L’oriente risplende di rosso, 1968
oil and pencil on canvas, 350 × 200 cm
Painted in the fateful 1968, Novelli's large canvas recalls in its title the ideological debates that inflamed cultural activity in ours and in many other Western countries in those years. Novelli never made a secret of his political sympathies, which as can be seen inspired his compositions but which obviously count as a mere inspirational element. The elaboration of the painting has nothing to do with that of the political manifesto, Novelli's poetics is based on the most total freedom of layout, of signs, words, fragments of images, chromatic inserts, with the only constant of a profound lyricism. The east therefore shines red, because the surface of the canvas shows us a heavy rain that seems to be about to cover it entirely. Together with whitish patches, the surface largely bears a texture of red dots, from some of which paint material drips, which seem to descend downwards or, following the indications of the title, to draw an inflamed firmament.
from: Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro. La Collezione permanente, exhibition catalogue, edited by G. Verzotti, A. Vettese, Milano, Skira, 2007, p. 177.