Maddalena Fanconi

The Artist

“In the beginning God created Heaven and the Earth. Now the Earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the depth, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. God called the light ‘day’, and the darkness He called ‘night’. And there was evening, and there was morning – the first day.And God said, ‘Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.’  So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. God called the vault ‘sky’. And there was evening, and there was morning – the second day. And God said, ‘Let the water under the sky be gathered in one place, and let dry ground appear.’ And it was so. God called the dry ground ‘land’, and the gathered waters He called ‘seas’. And God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1, 1-10).

Maddalena Fanconi carried out this work to give form to the first words of the Genesis, and precisely to the ones describing with incomparable power the passage between the second and the third day of Creation: a complex and well-structured artwork, in which she has been able to condense, firstly, the depth of her faith, but at the same time the cultural references guide beyond the piousness, proposing unexpected travels throughout the history of art.

Link b

Critical Analysis

We could begin by talking about the egg, original and dense of significance form that clearly symbolizes the “Principle”, the beginning of the Whole. When the two sections of the piece are put close, the spectator gets a form from the tidy and bright surface, furrowed by evident engravings (however thin) that nevertheless don’t contradict the impression of synthetic perfection (certainly amplified by the use of the gold foil, which projects also the viewer in an absolute and atemporal dimension); in terms of formal references, the thought runs towards the glossy ovoid-shaped forms and almost spatial of Constantin Brancusi (from the Muse endormie and that Commencement du monde which, more than other works, even in the title, shows to be a reference point, though only ideal, for the artist), in terms of the symbolic meaning, the egg seems to declare itself also as a testimony of divine perfection, already reached and completed “in power” even before being able to explain itself in the multiform beauty of Creation. In fact, what materializes before our eyes is the moment when “things” -the object world of everyday existence – don’t exist yet, but they are, at the same time,  already present, and even already active in nuce, in the thought; hence, also the artist and the audience are involved and “included” in the egg, so that paradoxically –  in their respective acts to form and observe the work – they are somehow forming  and observing themselves in the totality of the Divine Design, that is in their connections as much with the material world as with the immaterial one.

However, the egg is also the symbol of life growing in a mother’s womb of course; and it’s not a coincidence, so, that the ways drawn in the inner parts of the piece – visible when its bi-partitioned articulation remains – outline forms vaguely similar to spermatozoons, which at the end swell up, gaining space in the third dimension, perhaps to plastically point out the occurred conception of life. In terms of composition, furthermore, it seems possible to get  other debts: in the specularity between Heaven and Earth maybe some Dantesque or Augustinian suggestions can be found; in Heaven we can see an interstellar depth, photographed by the Hubble telescope, in which a comet proceeds through space, leaving behind a luminescent trail (while on the external surface the light, schematic and almost “melottian” linearity of constellations fluctuates infinitely); the Earth appears as seen from above, as if it’s framed by an aerial photograph that shows a gold “scratch” of  Land Art on a copper-coloured tract (counterbalance on a gigantic scale, but with the same existential meaning – “There I am, I am here” – of the cave engravings on the outer surface); and, furthermore, while the mildly corrugated texture of the bottom appears as a moderate interpretation of informal surfaces a la Dubuffet, the general arrangement seems to owe something to the suggestion of “aerial-pictorial” and “para-surrealist” passages of Fillia, Prampolini, Munari.

Link c


Finally, it’s impossible not to point out the considerable importance that the decorative component took on in the work; and this is hardly surprising, since Maddalena Fanconi shaped herself, in her academic study, exactly in a course of Decoration (even if, truthfully, her interests range far beyond the traditional sphere of competence of a decorator, overrunning for example also in the field of New Technologies). Having established this, however, it should also be specified that in her work such a “decorativism” is not expressed in the will of making art pour l’art (and anyway, even if it were – and it’s time to finally recognize it – there would be nothing bad or shallow, , as we were shown many extraordinary protagonists of the twentieth century, up to the latest creations by Murakami); on the contrary, the artist from Brescia firstly interprets the decoration as a “service instrument” intended to increase the “quality of life” of the consumer through an aesthetic qualification of objects and environments that aims at conveying joy and hope, and, above all, tries to do it by responding, as it were, “singularly” to the explicit and specific requests of those who will then have to coexist with the piece, in an atmosphere of sharing and participation with the customer that Fanconi perceives decisively as a stimulus to the creation, instead of as a limiting constraint. On the other hand, if the art – to use the words of the artist herself – is “at the service of human well-being”, it’s obvious that the artist has to try to converse with the neighbour: “See your smile, happiness because I’ve been able to satisfy your request and I have surprised you.”


secondo e terzo giorno
Artist: Maddalena Fanconi
Title:Second day, third day
Dimension: cm73x120x50
Year: 2011
Place: Brescia
Technique: Gold foil, acrylic
€  2.190,00