Francesco Gurrieri: “The Abstract Plastic of Antonio Di Tommaso”, in Il Nuovo Corriere, Saturday 7th May 2011.
“Di Tommaso’s plastic art is characterised by a strong geometrical motivation: implosions and permeations of solids that remind of difficult task of projection and representation (of solids). It is evident that his virtuous plastic art postulates metaphors on our existence. His prisms and the vitality of his shapes create tensions in the wrapping of shapes, exemplifying a society that no longer knows how to converse. The plastic abstract art of Di Tommaso is not just a language deterministically distant from usual figuration, but an anguished personal decision to examine a pained mortal expansion.
Elvio Natali and Giuseppe Machiori (to cite some of his critics); have spoken of a certain confidence, of an “expressive virtuality of subject matter” – stone, marble, wood, cement – utilised to realise and pulsate a secret mood”, of “iron and bronze capable of new luministic effects”. But more can be said of the sculpture of Di Tommaso.
Vittoria Corti in her lucid summary mentioned “an epic depth far away from every decorative detail”.
I would also like to add, moving away from the idea that Antonio Di Tommaso can express a soliloquy, how much he learnt from the intense lessons of Mastroianni and Consagra, prominent figures in Italian sculpture. In the adjective “epic”, also intrinsic is the monumental urban dimension of his sculpture. Even his small moulds photographed with the Duomo and roofs of central Florence in the background, have the same symbolic value as those that make part of real urban spaces.”
Tommaso Paloscia: “The Relationship Between Space and Environment in the Sculpture of Antonio Di Tommaso”. In L’anima come teorema / Antonio Di Tommaso, Florence. AdiT, 1999, Printed 2000
“The sculpture of Antonio Di Tommaso is woven on geometrical canvases that allows a fluid interpretation, thanks to the clarity of the stylish solutions with which his creations are expressed. As a sculptor that looks and always gives to nature, an important principles shine through in his work. The principles with which Cèzanne founded the theories that revolutionised the visual art of the modern era. From clay to marble, from plaster to ceramic, from iron to bronze, from wood to …, Di Tommaso moulds, composes structures, creates simple crossroads and bold surfaces; he challenges the logic of the images borrowed from geometry loading them with renewed tensions; he uses them confidently in as in a space game, almost sorcery, completely dominated by his creativity which seems magical. In all of this he succeeds in not damaging the dominion of those spaces that invade, carve, occupy, he manoeuvres with a precision of an alchemist architect, apt in provoking with his imagination one of the most difficult conditions that modern sculpture seeks: the embodiment of shape in its complete connection with the interpreted environment as complex historical and cultural, beyond ecological, and without using aggressiveness to enslave his drawings. […]. Di Tommaso has worked intensely and solidly to become part of the group of the great wonders of recent years and has earned himself a dedicated space in the history of our contemporary art”.
Marcello Venturoli: The Soul as Theorem or rather the Sculpture of di Antonio Di Tommaso Text by Marcello Venturoli. Photography by Mario Geniola. Scandicci/Florence, Centro Arti Visive Modigliani, 23rd May – 8th June 1991
“… just as the artist presents himself, through work in work, master of his means, with a “know-how” of a rare profession, so much so to credit him as a “classic” sculptor with an abstract style, and also knowledgeable of the materials utilised, be it bronze or steel, artificial stone or Carrara marble, […]. Both vertebrates in the same upward spiral are “Esplosione naturale” (Natural Explosion) and “Crescita” (Growth), two works from 1990 […]. Whilst these shapes of shapes find unity in a variety of twisting and sharp “growth”, almost screwing themselves into the air, they appear blocked in a fleeting moment, nevertheless presenting, beginning from a pyramid base, as though for an instant, a stability of a tri-dimensional icon, founded in my opinion a starting point in the atelier of Antonio Di Tommaso. But the artist is not just this fitting result, it is a thirty year period of passion for the plastic arts driven by research and celebrated by a humanity which is why the works of the sculptor are recognisable and they mirror the present (ones).
Giuseppe Marchiori: The “Plastic Art” World of Abruzzese Sculptor Antonio Di Tommaso. (Venice, February 1980)
“The sculptures of Di Tommaso impose themselves like a piano chord, skilfully composed with an exact perspective, with principle elements of a multifaceted world, of awe-inspiring structures. And of precise dimensions. It is therefore important to speak of an out of this world adventure, composed and translated in words of rare precision, a continual play of triangles inserted with fine art, so much “concentric forces”, as the “spatial tension”. […] The vitality of the shapes determine like always a rhythm or a tension, to limits of a search that reveals in the sculptor, a decisive intensely active willpower”.
It is not a plastic virtuosity that is adopted, but instead the search is a very different subject matter. One, that can be identified with elements of a plastic bound to the history of modern sculpture, in the multiple aspects of an ideal quest. In the art of Di Tommaso there is an influx of a distinctive logic expressed in the continuity of a rational tension.”
(Exhibition Catalogue: Sassoferrato, Palazzo Oliva, 11th July – 22nd August 1982)
Marco Fagioli: “The Sculptures of Antonio Di Tommaso from 1964 to 1992”, in VARIA Trimestrale di arte letteratura e cultura varia, anno 2° n. 5 – marzo 1993
“Di Tommaso began working as a sculptor at a very young age, learning a manual and artisanal professionalism that many of his contemporaries accustomed to projecting rather than carrying it out. From the beginning I emphasis the idea of profession as for Di Tommaso it is at the forefront, he works with his sculptures with an almost symbiotic connection with the subject matter. A connection that only the old artisans had which has since been lost in the modern world, now accustomed to a profound disconnect between conception and execution, between design and technique […].
After beginning with the form, the sculptor’s personality perceives the expressionist angles that he will follow, informal and also abstract, however his angles of approach have never been grasped nonchalantly in written quotes as they have for other sculptors of his generation. As you will see by looking into his impressive visual collection of works. On the other hand, Di Tommaso’s approach to sculpture could take place outside every cultural and historical mediation; sowing the land with a sheer practicality in the plastic arts. Looking at the surfaces of his bronzes that have been almost obsessively smoothed down, now moving in tangled curves, bends and shapes which follow natural traits that at times are distinctly sensual. Di Tommaso therefore, is still inclined non so much to true memories but to memoirs of nature; […]. An inseparable mix of a desired and styled abstractionism and a vague remembrance to nature; vague not because uncertain or clouded, but because imagined, seen through candid eyes of a childhood memory: memory of a woman and memory of landscape, memory of a stone and of a tree.
Each shape assumes in its world the same importance, loosing the privilege of ideological classification, an element fervent and present in everyday life and across all categories.”