top of page

"Continuum" always going who knows where and why ... just keep going .....E.T.

Ennio Tamburi. Continuum

So let's talk about Ennio Tamburi: E.T., as the artist has always wanted to mark his works, the two pointed letters fully included in a circle.

The need for drawing, the urgency of the trace, the intention of the image: "it was the experience of this illusion that made me a painter". The same illusion of recomposing, for millennia, the space of existence, of acting on the balance of things, on their position, on the outline and on the shape.


From “Blombos” up to here, the artist questions space, transforming it into a place, the source of the imagination and sediment of interior projections. With E.T. the surface of the world is earth to be marked and punctuated, with the light and uncertain gesture of those who touch a delicate material, letting the surface retain the trace of the pigment, beyond the immediacy of the gesture, so that fragility and persistence reach coherence .

The path of E.T. is exemplary,  above all for its ability to redefine and re-establish itself, in well-determined passages, thus revealing the sincerity of the research and the solidity of the results of an artist who went through the second half of the twentieth century and the first two decades of the 2000s with an attention to devote to consolidating and amplifying the depth of a continuity.


The start of the artistic production of E.T. it takes place in the 1950s, moving  towards the material side of Art - typical of that period are the assemblages of metals and neon, interventions with metal clips on photographic images and stones, environmental installations - with the declared aim of sharing the political-existentialist sensitivity of the time.

The important exhibition with the eloquent title “Man Condition”, held in Ferrara at the Palazzo dei Diamanti in 1975 (the year in which E.T. also participates for the first time in the Venice Biennale), constitutes the most complete exhibition of this research. Then, to mark the completion of a season, E.T. changes, frees himself from the grip of the present, to devote himself exclusively to a painting with a-temporal spatial impulse. 

A liquid and ethereal memory of the material remains - a well-known critic said well in this regard of an "ideological" derivation from watercolor - collected in the delicate lightness of precious oriental papers that become the chosen support for ET's work, for which "paper becomes a place, a field of relationships", an area without margins of sensitivity. 

Just it comes to be noted, from the quantum and energetic grammar that originates from the Eastern philosophical lesson, and to which the artist has so often referred.


On large welcoming and  mysterious surfaces, E.T. combines with definitive formal maturity a set of inspirations that are as diverse as they are intimately coherent. There we find the freedom of travel and the rigor of the theorem, the diary note and symphonic transport, the observation of reality and a sought-after visionary that celebrate the universal and primal power of the sign. The point, the line, their energy that enters into a relationship with the sensitivity of the surface, the process of the drawing and the immediacy of the imagination delivered to the persistence of shapes and colors: all this also brings us back to the cave from which we started, to the awareness of a line that does not begin and does not end, according to the short and marked times we are used to.


The sumptuous exhibition of papers contained in the display cases of the historic “Casanatense “ Library in Rome, held in 2006, and then above all the great retrospective organized by the National Gallery of Modern Art, also in Rome, in 2012, are the two culminating acts of this intense season by ET. Then, again, his work will renew.

The subsequent production seems in fact to admit a new hypothesis of painting, another imaginal propensity. The artist evokes the dream of an attained, unlimited and boundless freedom, a cosmic sense of motion and connection where, in his own words, "color is fluid, it expands on defined spaces that water makes indefinable".

It is this balancing act between the margins of the drawing and the unstoppable stain that surpasses the score of his tables / pages in favor of the project of a life: that “continuum” with which E.T. titled works and exhibitions, that “continuum” which, from Heraclitean memory, each time goes through the sheet, regenerating itself repeatedly. Ennio names it "wisdom of time that does not pass", a time of hypotheses and infinite possibilities, a time of memories addressed one by one and projected onto the future, a condition of the imagination that, like water, expands, stops , it impresses itself, continues to flow, bringing with it signs of a human passage, while stones and papers are consumed in the celebration of art and life. In flowing to yet another life.


[Luca Arnaudo and Roberto Lacarbonara: Presentation of the exhibition "Ennio Tamburi continuo", CRAC, Taranto, December 15, 1918]

bottom of page