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Ancient Books

I am privileged and happy to write about the works of international, German artist, G Luigi Rossi.

Rossi works rigorously and continuously in his large studio – gallery at Kalkara, nested in the southern, harbour area in Malta. His studio is the intimate, compelling space where he plans and develops his artistic projects with enthusiasm and determination to convey to the public his dreams, thoughts, and life-stories.

My initial critique starts with one of Rossi’s large-scale paintings, entitled, Ancient Books. We know that books are there to gain knowledge and to enrich our lives with a myriad of subjects we find in the sciences and humanities. The humanistic values of ancient books are not only about the influence and impact on modern culture but also the preservation and development of language, etiquette, morality, religion, and scientific wisdom.

Many times, we judge a book by its cover and contents; the literature we read in books. Sometimes artists transform literature into works of art. Others create small or large-scale books into sculptures or installations. But Rossi’s ‘books’ are represented in abstract forms of paint, which express a much deeper meaning on the canvas.

In this multifaceted colourful painting, the artist articulates diverse insights of his vision of ancient narratives by synthesizing his thoughts and projects them in his work. In these ‘books’, Rossi created a private world, his psychic journey, an unconscious reality. Here, the artist is unbound even by time, relating his past experiences of childhood, or as a young man or a recollection of a book. I find that in this painting, there is a conceptual affinity to the works of Belgian artist, Marcel Broodthaers (1924-1976). Broothaers’s installations transform books into visual objects and could no longer be read, and on the other hand through painting the representation of books, Rossi is asking the spectator to be the viewer. The artist here is not to reveal but to perform and not to inform. ‘The sphere of modernist visual art no longer have any validity; they must be replaced by a recognition of the contextuality and contiguity within which all discursive formations – including aesthetic once – are located.’ (Hal Foster et Al., 2004, 549-551). G Luigi Rossi’s paintings are mostly about the sense of self and the world. Rich in symbolism, his paintings convey a dynamic art which is highly reflected in his creative process and then in the final work.

Today, Rossi’s art is all about beauty, poetic fantasy, technicality, and above all what is happening around us in this world full of trouble, pain, and sorrow. But the artist express a colourful realm of images which is a positive expression of life. In his 1959 diary, legendary American artist, Joseph Cornwell wrote:

Creative filing Creative arranging as poetics as technique as joyous creation Hagman, 2010, 91

As I already stressed, Rossi’s art is a colourful idiom of our times, looking into nature in an optimistic way. Apart from painting, the artist is versatile in many other aspects of creativity. He excels in technological creations, installations, and even scientific innovations.

Prof. Louis Laganà (Ph.D., Lough) is an academic, curator, artist, and art consultant.


  • Foster, Hal et al., Art Since 1900: Modernism ∙ Antimodernism ∙ Postmodernism, London: Thames and Hudson, 2004.

  • Hagman, George, The Artist’s Mind – A Psychoanalytic Perspective on Creativity, Modern art and Modern Artists, New York: Routledge, 2010.

Professor Louis Laganà (Ph.D., Lough) is an academic, curator, artist, and art consultant


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