In the solo show at Lenbachhaus (2006), an exhibition entitled “Observatorium – Gegen den Strom (Observatory – against the Stream)“ Paolo Parisi reflects on the basic and formative impressions of his home near the Etna – the powerful “breathing” mountain whose lava eruptions have led to a prevailing awareness of the earth verging on disaster. The vulcano and the profound depth of the sea hidden under its reflecting blue surface constitute the reference points for the development of his works; always attentively observing nature, which transforms, breaks open and closes again. His painting deals with this reality under the surface of appearances. For this exhibition Paolo Parisi has developed a presentation especially for the rooms of the Lenbachhaus encompassing the various aspects of his work created up ‘till now.
The exhibition starts with “Come raggiungere la vetta (giardino)“ (How to reach the peak – garden), 2006, a new edition of a work of 2000, which he painted in oil directly on the wall practically mapping the inside of the volcano. The visitor finds himself within a space whose reality is heightened by the changes caused by the colored light. Thus Parisi elucidates his stance towards painting right at the beginning. With the medium of paint a real landscape is transformed into a conceptual one. The earthy materiality is replaced by a reflecting paint (containing silver and aluminum pigments) shimmering in the red light.