore – Art Critic
And here the visitor is oblivious to what awaits him, he goes in, sure of himself, and rapidly browses through the first works. Immediately he notices something unusual, and goes back in time, and the memories become more and more intense, […]. So he retraces his steps, and starts all over again with his mind and thoughts focused on the past which those works bear witness to.
Giuseppe Ciscato – Curator of the Biennial of wrought iron in Limena (Padua), and curator of the texts on wrought iron for the publishing house Alinea (Florence).
Angelo Gilberto Perlotto makes iron sing the stories of our sluggish souls. And awakens the sigh of our lost emotion.
Bepi De Marzi – Composer
If we think about the amanuensis monks whose art was that of copying the texts of the classical philosophers simply in order to preserve their memory […] Perlotto’s action in rewriting in order to remember and transmit is a counter gesture that opposes the law of consumption; he expresses his own idea of time which is contrary to the use we usually make of it.
Fabrizia Lanza – Curator of the Museums of Feltre
Perlotto claims that the choice of his poor subjects is not intended to be a romantic evoking of the past, a nostalgic memory that is so fashionable today, but a pure and simple contemplation of the beauty of a tool that is the fruit of an artisan’s experience […].
Remo Schiavo – Professor and Art critic
In fact, in the work of Perlotto, the power and the experience of a valuable, deep rooted artisanal habilitas coexists with the modern sensibility that makes use of that technique to translate the forms of contemporary thinking into iron and, lastly, with the ability to make them a timeless narrative that belongs to the universal spirit of things and reflections on the self.
Giovanna Grossato – Art critic
His creations in the absolute domination of the ferrous material, of which he is a skilled smith and chaser, embody a sublime spiritual intensity, and express innocence and semplicity of the most spontaneous human feelings, of joy, of hope, in the name of universal love and pure and untouched beauty. […]
Elena Gollini – Art critic
Maybe the artist tried to express beauty through musical crystallized stresses. And this beauty has a purity that hides the artist’s torment that, finished his art of love, doesn’t exist anymore. […]
Giorgio Rigotto – Poet and Writer
Actually, the Venetian artist’s work tends to create a sort of new memory function, which takes possession of the substance, that lives in the fruitive space, the three-dimensional one, and that establishes a connection with the fourth dimension: the time. The aesthetic research, which also makes use of an extraordinary and masterly rendering, is the parallel of a sign, of a motion, of a deeply evocative will, in which there is no melancholic docility for a distant past, but that causes the will to start an ontological reflection. In a Proustian way, the public will make an inner journey backwards with an eye to the future. […]
Azzurra Immediato – Art critic