Antonio Calderara’s (Abbiategrasso, 1903 - Vacciago, 1978) early work was figurative whilst he later turned to abstraction and minimalism, leaving behind the real world observing it as a distant memory. He lived a solitary life near Lake Orta with his wife Carmela, a conscious choice on the part of the artist who wished to distance himself from the bustling art scene of the time. Opalescent views of the lake reinterpreted with a clarity reminiscent of Seurat, serene contemplations of domestic life, celebrations of daily existence capturing the intimate sphere of a calm bourgeois world; these are works which clearly recall the atmosphere of the paintings by Piero della Francesca and Vermeer amongst others.
From 1959 onwards, the artist turned to abstract art for inspiration, constantly reinventing it in almost artisanal fashion within the confines of his own severe conception of art and life. Calderara created canvas upon canvas both in Milan and in his house in Vacciago, where a seventeenth-century triple loggia reflected the transient light of Lake Orta, at once Lombardian and Alpine in nature. « Colour is essential to my work », the artist underlines, « for me, colour is a problem of light: a problem that, without me ever realizing it, is already present in my very first paintings. » In the calm of the hilltop residence, the crystalline geometries of many compositions follow one after another; they are the result of a religious ambition that is spiritual in nature and concerned with harmony and balance.