"The human body, and more particularly the feminine body, is in my work my best ground of exploration. In this body are embodied the weight of my reflections and my feelings which are translated by conflicts and incomprehensions entailing this tension so present and so material in my sculptures.
Using soldered bronze techniques, I had now found the means of realising the sentiments and feelings I had already tried to express through other techniques. I do not work the bronze in traditional ways : instead, I start by laying out the broad outlines of this structure by soldering on pieces of bronze to be then cut, hammered and twisted. Once these pieces are assembled, I score the bronze using a grindstone, or a circular saw to give it dimension, and highlight the metal's vibrancy. In working this way, I try to bring great force and emotional charge to my creations. The link between each piece is found rather in their abstract forms, than any other apparent defining similarity. In the coming together of all these pieces, a comprehensible and legible whole sculpture becomes self-evident, where the “plaster, metal and wood” have largely contributed."
Angels first appeared in Alessandro Montalbano's works in 1996, with Icarus, as a mystic response to the loss of a loved one in that year. His angels, naturally, bear witness to presence that is both sacred and divine, but his message often goes further than that. The angel also testifies to that spiritual need by which every individual is persecuted at some point in his existence. If the wings are shown disjointed and torn into strips, it is because the angel has touched man at his most profound, and that this very contact has scarred him and made him more human, while all the time guarding hope in his mission. Usually portrayed as asexual, Montalbano's angels are feminine, for not only are they celestial beings, but they also present the positive image of woman ; the hope they bring for man.
From an aesthetic angle, this subject allows Montalbano scope not only to take into account the very matter of the human body, but also the immaterial that the idea of an angel implies. This is seen, for example, in the dynamic torsions in the body, being pulled ever higher, yet at the same time solidly attached to the ground by its feet ; feet to which the artist attaches much importance. Whether in painting or in sculpture, the bodies of his angels are the materialisation of all the research carried out on strokes, as well as the void, fullness and rhythm.
PAINTED BRONZE AND STEEL
"With my painted bronzes, I try through an almost tribal painting, to explode the voids and filled spaces in an agitated whirlwind well proportionned and guided by a deliberate rhythm, essential in my work. Through those painted sculptures, I want to question these famous voids and filled spaces to give them an another reading to push even farther the perception of my sculpture. The pictorial writing realized on the sculptures (lines, points, circles...) is very similar to those which caracterizes my painings, and is not consequently a trivial paint which would be just here to embellish the work. This painting brings an other way of understanding the sculpture, of discovering the voids an dfilled spaces which constitute the main part of my resarch as sculptor."
The horse's body in Montalbano's work is marked both by great tension and torsion. It is an energetic body, not simply posing on its four hooves, but in positions sometimes quite impossible for the animal to achieve. It is a horse which suffers, and to which the artist attributes human feelings. The image of the horse, the powerful symbol which it evokes in our minds, is all the more reinforced by the artist's endowing it with huge visual dynamics. The tension which he brings out in the horse's body, in the evocation of the struggle against death, we see the incredible strength and capacity which man in fact possesses in triumphing over the trials and suffering he undergoes.
"Since my installation in the South of the Burgundy, I see everyday cows, calves but especially bulls, which as painter and sculptor strongly inspired me. The body of this animal fascinates me, both by its power and by its harmony. From there was born the series My neighbour in homage to the Charolais bull who lives in the meadow close to my house and with whom I established the dialogue... "
SCULPTURES 1988 - 1994
At the end of the eighties I started my real experience of sculptor after re-examining the materials and techniques used at school such as clay, plaster and marble. At this moment of my artistic process I had the interest for voids and filled spaces and the materials that I used (clay, plaster, marble) did not suit my research anymore. So, I started to assemble pieces of plaster, metal and wood. In 1994, one of my sculptures of material assembly was awarded the Princess Grace Foundation’s Prize in Monaco, where I took part at the invitation of the famous french sculptor César who appreciated my work.
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