With this wind comes fate: let,
let all that matters come, blind,
of which we’ll glow-: all this.
(And stand still so it will find us).
Our fate this wind brings.
From who knows this new wind,
leaning under the weight of nameless things,
carries on the sea what we are.
…Oh if we were. We’d be at home.
(We’d see skies fall and rise in us).
But each time with this wind huge
beyond us fate goes by.
Rainer Maria Rilke
Painting never seems to give me peace or purity. (.. ) I never seek, either 'inside,' 'outside,' or in art in general, a state of rest. Somewhere, I feel it, there must be some extraordinary idea, but every time I try to reach it, I get a strange sense of apathy and I feel like lying down and sleeping. Some painters, myself included, don't care what kind of chair they sit in. It doesn't even need to be comfortable. We are all too restless to worry about where we should be sitting and we don't even want to sit "in pomp and circumstance," because we have realized that painting - every genre, every style of painting - in order to be true painting must be a way of life, a style, so to speak, of living. (...) If I spread my arms around and wonder where my fingers are - behold, I have traced the space that is enough for a painter.
Willem de Kooning “The New American Painting” – 1951
Not yet have we dimmed the memory of the Monads, during our visit to the beautiful exhibition at the Gallery, let’s hope this memory will last, and we find again Barbara Duran’s eyes, that hold no doubts and turn with great acumen towards a present which, if necessary, we could call figurative.
A tormented topicality, in this new cycle of art works technically already completed, viewed in her studio, with exemplary refinement, conveyed through color, molten and completed, as it outlines quivering bodies and physical immobility.
The sorrow of a look, the happiness in the light touch of a gesture, brighten the brilliance of white supports in the rhythm and the synthesis thus accomplished, and thrust their beauty towards an extreme allegorical cohesion, intimate, and sublimated, more than endured. The masses of ochre and blue acquire, surrounding the perfect outline of a body, the plasticity of matter, which on its own still determines and concludes each elegant consistency.
This same elegance drives and sustains objects and forms in a few large still life paintings where every day elements recapture a measure of harmony and simplicity, coherent with the clear and soft backgrounds or the corruptibility of pasty and tangible depths.
This imaginary rank of figures therefore drives us to observe, in this evolving moment of Barbara Duran’s life, paintings that stand up for themselves, in the need to assert, positively and lyrically, the art of painting.
Teatro Furio Camillo | Rome | January – February 2004