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The article by prof. Giampaolo Trotta

Hagit Kazinitz’s Formal/Informal Pictorial Poetics: between Hermeticism and Duende, in Search of Utopian/Real Spiritual Places

"From the wide anxiety of dawn

unveiled grove.

[…] Just passed, was the time of detachment.

High heavens of youth,

Free impetus.

And yet, I am already desert.

Lost in this melancholy curve.

Even if the night dispels the distance.

Oceanic silences. Astral nests of illusion."

"Everything has extended, has eased, has been confused.

Whistles of trains long departed […] ".

"Already obscure and deep,

It is the time of summer that scrutinises."

"The rocks submerged shadow dies."

"Memory, fluid simulacrum,

melancholic screen,

darkness of the blood… ".

"At the foot, tight to the ascent,

a weary little tree.

From the grid of the branches

I see flights rise again…”.

"Terrors, surges,

the rattling of forests […] ".

"It was an urban night,

rose and sulphurous was the dim light,

where, as from a movement of the shadow,

the shape seemed to rise."

"And the trees and the night

do not move anymore, except from nests"

(Giuseppe Ungaretti, from O notte  [O Night], 1919, Paesaggio [Landscape], 1920,

Le stagioni [The seasons], 1920, Silenzio in Liguria [Silence in Liguria], 1922, Alla noia [To boredom], 1922,

 Caino [Cain], 1928, Primo amore [First Love], 1929, Silenzio stellato [Starry Silence], 1932,

in the collection Sentimento del Tempo [The Feeling of Time], 1919-1935)

In art criticism, nothing is more misleading than generalizations, which often lead to the assumption of an arbitrary and deceptive postulation. Therefore, each artist must be viewed and analysed in terms of their own idiosyncrasies, beyond preconceived patterns and references to categories and currents. Defining painters simply as figurative or abstract, for example, does not make any sense if then, within this outline, the various formal and conceptual differences formed upstream of such schematization are not highlighted. If this is true for the variety of artists, then it is certainly also true across the output of an individual painter, as we are able to define the characteristics of their specific cycles in relation to their artwork as a whole.

Thus, in the work Hagit Kazinitz, the painter, or perhaps more accurately, the multidisciplinary artist, a graduate of the Faculty of Arts – Hamidrasha at the prestigious Beit-Berl Art College, who lives and works in Tel-Aviv, Israel, and whose work boasts a string of national and foreign exhibitions, we can identify two necessary levels of interpretation, which while distinct, are at the same time complementary and inseparable one from the other.

The first level is what may be defined as the aesthetic-formal: that is to say, the artistic current within which her work falls and her various paintings’ compositional and chromatic implications. The second, on the other hand, is the conceptual-symbolic-psychological level: that is, the component which does not merely relate to the aesthetics and the 'epidermal ' and 'sensational' impression that her work produces in the observer, but that which determines in the audience the ability to reflect on a given theme through symbols and allegories. But unlike when reading an intellectual treatise on philosophy or psychoanalysis or latently 'political' piece, the latter operates through irrationally poetic and enlightening motifs. If only the first level existed, that would imply an exclusively virtuous painter from a technical point of view, while if we had only the second, and work that was entirely intellectual and devoid of captivating charm, we would be faced with a social ‘manifesto’ or a philosophical treatise, but not to a work of art.

In Hagit Kazinitz the two levels coexist, blend and merge into a unicum which is true art, pure poetics, and where her works, perhaps not unlike the hands of a blind man, uncover walls catching glimpses of heavens. Hagit projects her informal language, which is lyrical, and largely evocative of the French, German and Italian European informal language, towards Spatialism-inspired horizons, saturated with brightness.

Her artworks are highly poetic and consist in paintings on canvas, mixed techniques on paper and installations with concrete. In these, she revives the dreamlike nature of inner mythological journeys, full of psychological symbolism; we rediscover, as their foundation, the ancient Mediterranean 'myth' of the Odyssey and of the Aeneid. This narrative almost seems to reclaim the classic ‘fairy tale’ (Ìýèïò, Mythos, the tale), reconnecting to that ancient Mediterranean vision in which human feelings were symbolized through figuration. Diaphanous, ethereal and bright, dynamic and vibrant colours, intertwines and taches, draw fantastic journeys aspiring to discover the deep ego, that of 'her-self ' and of 'others'. Through communion, pathos, introspection, those chromatic applications and those signs create the semantic alphabet of a simple, human and, at the same time, transcendental philosophical textbook, which illuminates the fleeting moment both in the mind and the heart. Intuition and dream, fragments of memories and thoughts, sudden appearances, passing moments, 'prophetic' revelations and longing for the Eternal through the intimate experiences of daily, urban life, lived and rendered through a palette that always features harmonic luminosity or rigorous, austere, black-and-white. Thus, sort of a Europeanised Action Painting takes shape through existential turbulence, where both colour and non-colour become symbolic Freudian reference. Her abstract brushstrokes enclose the experience of Georges Mathieu and Emilio Vedova’s ‘gestural sign’, Antonio Corpora’s Lyrical abstraction, Wols’ ‘gestural feelings’ or Antoni Tapoes ‘spirituality of matter’. Without forgetting the ‘without drawing’ graphic lesson which clearly underlies these works, Hagit stretches 'create' and colour onto canvas: colour tones appear to move and 'take shape' and we can almost begin to understand the mood of the artist. Landscapes of mind and spirit, which offer depths, escapes, adagi or mossi, such as in a partially symphonic and partially dodecaphonic musical orchestration, expand beyond the canvas, to a sea, a forest or an infinite sky, the observer placed on a voyage of self-discovery aboard of a mythical and symbolic ship of Odysseus.

Hagit's pictorial work, in its abstraction, seems almost to imply, or, in any case, always refers to a 'nature' of the soul, which is emotionally and existentially perceived through the fruitful inspiration of an 'enlightening' moment, which confers on signs, colours and gestures the power of a magical 'enchantment' and conjuring the perception of transcendence.

The defining quality of Hagit’s language means that her painting can qualify, to use the term employed by Lionello Venturi in 1950 [1], as abstract-concrete, meaning, by the term ‘concrete’, as corresponding to that of the figurative, but to a figuration of an emotional nature. A skilful mix of essential, polished, 'skeletal' figurative without nuance and an informal lyrical brushstroke. From the sheer assonance of a visionary chromatic quality that forgoes direct references to the external world, we pass to a vehemence of gesture and signs engendering very strong sensations, of almost a photographic or radiographic nature, both of mankind and of human feelings.

A versatile artist, Hagit Kazinitz bases her pictorial research on colour as a primary element that is unique and unmistakable, typically two primary and absolute colours/non-colours (white and black) and on the sign, which define the pictorial and creative act itself.

Imposing constructs rich with emotional involvement result, between rationality and irrationality, always in subtle balance between reality and surreality, between truth and fiction, where symbolic images emanating from inner life evoke, or seem to evoke, mysterious presences, prophetic-poetic appearances, in a context which is, so to speak, eschatological, vibrant and powerful. A "sweet feeling" reminiscent of an ancestral ÐÜèïò (Pàthos) unleashed when listening to Nature’s 'mystical' silence, but also the gloomy, anodyne and polluted shadow of the contemporary city, where the ÐÜèïò mixes with the Ëüãïò, Logos, Verbum,  דָּבָר (Davar), with the ordered and apollonian intellect to become something else: art, as well as vibrant and restless intuition of art.

Observing her works is to follow a pictorial path to the sources of light itself, arriving at the heart of the emotions, in an eternal comparison between nature and city. An invitation à un voyage poétique et intérieur through her landscapes, permitting us to be part of a palpitating and changing reality.

The clear and aerial forms of her paintings, which remind us of skies and seas, roads, red forests and mutating cities, almost become, today, a type of ‘lighthouse' of Nature. This reminds us of the fascination of Katsushika Hokusai’s marine landscapes (well-known Nineteenth Century Japanese painter and printmaker) such as The Great Wave off Kanagawa, but also the lyrical ballads of Spanish Josep Maria de Sagarra (1894-1961), as in the Cançons de rem i de vela (published in 1923), and in particular the Vinyes Verdes vora el mar. Such are indeed the same sensations and 'impressions' which emerge from Hagit’s pictorial works, with her elegiac-lyrical visions made (employing Sagarra's verses) of a "feix de nuvolades desfet" ("beam of fraying clouds"), of "un tall de lluna, mig blanc d'angúnia i mig daurat de mel "("a moon which has been cut, half white with anguish, half golden with honey "), of "terra lluenta" ("shining earth"), or "raïm negre, pàmpol d'or" ("clusters of black grapes, golden leaves ").

In the wounds of bodies, soul and nature, Hagit sees an unmissable opportunity to reach a profound knowledge of the self, as if only through these wounds, never fully expressed 'on the surface' (i.e. never completely depicted on canvas, but partly implied and present due to their absence, that is to say, as opposite, antithetical to the intuition of Beauty), one could reach an authentic self-consciousness unveiling the inherent greatness of life.

In a time of globalization and virtual second-life, Kazinitz embarks on her 'journey', narrating it with an original approach and process, almost renewing the epic of exploration and travel to lands never seen before, which today, more than leading her far away to seek signs of other unlikely human settlements, pushes her toward the archetypal depths of fluid shapes and gloomy colours (often, however, only white and black) of contemporary urban settlements, in a space without delimitations and in a time without chronology which, nonetheless, never becomes an alienating post-modern virtual reality, and sometimes employs sophisticated digital 'impressions' alongside and along with traditional techniques. At this point her landscapes can mutate in ideal, or 'metamorphose', into coasts, forests and universal cities; these places might represent the essence of the whole world, leading her to travel to the very ends of the earth. Hagit’s paintings indeed aspire to be surreal and 'oneiric' impressions (paradigmatic is her Urban swirl, with its black Chagallian figures swirling, floating and dancing in the air like swans in the water). However, 'oneiric' must not be taken refer to the peculiarities of a fabulous and unreal dream, romantic and nostalgic, detached from reality, but, instead, to the sense of the 'mythical', according to the etymological meaning of the term, that is to say, a symbolic, almost prophetic vision, or an enlightened vision based on a very real human narrative.

The abstract moment as captured by her is kind of a communion-fusion between the author and the cosmos around her, a union not so much understood by her according to a renewed humanistic meaning (featuring the superior centrality of man with respect to nature, which completes him and simply surrounds him), but according to the articulated medieval one. Thus, these landscapes and syncopated fragments of landscapes, to reiterate, refer to internal and universal balances, where everything speaks of the vastness of the cosmos.

Her’s are 'images' depicting glimpses of landscapes and memories, which, assembled as in a vast collage, in the wake of the 'roar' of the sea, break into a calm 'silence' like abstract paintings, like incandescent elements of memory itself. Informal-figurative canvasses and works on paper where colour, outlining, within the accuracy of sharp silhouettes or ‘cropping’ photo effects, objects, people, and plants, liquefying and losing any apparent ‘shape’, make us guess at the undefined and changeable 'shapes' of human spirit and habitat. Canvasses become semantic and semiologic viatica of the innermost memory, which in turn becomes feeling and universal condemnation. A new world, in which everything can still happen, in deep symbiosis with that labyrinth of human soul in which the freedom of choice is a crossroads for everything possible. Energy does not cross through space, but constitutes it. Canvas filters out the natural forms, which transform and turn into imaginary projections, becoming symbolic at the moment in which they intercept energy flows.

Areas of 'immaterial' pictorial sensibility, featuring the psychological and ethical dimension of a spatiality with a global scope, recall each other, consistently outlining 'inner' landscapes, worthy of the experience of spiritual awakening, in which there is no longer a difference between the one who 'perceives' and the subject of perception. This entails Hagit consciously subsuming herself, taking part in the external world through an absolute act: a poetic painting, which draws its strength from the suggestions of nature and its seasons, a sort of pictorial haiku, almost representing the annulment of slavishly figurative painting, platonically limited to the imitatio Naturae, within a loaded and dynamic aerial-chromatic immaterial ‘void’. It is never, however, a 'synthesis' of figurative painting, pending a new source of inspiration, but a formal 'thinning' where the ‘whole’ is contained. Her canvases feature a language of signs, where 'sign' rises to the etymological value of the term (the Indo-European root sak, to show, which serves to indicate, to make known and to initiate).

His paintings genuinely aspire to the enlightened and orderly totality. However, the naturalistic 'fragmentation', which crumbles and twirls, envelops every abstract and centralised static harmony, introducing a dynamic conception of 'wind' as generator, as life-generating ‘destroying’ force, that is, of Ἄíåìïò, Ànemos, reclaiming ancient Western and Middle Eastern spiritual and cultural processes in the search for Light.

In the deep darkness of the night of the soul, under the storm of today’s siege by human folly, in an era corrupted by  terrorism and ethnic and racial hatred, Hagit finds a haven, a radiant beacon constituted by Beauty, Culture and Remembrance which are the saviours, although these are often imprisoned (somewhat like the Greek Slave by Hiram Powers, which inspired Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s homonymous poem, erupting into the oxymoron of "thunders of white silence") until, that is, the Sun, reminiscent of Foscolo (The Sepulchres, 1807) will continue to shine "on the disasters of mankind".

In a hypnotic atmosphere, pervaded with light, the forms partially dissolve: finally, they become just ethereal, abstract brushstrokes, the synthesis of a landscape, which is, at the same time, exterior and interior, crossing and permeating each other, revealing something such as a ‘thirst of air’ on the part of the Earth.

The colour, or the black-white (as it has been mentioned previously, she is never shy of monochrome), provide the image with spatial depth and, at the same time, with the psychological in-depth. Indeed, these elements, precisely, generate the perception of an infinite space. The work is not a narrative or a representation, but the inner vision of the artist, which creates a solitary dialogue between herself and the existential and cosmic totality, which seems to overpower her and, at the same time, accept her as part of a whole.

In her works, we find the almost 'photographic' substantiality of rocks and trees in the black lacework and textures against white skies, the inextricable tangle of bushes enclosing silent mysteries and of aerial roots, throwing themselves up toward the sky from the earth; the mysterious and metaphysical search for lost figures, the sinuous real-abstract ‘path’ of an unrepeatable fingerprint, the intricate, suffocating and objectifying urban forest, the search for a utopian island that is not there, but the search for which is, and must be, real and very concrete, in order to be able to truly live; the emptiness, the chaos and the void, the loneliness perceived in the mass of a teeming crowd, an upside-down world. Her language possesses the quality of mankind’s most enigmatic, tangled and contradictory depth, between dynamism and stasis, in a vital tension and harmonic opposition which leads almost to a coincidentia oppositorum reminiscent of Heraclitus.

With Hagit, a recurring theme, along with nature and in opposition/constructive integration to it, is the city. This tangle that we call City is, for the artist, the new forest of today’s globalized society, consisting, exactly like man, not of a single unit, but of One, No One and One Hundred Thousand (borrowing the title of one of the most famous novels, as well as the last, of Luigi Pirandello of 1925, defined by him as a "decomposition of life", to be able to leave the prison in which life itself seems to lock us up), constituted simultaneously of clatter and loneliness, as she writes:

"an interweaving of roads, alleys, paths, courtyards and basements; abandoned structures, heaps of rubbish, shops, sheds, bars, markets and street performers; hasty people, who walk from here until there, from there to here, stopping for a moment, hesitating along the way, and then moving forward. Cell phones ringing in their pockets, someone trying to make contact; destroyed houses, yards, new buildings, the price of life, shining exhibition halls, homeless people, rodents, bridges, escalators and elevators; underground car parks, offices, blocks of flats, lavish hotels, small pay-per-hour hostels, the people who are in those rooms as well as the rooms inside them."

A deafening and monotonous buzz which almost stuns, a self-awareness and a feeling of emptiness where all certainties become relative; which is not, however, static and lethargic depression, but, indeed, the crucible of powerful creativity and liberation. Hagit’s artwork represents the crisis of the individual in their relationship with objective reality and with the values which, until now, apparently retained the objectivity of their unity as well as their psychological integrity, transforming it from romantic hero into a complex and problematic person, just as in a novel by Kafka or Proust. In this way reality, through Hagit’s artwork, loses its simulated objectivity and crumbles into the infinite ‘insane’ vortex of relativism, where the person is no longer 'slave' of others, or of themselves. A fragmentation of the ego into a myriad of anonymous forms or, even better, etymologically 'a-nonymous' (from ἀíþíõìïò, anòniumos, without a name), which completely dissolves into nature with the loss of the 'word', now broken, of the "name" itself, quoting Pirandello once again, until the individual liquefies into a vitalistic ideal state, almost reminiscent of ‘panismo’ [2].

In the cities, all different but, at the same time, all the same, Kazinitz seeks an unnamed interior place, the ôüðïò, tòpos of the soul, the fullness in the void, "the" lost city. Thus, jets of concrete can hide, or perhaps protect, old parchments, wrecks of history; in airy skies one is able to plough fertile fields made of intuitions which scream in silence (see the Fields of Air series). Here, 'field' may meaningfully refer to a real one, made of earth, of wet or parched sod and man's work, as well as to the symbolic-conceptual one, in the sense of an area defined by social, psychological and interiority criteria. Thus, a clever and inextricable fusion between substantiality and theory, between ductile earthy tangibility and immovable and ethereal abstraction, made of virtual and inconsistent textures like the con-trails of planes in the sky. The fields’ grooves and trees become grooves and branches in the air, operating as deconstruction of meanings and values, as well as a new contextualization, without any semantic continuity.

A game of conceit and revelation, as in the ancient and worn parchments wrapped in concrete, where, metaphorically, what was once concealed but not entirely destroyed can reappear through syncopated tears, reborn as 'different' and create as 'new', as in a Lucretius vision of the eternal return, where nothing dies and nothing is destroyed, but everything is reborn differently. All this, however, the very fulfilment of human desire, can only be realized in the 'concrete' utopia of art (etymologically ïὐ-ôόðïò, u-tòpos, non-place place, place that is not there, ingenious invention of Thomas More in his famous 1516 Libellus […] de nova Insula Utopia, along the lines of Plato’s Republic), in those very real fields of air, but belonging to a reality which is 'other'.

Painting and poetry overlap, turning into visual poetry where words, fragmented and with a newly acquired meaning, purified, freed from any strictly practical purpose, become colour and painting, and the dry graphic sign becomes surreality and hermetic poetry.

The use, sometimes, of repeated printed or impressed letters and words creating assonance, is also a sign of modern alienation,

somewhat like the stamps, all alike, of Mambor’s works from the Sixties, elaborated within the 'school' of Piazza del Popolo in Rome, and condemns the semantic shift and the conceptual anamorphic mutation as on an inclined plane, without continuity, in a gradual unicum which, from reality reaches surreality, as sides of the same coin. The words 'floating' in the air connect, thus, in some of her installations, to the dark and bushy mass of the concrete nature on which they float, combining the intellectual and spiritual 'sacred' aura (naturans) to naturata nature (with analogue reference to Giordano Bruno and Baruch Spinoza’s philosophy). And then, to understand her works, among Broken words and Words floating in the air, we are reminded of the verse-poems of Giuseppe Ungaretti ("M'illumino/d'immenso" [I illuminate (myself) with immensity], La mattina [The Morning], 1917) and of Salvatore Quasimodo ("Ognuno sta solo sul cuor della terra / trafitto da un raggio di sole: / ed è subito sera", 1929  [Everyone stands alone on the core of the earth / speared by a sunray: / and suddenly, night has come already]), but mainly his hermetic poetry 'fragments', with their ‘closed', complex, essential character, through a succession of analogies and comparisons of articulated interpretation:

"Pack of lies, capsule of poison, / word (unspoken), calm waters, / false promises. / Secret, The bare truth, weapon (in case of emergency), sigh, operative code, low frequency, silence"; "That silence / wave over wave / interrupts the reception. / Flickering, bleak screens; / Not a sound heard, an image / does not appear and / there is no / answer"(from Words floating in the air).

In her brushstroke, as in her poetic word, freed from stringency or, even better, of absolute realistic echoes, one finds evocative magic and analogy is functional in revealing the unknown. As a result, painting is concentrated and essential, in which the soul reveals itself as through lyrical 'enlightenment', through expressive and metaphysical fragments projected towards the ineffable, towards remoteness, silence and absence (sometimes understood as 'waiting time'), against a background reminiscent of a secular mysticism.

An evanescent pictorial reflection, a radical engagement of the person with the existential root of their being and with the crisis that this always provokes in life, modern man’s sense of solitude in the midst of the crowd, having lost 'faith' in ancient values, in romantic or positivist myths, and has no more certainties to find anchor firmly, a real-utopian aspiration to the clarity of evoked Nature, which, however, is never transformed into absolute closure, depressive or pessimistic in itself, nor into an inner retreat, expressed through a nullifying and encompassing, if absorbed and subdued, tone, and nor, therefore, into that noir vision which reduces everything to the mechanism of pure physical existence, typical of second post-war French existentialism, born from the ashes of the physical and moral destruction and the crumbling of the ideological illusions of the Second World War.

Hagit's painting is the painting of the 'crisis'. Her brushstroke is the instrument of a refined and evocative language that fades into any direct reference to the experience in a game of allusions. In her work, the censorship of Hermeticism, a stepping stone in a plurality of meanings, is a stance against the manipulation of easy communication typical of mass society, while the whole reality is life, perpetual vital movement, understood as eternal becoming, incessant transformation from one state to another: everything that detaches from this flow curdles, stiffens, begins to die. The 'folly' of art is, in Kazinitz, the tool par excellence for disputing the fake forms of social life, the weapon which blows up conventions and rituals, reducing them to the absurd and revealing their recklessness, demanding people ‘unmask’ themselves. Nature becomes the tòpos, the almost mythical place without identity nor, indeed, masks, a sort of vitalistic and surreal, timeless  ‘irrationalism' (but which, ultimately, is not actually irrationalism):

"my work – as she writes herself – comes from a place which doesn't have a name. My paintings depict daily urban landscapes which are surreal and apocalyptic. Within a variation from realism to abstraction, landscapes are always painted according to a balance between what is present and depicted and what is absent, between what is hidden and what is visible. All this, through the underground channels of our subconscious. The narrative underlying my works raises questions about our existence, on the boundary between reality and fiction. My works thrive in the connections between what is broken and what is woven again, between vulnerability and strength. The aim is to bring to the surface the power of what is concealed."

All this, however, does not mean, unlike in Pirandello, to exist, or aspire to exist, without identity or memory anymore. Indeed, it is absence, what is not there or is not seen, which is the real protagonist in her paintings. In her works there emerges, in fact, fragments of memory, of stories, where past and future meet, Going back with Reflections on What has remained on the essential Remains (all these are titles of her paintings or series). One is reminded of The Remains of The Day, the famous novel written in the form of a diary in 1989 by Kazuo Ishiguro, the English writer of Japanese origin (born in 1954), who, in 1986, won the Withbread award for his second novel An Artist of the Floating World and who, in 1989, won the Booker Prize for his third novel, which inspired James Ivory's 1993 eponymous film. Memory, remembrance and, inevitably, coming to terms with the past: a poetic-philosophical combination, along with pathos, which catches the hopes and fears of antiheroes, almost always unable to really deal with reality, forced to survive clinging to faded and ephemeral memories. As in Hagit, his attention is in the details and the atmospheres, which are always described with great care, and in the symbolic novel An Artist of the Floating World he referred to the Eighteenth/Nineteenth Century "floating World" (ukiyo), so dear to whole generations of Japanese intellectuals, writers and painters, such as the already mentioned Hokusai. Thus, Hagit’s world and art can also be considered as 'floating': the ukiyo-e featured legend and history, worldly solemnities and crafts, glimpses of bridges, waterfalls, districts of Edo and Kyoto, landscapes, views, sea, mountain, forest, thunderstorm, the lukewarm rains of solitary springs, wind, corners of urban roads, wind blowing over the open countryside, a world of dreams and of the wonderful. In Kazinitz, we find references to tangles of streets and alleys, abandoned structures, markets and street performers, people walking hastily, mobile phones, destroyed buildings, shiny new houses, homeless people, "rodents, bridges, escalators and elevators; underground car parks, offices, blocks of flats, lavish hotels, small pay-per-hour hostels", skeletal trees, natural forests as well as urban forests, reflections, roots, urban night scenes, floating words, modern and gloomy palaces 'stained' with blood red, silhouettes of ‘good and bad’ birds and ladders in the rainy darkness. And again, bushes drawn such as in India ink next to crawling streaks of images almost woven, diluted and blurred in their locked dynamism, digital swirling and whirlpools, textured and detextured woods, legs, shoes and bags caught with a black and white ‘crop’ effect along crowded pavements, black words on white walls beside leaden abstract depths, which ignite with stretches of warm yellow-gold, memorial stones and rounded river pebbles, Missing figures, i.e. white and frayed human shadows rendered by absence as after an atomic explosion, reflections and mirrors, white-black rocks in absolute contrast or black-purplish rocks, surfaces of black stems and spikes against white and airy skies, 'windows' on nature stopped and blocked in fast motion, such as trains on long distance-journeys, the interweaving of black branches in comparison-dialogue with large and gestural black and yellow-orange brushstrokes within rectangular 'screens' mirroring each other, evanescent bushes, such as under an unreal uncoloured snowstorm, balled and hanked brown yarns (reminiscent of Emilio Scanavino’s ‘knots’) in dialogue with black silhouettes of men, mute observers of the scene, as in some works by Mambor. Abstract-real horizons between sky and earth in a dichotomic division, occasionally reminiscent of Mark Rothko or Carlo Mattioli. The longest list of moments and sensations which seem to tend toward infinity

The series entitled New Order describes the conflict between a real place and an impossible one, which is not there, with reference to classical conceptions of 'faith', on the one hand, and
'heresy' on the other, of a world which believes with stolid certainty and one which
breaks with conventions, creating a "new order" and a new way of interpreting the various 'opposites'.

In the Language of Depth triptych, Hagit Kazinitz has addressed the very concept of depth: that deep tòpos which seems to be obscure but, at the same time, vivid and inspiring, "hiding, but sometimes revealing strong underlying historical, ecological and geological processes which influence the observer" of her works. Underneath each element of this triptych there are three black and smooth mirrors, which look like black immovable water, reflecting the work and multiplying and exasperating the sense of depth itself. Beside this painting-installation was her poem Doubt! (referring to the experience and the intelligence of doubt, of Dubito ergo sum), manually impressed on the wall, with the symbolic absence of some words, once again sentences and ‘broken words’.

But among all the series of her works, among all the installations, one in particular seems to us paradigmatic of her modus pingendi and of her art: that of her eleven canvases made with mixed technique, representing, as Hagit herself says, "a dialogue with Spanish poet Garcia Lorca on the theme of duende, when gravitational forces move over the soul of the artist," implying, once again, the necessity of  ‘destruction' before a new creation.

In a seemingly irrational vision, but never sceptical or devoid of intelligence, suggestive of the intertwining of perceptions and concepts, Hagit highlights the will to weave a common thread between inner unrest, inexpressible enchantment and Socratic thought, whilst addressing the paradox. In some respects, she imitates the journey of exile, renouncing the sleep of thought and the opacity of seeing, in order to better look at the conditions of the world today. Only those who possess Lorca’s duende, that is, those who become interpreters of authentic anxiety, the intimate constitutive element of every truly artistic act, can understand the spirit of the times, and communicate its roots.

The Aesthetics of El duende (which García Lorca, versatile poet, musician, painter, developed for the first time in a lecture – Juego y teoria del duende – held in Buenos Aires in 1933) is the spirit of evocation emanating from a deep inner ‘struggle', a high state of emotion that weaves the constantly renewed textures of restlessness and speaks of its infinite fertility, the spiritus which, through poetic intuitions, 'dares' to cross the threshold of philosophical reflection. Originating on the inside as a visceral 'physical' and emotional response to artIt is what gives you chills, makes you smile or cry as a bodily reaction to an artistic performance that is particularly expressive., the human condition of rejoicing and grief; it Drawing on popular usage and Spanish folklore, Federico García Lorca first developed the aesthetics of Duende in a lecture he gave in Buenos Aires in 1933, "Juego y teoría del duende" ("Play and Theory of the Duende").According to Christopher Maurer, editor of "In Search of Duende", at least four elements can be isolated in Lorca's vision of duende: irrationality, earthiness, a heightened awareness of death , and a dash of the diabolical.The duende is an earth spirit who helps the artist see the limitations of intelligence, reminding them that "ants could eat him or that a great arsenic lobster could fall suddenly on his headaahelps the artist to see the limits of abstract intelligence, it expands the eye of the mind, offering a glimpse of the mysterious emotional 'darkness' ("black inner sounds" representing the counterweight compared to Apollonian light), taking one vis-a-vis death, where one can feel its chant. This unrest, as indecipherable force, a dark energy, but still the bearer of fruit, turns out to be the engine of the experience of living. El Duende[3] lives in the tumult and is a fundamental element of art, which transcends style, mere virtuosity, the mere 'angelic' provided by light to the artist as well as mere 'forms', that is to say the classical artistic norms dictated by the Muses. Not that the artist simply surrenders to the duende;To a greater extent compared to that which the Muse or the angel may be able to, the duende not only involves the artist, but also the audience, creating the conditions in which art can be understood spontaneously. It is, in Lorca's words, "a sort of corkscrew that can get art into the sensibility of an audience… the very dearest thing that life can offer the intellectual."It makes reality so intense that it becomes 'unreal': it’s a charming fascination with traits of sadness and unrest, an inspiring and creative inspiration, the absolute essence of art, emotional truth[3]. Lorca writes: "The duende, then, is a power, not a work. It is a struggle, not a thought. I have heard an old maestro of the guitar say, 'The duende is not in the throat; the duende climbs up inside you, from the soles of the feet.'It is a matter of 'blood', of inner 'fire', it’s the spirit of the Earth. Representing the world or following rules to generate works of genius is not enough: what is necessary is the existential unrest of those who are perpetually opposed to themselves, while remaining faithful to themselves at the same time. The unrest at the root of the depth of the soul, where it fights against 'obscure' earthling impulses and, at the same time against the static nature of Apollonian intellect, searches for a balance between emotions and reason, between ancient cities and new landscapes. All of this is an innate characteristic of Hagit.

Kazinitz sIn his brilliant lecture entitled "The Theory and Function of Duende" Federico García Lorca attempts to shed some light on the eerie and inexplicable sadness that lives in the heart of certain works of art.FaFaHazinitzheds light on the inexplicable sadness of the duende, on its restless soul, which lives at the heart of certain of her works. "All that has a dark sound has duende," García Lorca stated; the latter – Hagit seems to say – is not so fragile as to not be able to survive the 'brutality' of technology and of the globalized world. Perhaps there is just no money in sadness, no dollars in duende .The duende’s melancholic sadness needs space to breathe and float in silence, whilst not denying our humanity. The artist who refuses to explore the darkest regions of the heart will never be able to convincingly paint the wonder, the magic and the joy of love, nature and light.

Mystery and awe of both the mind and the body itself, 'painful' ecstasy, without being a Dionysian loss of senses, impregnated with Socratic äáßìùí (dáimôn): all this is present in her multifaceted art, which destabilizes aspects and dimensions of what is customary. Openness toward what is new, a willingness to experience contrast, the ability to renounce the apparent congruence of thoughts, an inclination to renounce harmony to follow different paths and discover intimate underlying knowledge, developing a thought paradox which explodes into a profusion of powerful buds. From this point of view, death is also understood not as a dark zone and as negativity, but as a 'natural' context in which life, paradoxically, explains and explores its motivations for being. Kazinitz, in her paintings and installations, blends forms and manages 'metamorphosis', without ever repeating herself, just as happens – quoting García Lorca again – in the "forms of the turbulent sea". Her art has the charisma that lies between the Muse and the Angel, within the folds of the voice of the soul.

A journey, finally, a Journey through time which takes place in the ineffable geographies of art and spirit, a journey where art, in fact, becomes testimony, vibrant message, 'enlightenment', pure lyric, encounter, intersection and clash of diverse roads, where duende and nature reflect themselves as in mirrors, ad infinitum.

It is a 'utopian-concrete' camino de las estrellas, a Van Gogh-reminiscent and cathartic "way of the stars" towards a natural and introspective Eden, towards a thirst for infinity, experienced by the artist while shaping and providing meaning to the archetypal Tree of Life, to the eternal volatile play of clouds, shadows and waves.

Giampaolo Trotta

Art critic – Florence[4]

[1]L. Venturi, Abstract and concrete, in "La Biennale di Venezia", quarterly magazine of Art, cinema, theatre, music, fashion, year I, N. 1, July 1950, p. 11.

[2] "Life does not end [as it is a continuous flow]. And life does not know of names. This tree, tremulous breath of new leaves. I am this tree. Tree, cloud, tomorrow book or wind: the book I read, the wind I drink. Everything outside, vagabond "(L. Pirandello, One, No One and One Hundred Thousand, Book VIII, chapter IV, Does not end).

[3] The first traces of the Spanish word duende probably date back to the Thirteenth Century and the term is likely to have been born out of the contraction of the expression duen de casa, a type of domestic spirit.

[4] Giampaolo Trotta, born in Florence in 1956, is a critic of modern and contemporary art. He was the director of "Spazioeventi" at the Orler Galleries in Marcon (Venice) and consultant at Modenarte in Modena. He has written on important artists, both historical and emerging ones, from Italy, Europe, America and Asia. He is also architect and historian of architecture. He has been consultant for various artistic, historical and architectural heritage agencies of Tuscany and lecturer at graduate courses in Art History at the University of Florence Faculty of Literature and Philosophy. As historian, he studied the impact of Neoplatonic philosophy on the art and architecture of Humanism and the Renaissance, and carried out research on urban buildings and sectors of Florence, Tuscany, Sicily and Brazil, including his studies on Florence’s synagogue and Jewish cemeteries. He published about 300 essays and volumes. He is a member of the International Council of Monuments and Sites (I.CO.Mo.S., Paris), an honorary member of the Academy of the arts of drawing and, from 2017, of the Culture commission of the Order of architects of Florence.