A transfigured creativity.

The first artistic attempts in the post war years show Weiller’s desire to portray life, an urgent need to depict a fascinating human reality which captures and seduces her. She depicts a world half way between reality, the vague and the fantastical drawn with vibrant and quick brushstrokes. The use of tempera helps create vibrant splashes of ochre or green, often partially covered by bursts of vibrant reds and luminescent white dots.

Venice transpires in Weiller’s delicate colours, her light blue nuances and harmonious pinks, in the tonal use of colour, and in the sweetly oneiric dimension which pervades everything.

In those early years Weiller used her art to tell imaginary stories, mainly to her children. The drawings were made to entertain and narrate: long scrolls of paper depicting bearded Jewish patriarchs, queens of Saba, Ester’s large and languid eyes, exotic animals and plants, painted with humour and vivacity. These were illustrations for the Baal Shem by Buber, the Odessa Tales, Stories of the Queen of Sheba taken from the Talmud and King David by Shlomo Skulski. Silvana Weiller’s hand joyfully traced the trifles of life and Jewish stories, nothing other than shreds of her life and the lives of her loved ones.

The style of her drawings is reminiscent of Egon Schiele yet lacking in his painful drama. Both artists, in portraits or arrangements of figures but also in studies of tress and landscapes, pursue the same goal: to penetrate the essence of things. The nervous expressiveness of the brushstroke and the overbearing characterisation are alike, yet Weiller manages to subdue them by enveloping the characters in love. This is when Chagall’s lessons come to mind: similar thrills of wonder run across an inner world, for Weiller’s case, the world of middle-European Judaism. Chagall’s slices of “dear” daily life, recall Weiller’s emotional and magical work depicting dear and familiar images. However, the character’s heated dialogues and the vibrant colours are also close to August Macke’s narrative and descriptive style. The humorous and engaging brushstroke describes objects, whereas the light, warm and clear, dreamily drapes over the canvas. The brushstroke, already determined and assured, becomes gradually stronger and slowly gives way to her desire for geometrization, a specific and formal schematization where, nonetheless, the figurative element is still visible. Even if, with a first analysis, other contemporary paduan artists come to mind, including Pendini, Strazzabosco, Fasan, Weiller conveys her world with authenticity, personality and originality.

And the trees, these are still her favourite subjects. Sometimes similar to wailings with leaves so alive they appear conscious, at times hungry for light, at times peaceful, at times filled with sadness, yet always elegant and dignified, they stand powerful and bright across vibrant skies. Trees will also appear later, in 1978, in a series of dry tips, a technique Weiller only engaged in sporadically when tempted by new forms of expression.

From 1951 onwards her work is drawn towards a stronger schematization: the shapes, moved by expressive rhythm, take on harmonious and swaying movements and her complete work, filled with impressionistic hints, acquires magical, evocative and oneiric tones. The brushstroke, with its bolder and stronger colours, depicts increasingly geometrical blurred and sinuous shapes. In acid coloured brushstrokes, shaded by light and shadow, and vibrant anti-naturalistic reds the background loses its structure. Under Weiller’s authentic, soft and reflective light the paintings recall Mondrian’s language.

In portraiture, a subject dear to the author, the synthetic and dreamy drawing hints at an entertaining game, but subsequently reveals an astute psychological analysis. The portraits, solidly constructed with vigorous pencil lines and strong tonal differences, depict loved ones enveloping them in sweet tenderness.

This is Modigliani’s style, just like Weiller he overcomes traditional iconography by overlooking the superficial and delving into the soul of his characters affectionately searching for an intimate exchange.

Her long years of chromatic and figurative experimentation and work evolve into a pictorial style with a stronger contemplation of interiority, a higher reflection of the soul and a greater desire to look beyond time.

The colour spreads, throwing a dematerialised and fading veil, flooding the sky and the earth with transparency and reflections. Once again, the autonomy of colour and the arrangement of the work on the canvas, recalls Chagall. The colour tries to be a precise and formal element and, through its chromatic mixture, to give the painting the psychological and emotive theme from which it derives.

Weiller’s path will lead to a strong emotional detachment to reality and her developing use of materials will become more significant in later years. Thick marks with a palette knife reveal a creative and vibrant fervour which moves the chromatic surface where the imagination begins to soar in yearning for more meaningful and freer choices. The pallette knife’s thick marks reveal a creative and vibrant fervour that brings the canvas to life letting the imagination soar on a search for meaningful and liberating choices.