Hope beyond the wall. Zabarella and the minimalist eloquence

Walls are insatiable. They can pose as keepers, but also as jailers. They can do both, and it is important to stress that the consequences of their role are often connected to our survival. They control life, they manage freedom. Building a wall is like starting a new butterfly effect, you can alter the events. Brick by brick.


A wall can take care of you, protecting from cold and dangers. A wall can bear a roof to frame what you love the most. A wall can deprive you of freedom and delimits your life. Every brick has its own weight.

We live in a world in which walls are coming back as elements of discord and division. Walls sentence people. Looking back on the past, we can find various examples of this kind of “dividing walls”, like the one of Berlin. Its demolition, in 1989, has marked the beginning of a reconciliatory process. It is, still, the symbol of a human victory, the only way to rebuild relationships and smother isolation.


Luciana Zabarella, Hope Beyond the Wall, mixed media on wood, cm 25x35.

We can build a cement wall, but it is not the material to determine the effects. Bricks or barbed wire, prejudices or impositions. All of that can rise up in front of us, circumscribing our actions and conditioning our possibilities. Domesticating and isolating us. A wall looks like a majestic obstacle, but the pursuit of freedom is stronger. The dark is not eternal and the hope is beyond the wall. Yes, it is and the artwork of Zabarella lights this way. Colors, passions, are near us; right across the dark. Like the one created by a jailer wall, able to trap bodies and minds.


The chromatic selection of Hope Beyond the Wall is explicative and it’s interesting how a minimalist composition can exhaust any explanation. But Minimalism, born during the 1960s, is characterized by the reduction of reality, anti-expressivity and emotional coldness. Although we can find aesthetic connections between Zabarella’s work and western Minimal Art, it is impossible to disregard the emotionally charged side of Hope Beyond the Wall.



Luciana Zabarella, Hope Beyond the Wall.


The artwork is a graphic metaphor of our world, an incentive to look beyond appearances, limitations and habits. Luciana chooses to create a split between what is taken for granted and what is unexplored. So, her artistic language moves away from traditional Minimal art to espouse ideals similar to Japanese synthetism and dematerialization. In particular, this kind of creative processes were used as role models to find a way to represent the spiritual side of a specific element. In fact, through the graphic simplification, the artist, summarizing what is necessary to raise emotions and removing what is accessory and conventional, is able to reach a wider audience and create a universal primordial language.