Eleonora Lima

Painting chaos: Scientific and visual references in Paolo Volponi’s «Passare la spugna»

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Keywords: Paolo Volponi, art and literature, Omar Galliani, Transavantgarde, cosmogo- ny, science and literature, cosmology, astrophysics, J. Richard Gott.

This study analyses Paolo Volponi’s poetry Passare la spugna, published in 1988 in a limited-edition booklet, together with nine original drawings by the painter Omar Galliani. This essay aims at retracing the cultural background from which the text emerged: the research done by the astrophysics J. Richard Gott and his “spongyµ Universe model, the painters from the Transavanguardia movement and its return to Renaissance figurative tradition. This study wants to draw new attention to a long-forgotten text and, by means of a thorough textual analysis, also to demonstrate to what extent the connection between science and painting, theorized by Volponi himself, was crucial for his poetics.

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