Il Canto di Orpheo, Pietrasanta 2004
Pietrasanta in Tuscany, and the nearby Carrara, where geniuses like Michelangelo and Bernini worked the marbles in their studios, have been a home to Anna Chromy for over twenty years. Here she has her studio, the foundries for her bronzes, and here she works her blocks of marble into masterpieces such as the archi-sculpture of the Cloak of Conscience and Eurydice.
In a retrospective show of Anna’s works in the beautiful Sant Agostino church and monastery, the City of Pietrasanta chose The Myth of Orpheus and Eurydice as its theme for this exhibition, with the breathtaking Eurydice in white marble at its centre.
For a better understanding of this exhibition, following are some excerpts from the introduction, given by its Curator, Giuseppe Cordoni:
“Only compassion can understand what has been lost or denied forever. Looking at the exhibition ”Orpheus’ Song” we are always drawn towards the center of a mysterious metamorphosis that transforms each loss into a new and higher possibility to love. Only through suffering and understanding will Orpheus gain the right to sing again.
Evocation out of the void, invocation to be saved: In her sketches Anna Chromy recalls her vanished creatures from the depth of dreams. Her sketches are mainly drawn on black paper, like darkness itself. With quick strokes and fine layers of powder, using the flat part of the chalk sticks, she carves, models and fades the flash of the ghosts of Lazarus, almost always faceless, suddenly brought back to the light.
The creatures’ fate wavers between being and precariousness. Loss, compassion, poetry: these three realities of the soul and her innate sense of beauty shape Anna Chromy’s entire creative challenge. Vaclav Havel, the writer-president of Anna’s place of birth, formulated this philosophy with the following words: “I believe that its deepest roots lie in transcendence, like the roots of human responsibility… It is not the belief that things will end well, but the certainty that things have a meaning, regardless of how they end”.
The art critic Marco Gallo wrote in his article “Exploring new hypotheses of beauty/the neo-baroque genesis of Anna Chromy” about her Ulysses:
“If the 1924 self-portarait of Ulysses by De Chirico outlines the dissatisfaction leading to suffering, to aimless roaming in the infinite void, Chromy’s Odysseus seems to explore a new concept of Beauty pursuing virtue and knowledge, fully aware of his own undoing beneath the blows of fate. Chromy’s Ulysses is a metalinguistic work similar similar to Michelangelo’s and Bernini’s David, which are primarily reflections on the hardships of sculpting and which do not cease to investigate new hypothesis of beauty.”