the whole is more than the sum of its parts

Jules Crépieux, who is the real founder of graphology (even if this term was coined in 1870 by abbot Michon) makes a list of as many as 175 graphic peculiarities, which are assembled in 7 points of view: speed, pression, form, direction, dimension, continuity and order; every kind of handwriting matches a character trait. On the other hand, we owe to the German school and to its Gestalt setting – synthetized in the sentence”the whole is more than the sum of its parts” – the idea to put the rhythm as an important observation point, for a wider analysis about the sign beyond its signifier.
So, if we base the reading of Wanda Benatti’s work on this assumption, we could make a “journey” through her works, whether pictorial or structured as “stained glass”.
The common root of whole Benatti’s artistic production is the narrative rhythm that composes her chromatic and gestural spreading, where the mnemonic participation of the author appears clearly. The big canvas and the works on glass, underlined by their titles, tell us about places or “memory sites” that have lost their figurative physical materiality in order to achieve another one, which is more intimate and poetic, more existentialist and irrational, very close to the experience theorized by Tapié in “Un Art Autre”. Pigments and signs are lying with a controlled vehemence and draw themselves on canvas to take anthropomorphous, aniconic forms that are rich in philosophical metaphores. From the Oriental cultures comes the wind that smooths all sounds, from the pre-Columbian ones comes the devotional handwriting, till that imaginary line lying around the words by Francesco Arcangeli in “Gli ultimi naturalisti” (The last naturalists).
Wanda Benatti’s art enjoys the gift to aggregate people’s dreams, because it is able to make expressive, mature and personal synthesis. The golden backgrounds are interwoven with refined ornamental patterns; the cyclical signs, which are solar representations in the eternal and primeval shapes of the Pre-Inca and megalithic civilizations, melt with coloured volumes, as if they were chapters of a continuous narration, that seems to go on from one work to the other. Light, that is normally contained in the overlaps of material, explodes and participates in the stained glass windows through the space projection of shaded colours. As a result, these works create the enchantment of the waiting for change in the rooms that house them.
If Le Corbusier, in his glass windows or sunbreakers in the Notre-Dame du Haut Chapel in Ronchamp, operated by subtraction of light in order to create a slow absorption that leads to a religious meditation, in Wanda Benatti’s works we can see that the vivid lighting of her colours overwhelms in our imagination, as the taste of memories or of a primeval sensation or as the musicality in a poet’s words. Anyway, we are deepening this reading that glides on the painted surface not just to catch its aesthetic appearance; in fact, if we investigate the complex pictorial construction of the non-images, we can feel the vibrations of a mantra that opens our eyes to the depth of a metaphorical space in the singsong repetition. Here you can see the landscapes of the heart, the never met countries, the endless paths.
The narrative rhythm of Wanda Benatti is, maybe, all these things together or, maybe, it is something else: beyond shapes, signs, continuity, order, like a dream can only be.