Aidan Dunne, “A dash of Italian flair brightens up galleries”

“The Sunday Tribune”, review of the exhibition Milano. Milano, Irish Life Centre, Dublin, April 1993

FESTA Italiana, Dublin, arrived with an impressive flurry of contemporary art exhibitions, several surprises among them. These included the reappearance, in this neck of the woods, of the work of Belfast-born painter Anne Donnelly (at the Taylor Gallery). She settled in Italy in 1967 and, to judge from her attractive, likeable show, Italy certainly settled into her consciousness and sensibility.

Another surprise was provided by the work of a fine young Italian painter, Roberto Rizzo, in the Wyvern Gallery’s Milano Milano show at the Irish Life Centre. This was probably the best show yet at this venue, not just because of the quality, which was high, but because of the organisers wisely decided not to cram the enormous space, so that everything had room to breathe. Rizzo is only in his mid twenties, but he is already a mature and confident painter of powerful geometric abstracts that recall certain elements of Charles Tyrrell’s paintings. A strong colourist, he has also developed a convincing and flexible grammar of form.

In addition, he has that certain flair common to all the work in the show, whether that by native Italians like himself or by other nationals living in Milan, like our own Richard Gorman, represented by two excellent montprints (one with collage).