Sculture del Prof. Alfiero Nena Scultore - Opere in mostra a Roma via del Frantoio 44/a
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A survey of critical reviews by

Elio Mercuri, Ciro Ruju and Mario Ursino
of the statue "Saint Francis" by Alfiero Nena

...His sculptures appear before me, tender image of a girl in "Waiting", his "Horses" rearing up like tree trunks in the presence of man, in this clear relaionship which I feel to be that precious place where life, every living thing, is brought back toward its most inflessible possession; a true presence, eternal and sacred. It is the secret of his Saint Francis who speaks to the birds and to the wolf; he speaks to water and to the plants, the consequence of that love wich is the source and the reason for every living thing and wich alone restores peace. Steady on his feet, big and strong, he stands there rooted to the heart, like an ancient tree; but whose branches reach toward heaven as if caught by a breat of wind, stretched out with this need o fly - didn't Brancusi say that all sculpture is a search for "flight"? - that wich reunites heaven and earth, starting point and destination, body and soul, and the insuperable simplicity of every creature. This was Francis in his own time, joy of love, and in being there, is make his presence true in our present time, what Nena embodies in the admirable strength of the sculpture...

Elio Mercuri

... And the singularity of this poet-Saint consists precisely in his aving anticipated much of the distinguished medieval literature (Dante, Petrarca, Boccaccio) in exalting the works of the creation;except that, for him, the great love for Nature (brother is the sun, the wind, sister is the water, the heart, the moon) became the means to aspire to the divine. This idea is expressed well by Alfiero Nena when he draws like a bow in space the monumental image of the Saint which is situated in the middle of the huge esedra in front of the church of the Saint Francis in Sorrento, a few steps away from one of the most impressive views (from Procida to Vesuvius) in Campania.
Tha work seems to soar into air with a very strong movement which the sculptor has skillfully realized in the drapery of the torn and hermitic habit, which adheres to the musculature of the young Saint, with its classical folds of ancient and Arnolfian taste.
And also in this Saint Francis we find again the extraordinary vitality (typical of all of Nena's sculpture) which is associated with the resumption of the formal ideals of the best italian tradition, that is to say, the linguistic renewal introduced, in fact, by Arnolfo di Cambio (1245 - 1302) through his annotation of some realistic details and characterizing gesture of the late antique establishment; on this illustrous tradition, therefore, Alfiero Nena grafts, then, his great understanding of is favourite materials, like iron and bronze which he makes malleable to emphasize better his own innovative conception of representation of holy subject matter, to which he means to give the maximum of expressiveness and creative tension...

Mario Ursino

The image of Francis has been realized in a plasticity tense and vibrant, in an effective anatomy just a the moment when in a backward leap he encounters the bird which will (or wishes to) rest on his hand.
This a gesture captured in realistic spontaneity which emphasizes, under the religious habit, the uman anatomical structures in a whole complex which harmonizes well with the entire composition.
The structure is not simple and it is intented to harmonize simbolically with religious values. The image is itself complex as it is the synthesis of a spiritual experience which reveals in the statuary that point of connection betwen the uman and the divine.
In my opinion, Nena achieves this link with his sculpture (a figure which can compete with the aulic tradition of making sculpture). It is a realistic representation from which, whether from his technical skills (intervention on the fusion already realized), or from his aesthetic skill (the scrupulous care of details), emerges an effective sacrality which gives to the sculpture of Saint Francis an expressiveness and the visual dynamics of great emotional suggestiveness.

Ciro Ruju

di Carmine Tavarone
Note di critica tratte dal volume:
"Alfiero Nena, l’ombra e la grazia"

a cura di L.Bortolatto. Ed.Gutenberg. Roma.
di Elio Mercuri
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