Criticisms from books and catalogs

ITA  Italiano

On this page you can scroll and read only some criticisms translated into English on the artistic work of Andrea Benetti (the entire body of criticisms is present in the Italian version of the site). The text begins with a nod and a quote from the author and you can read it in full by clicking on "Read more".

Andrea Benetti’s installation entitled Coxale, exhibited for the first time at the University of FerraraColors and Sounds from the Origins
The technique an artist employs is never neutral nor indifferent. On the contrary, it carries impressive weight in influencing content or the “what” that one is attempting to express.
Marshall McLuhan’s prophetic phrase “the medium is the message” rings particularly true in Andrea Benetti’s painting. Like in the ancient Byzantine mosaics or in medieval paintings, Benetti’s figures are radically flattened on the surface...
Prof. Silvia Grandi
Professor and researcher in Contemporary Art Phenomenology
DAR ·  Dept. Of Visual, Performance and Media Arts ·  University of Bologna

The power of imagery · Andrea Benetti’s neograffittism
Gombrich dedicates the opening pages of his essential work The Story of Art to the paintings discovered in the nineteenth century in the caves of Altamira, Spain, and in Lascaux, southern France, which represent the tribal origin of the incredible history of Western art. Art is a long and articulated linguistic journey that since the beginning of the last century has undertaken significant detours... Prof. Massimo Guastella
Professor of History of Contemporary Art
Scientific director of labTasc ·  University of Salento ·  Lecc

"Glimpses Toward the Imaginary"
In art, fascination with the past is nothing new.  This is witnessed by the exploration of movements designated by the prefix “neo”, which in some cases have resulted in a revival, in others, the adoption of old values expressed through contemporary creativity.  Andrea Benetti, in is two decades of work as a painter, and especially since creating the “Manifesto of Cave Art” (2006)... Prof. Ada Patrizia Fiorillo
Professor of History of Contemporary Art
Department of Humanistic Studies ·  University of Ferrara
Professor Renato Barilli at the Andrea Benetti exhibition, set up for Arte Fiera and entitled "Il colore della luce - Opere in bianco"From the rock to the canvas · The travertine in the Neo-Cave Painting
The experimentation of the new technologies applied to the artistic production generates an unexpected interest in the study of ancient techniques employed by artists of centuries past. The “contrappasso” of ancient and new techniques heralds a new formal message to the public based on bygone customs. Many young artists of today have become impassioned to learn the ancient techniques used in Medieval and Renaissance workshops... Prof. Stefano Papetti
Department of the Arts ·  University of Urbino Carlo Bo

Creation and desire. The art of the origins by Andrea Benetti
The first man who plotted on a wall an intentional sign, or left an image of his own hand as if the projection of a shadow, changed forever the fate of his own race. That line, engraved rather than painted, that imprint either positive or negative, marked an irreversible difference to the rest of the humans and placed him – to stay there forever - at the top of a hierarchy whose role of command would be very easy to define... Prof. Francesco Paolo Campione
History of Art and Museology and History of Collecting ·  University of Messina

The sign of eternity
"Lascaux Man created, and created out of nothing, this world of art in which communication between individual minds begins"
Georges Bataille, Lascaux. The Birth of Art, 1955
In his most pivotal writing, Gillo Dorfles stated that in order to understand a work of art within the context of its (and our) time, three fundamental points are needed: sign, gesture and material...
Prof. Tiziana Fuligna
former Professor of History of Contemporary Art ·  University of Urbino

So far and yet so near
VR60768 is the identification code of a rare Paleolithic artifact, but for the nonexpert of archeology this alphanumerical sequence might appear to be a “string”; a digital genetic code that can transmit any number of data like, a program, a piece of music or a movie uploaded to the internet; actually, it could be an entire multimedia encyclopedia where different media meld together into an overwhelming knowledge experience... Prof. Giuseppe Virelli
Didactic tutor ·  Department of the Arts ·  University of Bologna

Andrea Benetti at a press conference with prof. Silvia Grandi at the Coop bookstoresBenetti’s Neo Cave Painting
In this article, I’ll address Benetti’s invention of and specific style of Neo Cave Art; a pictorial concept that gave way to a manifesto that he presented at the Venice Biennale in 2009.
At first reading of the manifesto we see that Benetti has constructed a totally new formula, even though it is evident that his work is a mutation of the marvelous cave paintings of thirty to forty thousand years ago...
Prof. Gregorio Rossi
Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Italian Art of America
Curator of the "Nature and Dreams" Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale

Timeless Art
“Finally I have found my Maestro”, Pablo Picasso was quoted as saying (although proof of this uncertain&rvpar; in the presence of the enigmatic paintings of Lascaux.  Undoubtedly, the fortuitous discovery of the grottoes of Lascaux in Dordogna had a strong impact on the European culture of the 19th century in terms of both visual scenes representing everyday life, as well as the representation of formal language, science and philosophy... Dr. Marzia Ratti
Director of the Institution for Cultural Services of the Municipality of La Spezia

Andrea Benetti: the Neo Cave Panting
Andrea Benetti’s “Neo Cave Art” is not painted on rocks nor on rocky cave walls: it is painted on canvas. So don’t expect an artist with roughened, callused hands, armed with hammer and chisel, sweating and covered with chips and dust. At worst, you might catch him with a few spots of oil, or splashed with henné or paint.
So “Neo Cave Art” is a sort of fiction, the kind in which– to paraphrase Gorgia – those who let themselves be fooled are all the wiser...
Dr. Dario Scarfì
Siracusa Municipality ·  Department of Cultural Policy and UNESCO
Coordinator “Sicily” Pavilion ·  54th Venice Biennale

Andrea Benetti together with the curator of the exhibition dr. Simona GavioliArt and ornaments: at the origin of symbolic communication
When and how the Mankind began to manifest symbolic behavior, to transmit knowledge, a specific perception of the world through symbols, signs and artistic performances? These questions have challenged philosophes, anthropologists, sociologists and those interested in Cognitive Sciences. Yet, only a limited category of scientists, namely archeologists and paleoanthropologists dealing with the oldest humans ancestors from southern Africa, Europe, Eastern Asia and Australia, provided an answer. While the earliest and modest artistic expressions by archaic sapiens are currently limited to the... Prof. Marco Peresani
Department of Humanistic Studies ·  University of Ferrara

Colors in Venice
There is a golden thread that connects Andrea Benetti to Venice, Italy. In 2009 the Emilian artist presented his Manifesto of Neo Cave Art (Manifesto dell’arte Neorupestre) at the 53rd Biennale. In his manifesto, Benetti considers the idea of aesthetics which is shaped upon the first forms of human expression created by prehistoric man, carved symbols and marks, and geometric abstract shapes. The artist’s work is replete with zoomorphic... Gaia Giorgetti
Journalist and writer

Emerging signs
Having written about Andrea Benetti’s works for other expositions – I have had occasion to point out how his subjects relate to archaic artistic forms – connected to a pictorial-expressive modality that takes us back to the contexts of primitive or pre-modern artists where the world of realism and phenomena, rich in icastic and descriptive details disappears, and leaves way to simplified iconic symbolism. Often in his paintings we find ambiguous figures that bring to mind forms of objects and utensils that are caught between an archaic past that implode almost all the way back to the origin of man and a hyper-technological future where things and people are transfigured in symbolic... Prof. Silvia Grandi
Professor and researcher in Contemporary Art Phenomenology

DAR ·  Dept. Of Visual, Performance and Media Arts ·  University of Bologna

Andrea Benetti in St. Peter's Square, waiting to deliver the work to Pope FrancisThe force of symbols
The first time I saw Andrea Benetti’s artwork, I was struck by how much energy that kind of bas-relief painting produced, as it intelligently and carefully manipulates the very origin of painting, that is, cave painting.
The figures on the canvas can act as isolated symbols; items in an archaeological catalogue, or they can be included in a dynamic context that brings them to life, as if to animate them and give them meaning that goes beyond their symbolic value...
Dr. Sabrina Collina
Indipendent curator


Grotta di Fumane and the origin of art in Italy

Cave art appears fully mature since its earliest manifestation. At Chauvet as well as in other caves in Western Europe, large panels with representation of felines, horses, deers and pachyderms of the Ice Age (mammoths and wholly rhinos) were drawn on the walls and enlightened with torches to create suggestive games of shadows and lights. Besides the famous polychrome paintings of Lascaux and Altamira caves, repeatedly admired and cited by Pablo Ruiz Picasso, the earliest art is also characterized by stylized traits, marks, engravings and the renowned…
Prof. Marco Peresani and Prof. Matteo Romandini 
Department of Humanistic Studies ·  University of Ferrara