Salvatore EMBLEMA's influences oscillated between the environment of his hometown Terzigno, perched on the slope of volatile Mt. Vesuvius overlooking Pompeii, furnishing him the organic raw matter, including leaves, volcanic earth, petrified lava and oxidized metals which constituted his somewhat subdued palette and the American movements he mixed with during a two-year stay in the United States from 1956 to 1958 invited by David Rockefeller, one his keen collectors, who introduced him to artists of the caliber of Mark Rothko who became a close friend and source of inspiration.
This combination of early encounters and diverse influences culminated in EMBLEMA's decision to focus on the perception of transparency in painting as a lifelong endeavor, despite ever-changing and evolving art genre and fashionable trends in art.
The term, coined in 1969 by Italian art historian Giulio Carlo Argan, one of EMBLEMA most ardent believers, describes the ability of the artist's paintings and land art installations to interact with the existing light and space. If chiaroscuro is the use of subtle gradations of light and shade to create depth and drama in painting, it could be said that EMBLEMA revisited this concept in the abstract. Dropping the oscuro, EMBLEMA focused his attention on the chiaro to the extreme, inviting ambient light to enter his paintings and his landscape installations without artifice. He sought to strip away from the conventional plane, making the flat surface almost transparent.
In EMBLEMA's relationship to Land Art the path to transparency went from a pictorial intervention on the landscape itself, transcended by application of paint created from organic raw matter directly on trees to more evanescent environmental installations revealing the landscape through transparent jute canvas.
In his parallel pictorial research the artist progressively evolved from the application of natural elements to the plane surface, passing through the integration of the burlap itself as a pictorial element, to his Un-woven canvases, where jute's wires are removed from the surface of the canvas, leaving a glimpse of the light-space that lies behind the picture. As such, EMBLEMA added literal shadow on the wall, paradoxically creating depth and dimension. The works from the series Structure / Porte are de-constructed canvases. They present all the elements of the traditional "quadro", the stretcher, the jute, the color, the transparency and mark the relationship indoor-outdoor, landscape and pictorial plane.
EMBLEMA's research in the land art and pictorial field gave him an important role in the post-war Italian avant-garde.