There is a long and meandering line, spread across a lot of European sculpture of the first half of the century - not unambiguous or without oscillations, that line, but still clearly clear, and recognizable - upstream of the work of Giuliano Giuliani. It moves perhaps from the most mysterious time of Martini, the forties in which it seemed that everything he denied of what he had thought up to then. Then they go backwards, the thought and the gaze of Giuliani, up to a plastic asset of the century such as the Prometheus of Brancusi, of 1911.
From there he rethinks the results, the early ones, of the research of Henri Moore on his return from Italy, and at the time of the fruitful encounter with surrealism: and Moore seems to interest him above all the conjuncture - which occurred in the British group "Unit One" - that sees the sculptor next to the 'organic' inclinations of compatriot Barbara Hepworth: oscillating then, too, between tensions to pure form and surrealist memories. Finally, last but not least, is the search for the fifties and fifties of Arp to seduce Giuliani: that will, in particular, so often declared by the Alsatian artist (whose 'surrealist' time had been by chance one of the most frequented by Hepworth), to give life with his sculpture to forms that are close to a new birth, that preserve the scent of the womb, without repeating any existing form. And perhaps, through Arp, Giuliani ends up guiding Giuliani, above all in certain passages of the Nineties, also the work of Alberto Viani. So, from different sources, climbed in the past century and not even close to each other by a bond of strict mutual dependence, oscillating between research of abstract order and humanistic suggestions, Giuliani moves. Of which perhaps too often, on the contrary, has been emphasized (and myself among many others) only the vocation to a separateness, in the hermitage of the Marches mountains, that if it is certainly a real condition of existence, and reflects a vocation deep in the soul, it has not prevented a wide and conscious look given beyond, and well beyond, those boundaries
So, for example, we can still today look in amazement at the beginning - now far away, nested as they are in the first half of the eighth decade of the last century: and more than thirty years have passed since then - close to a purposely imperfect figuration of Giuliani : provided, however, to recognize in those first steps of the sculptor (and others who followed them for some time, seduced above all by the uneasy affabulation of the "teatrini" of Martini: as, for example, Donna e albero, circa 1987) only and not so much a still unresolved linguistic dimension, but an early configuration of that balance that, if in the near future will know how to dress in different appearances, will remain permanently to characterize its research. In this, retracing, Giuliani, just one of the linguistic lines of that sculpture that, it has been said, has nourished the mature steps first. A memory of organic forms is in fact resistant, for example, in the Blossfeldt flowers, in a 2001 Untitled title and again in Ostia (resumed and completed in 2004), as it was in Per Antelami in '95 or again nell'Ulivo of 1990. Just in Ostia, on the other hand - capital work in the path of the sculptor, and whose double date that is due, 1997-2004, almost emblematically ties a more remote time to research today - Giuliani deep other his talents that must now be recognized as essential: first of all that "process of dematerialization, of excavation, of emptying with which he transforms the compact and hard block into a thin plate with modulated movements", as Carlo Lorenzetti has recently written .
In this, equally, placing himself in the wake of a modern practice of sculpture that is based on the tradition that was of Moore and Hepworth, and that has similarly been poured into the later work of Arp. Of course, in Giuliani's case, here and elsewhere, the departure from travertine, which he has over time elected to his exclusive material: from his sudden lacunae, his injuries and unforeseeable erosions, that the slow excavation work stone is subjected to highlights; gaps and wounds that will be healed here, with a restorative gesture, from gypsum and resins, and instead left there in sight. These unexpected and almost cruel glimpses that an imperfect process of secular sedimentation impose on the material, the surprise and the risk of Giuliani: a consciously assumed risk, and the guarantor of a work from which every classicistic pride is banned; and in which every goal of perfection precipitates, like an anxious chasm. The irrecoverability, then, of an intact perfection of form takes shape in the work of Giuliani through those wounds, through those repeated strokes inflicted on the integrity of the stone (and identically in the paper: since in the splendid and very little known his drawings reproduces its own that long and obsessive excavation work, aimed at finding a lost sense of integrity, alternating between wound and suturing, which is the basis of sculptural work).
The result is a disturbed image in the deepest strings of melancholy, the feeling of all authentically neoclassical poetry: in which the nostalgia of an irrevocably lost good becomes itself, a place of new beauty. The 'place' of Giuliani will then be that of transparency, of the gap, of absence; of the renunciation of matter understood as encumbrance, as weight, as a self-referential demon; and its assumption - on the contrary - as a trace, breath, memory. And his 'figures' will have the levity of the dance, the uncertain course of the wave: flexible, uncertain of their destiny, abandoned at their own secret rhythm, they will only say of loops and tangles, of knots and bows, of folding and new leaps: so, for example, Vela, Gilberto and Elmo, Spirali. Finally, another talent has that 'place'; and there are many sculptures, recent or now distant: a 'place' to some extent antithetical to that which found his other sculptures - to testify once again how this research is not far from the trembling reasons of a soul, nor closed in aegis of a tetragonal form to the human. It is the place of concealment; a place gathered and closed in itself, until it becomes a nook, a shelter, a womb. A place where the shadow dwells, barely struck by the short blades of light that penetrate the wounds on the stone; and perhaps the mystery.