Giovanni Cavazzon

Giovanni Cavazzon’s Romantic Realism

In the works by Giovanni Cavazzon colour and drawings have an alluring power all of their own. The psychological and architectural ambiences of modern society are represented by the artist with utmost precision.
Cavazzon’s paintings bear witness to the diverse inspirational phases of his life. From “Intorno a Venus / Around Venus” where worship for the female body is paralleled to that of the Goddess of Love with those cerulean, rosy and ivory coloured nudes (which are also the titles of a few other works), where drawings, proportions and colours become the most salient and distinctive features of this Friulan Master.
In the works by Cavazzon classical art representations can often be found in modern installations. Images are placed in wood crates, as if packed away, in which green or blue-coloured polystyrene is strewn to create a seaside effect (“Venere al Bagno / Venus Bathing”), a meadow effect (“Colazione sull’Erba / Breakfast on the lawn”), and the audacious works of “Apollo e Dafne / Apollo and Daphne” and “Paride e Afrodite / Paris and Aphroditis” where sculptures carved in wood stand out against the crated painting.
The drawings in graphite or coloured pencil lead us into Leonardo’s universe of the human figure and Michelangelo’s creation of the world.
Even in his portraits Cavazzon becomes the “reflection of his subject’s soul” through which the true essence of their spirits gleams.
This is the difference between a portrait and pure and simple photography, between our “inner” and “outer” mirror.
The cycle of the “Baccanti / Bacchantes” takes shape with the apotheosis of the “Baccante / Bacchante” on the bottom of a seventeenth century barrel and with “Le Baccanti e l’uva / The Bacchantes and the grapes”.
Giovanni Cavazzon’s personal style comes out not only in the shapes and structures of his paintings but also in the contents and themes.
Cavazzon has taken painting to the limits of reality through the use of conventional motives and techniques embellishing them with personal and innate facets that lure the observer inside the scene and involve them emotionally.
One has to penetrate deep into a subject to be able to reconsider them and Cavazzon does this by grasping all of their fundamental traits thus bringing out his romantic conception of art.
It is not by pure chance that the artistic process of Cavazzon presses on motives of classicism and romanticism. The reason behind the subject matter in his paintings tells us it is impossible to transmit beauty to an “object” without an “expressionist” participation on its behalf.
Cavazzon is an artist of refined purity in his shapes, with a natural ability in representing the sacred and the profane.

His cultural components burrow deep into Renaissance art. His attitude, in terms of convictions and poetics, is that of a studio artist who goes to his “workshop” every day (as in days gone by) and punctually, like a goldsmith, does his work.
Not only does Cavazzon paint what he truly sees out in the world but he also captures the spirit, a smile, a subtle puff of air, the inner light or the darkness. He can grasp the essence of the subject.
There is not doubt about the innovative force of Cavazzon’s pictorial act. All his cultural and spiritual education is an appeal to Mittel-European positivism where the supreme aim of his paintings is not only that of representing objects but of expressing ideas, and translating them into a personal and emotive language.
In his drawings, where the artist’s ability cannot avoid criticism, Cavazzon is among the few in Italy with a natural ability to sketch, with an unyielding sense of perception, whose esthetic solutions in the expression of lines, in the metric sense of light and colour, is full of classical romanticism. Within him lies the pure strength of shapes set in a space of contained solemnity. Cavazzon seeks and finds depth through the prospective result of proportions, through the method of rigid plasticity which may at first appear neoclassical, but which in actuality is a rigorous attitude, between the expert ploy of new and old rhythms, harmony in curves and colours that bring out the rotundities and ovals of the faces and portraits, jealously sheltering the models from time and history.
The nudes by Cavazzon evoke emotions without a sense of breathlessness. The nudes are chaste, never vulgar, sensual and never sexual or erotic, but often heroic. They are the purification of sentiments, the evocation of life and nature. They may be read as a summons not to separate the work of art from its creator who seems to permeate with the history of thirteenth century Tuscan paintings right through to seventeenth century Venice, from the impressionists to Italian expressionism and realism.

The authentic artist is thus born, born from the most simple things. Ideas will follow from the confrontation of these things. An act of love with the world bears works of art. As is the need to live longer by taking an image and thus freezing a portion of time and making it last longer than the life of the artist himself.
Cavazzon is a profound connoisseur of the nude in the history of art. From Botticelli to the
Daughters of Venusby Rodin, from Coubert to the pompous nudes by Renoir, from the delicate nudes by Degas to the sensual nudes by Modigliani. He has studied them all in depth before dwelling on the female human body his way with his own personal art. He sees the body as the synthesis between beauty and harmony, a body “without defects”, paying attention to those classical measures, to those Greek canons which expressionism or the trans-avant-gardes have abandoned to give room to a representation of the body which is not fearful of showing what it really looks like, suggesting sensuality, but which also unveils anxiety and anguish. A quest for an esthetic ideal and the acceptation of one’s real body, a continual tension which not even art can resolve.
Expression of changing values and vanishing certainties, the nude body is the only fact that remains unchanged in our existence. It is the means through which the world relates and a source of obsession for many artists.
But not so for Giovanni Cavazzon, who has made the artistic nude his personal way of doing art, staging the nude to bring an act to life, bodies that provoke and which at times are exhibited for the sole purpose of arousing desire in order to touch off anxieties that leave something behind.
All these images which Cavazzon has produced and nurtured bear witness to his extraordinary capacity of investigation well beyond the human body and soul, free from moral judgements or conformism, but extremely and psychologically penetrating.
All one needs to do is observe the faces and the attitudes of a few of his works such as “Paride and Aphroditis” and “Apollo and Daphne” to find acceptance in the first and refusal in the latter (hands which attract and reject).
It is here that the true artist can be found. Like a theatre director who does not miss the importance of a gesture or facial expression which are basic communication techniques.
And lastly, the origin of Giovanni Cavazzon’s painting lies in naturalism which took root across all of northern Italy. This style started with Caravaggio and lasted straight through to Giacomo Ceruti.
We have before us an artist who is headed towards the fourth millennium and with him a representation worthy of our grandest artistic traditions.