“I think it is not difficult to immediately realize that the most relevant key to reading for the intelligence of Giorgio Russi’s painting regards the dream-like dimension”. So the great Enrico Crispolti – who worked closely with Russi, at least for all the eighties, considering him then one of the most significant figures emerging in the Italian artistic landscape – opened the part dedicated to him in his text in the catalog of shows Casciello, Gadaleta, Russi. A current triangulation, held at the Galleria Comunale d’Arte Contemporanea of Arezzo in 1986. A statement, therefore, of more than thirty years ago, but which besides well framing the imaginative area of making of Russians of that period, the best known (among the most iconic celestial landscapes dominated by the presence of strongly disquieting birds, first, and more essential scenarios, now more less vaguely landscaped inhabited by mysterious “flames”, then), is perfectly fitting also to the current work of the artist , which constitutes the present exhibition. And it is the sign not only of a coherence, of a continuity (even if his art has made its way since then), but of the existence of a certain field to which Russi necessarily continues to respond, thus feeling almost always intimately as own. (…) Antonello Rubini
On show 20-25 recent works by Giorgio Russi including paintings and sculptures.
Giorgio Russi was born in Turin on December 29, 1946, he lives and works in Treviso. After the Diploma of Art Master and Applied Arts Maturity he obtained the Diploma of Sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome under the guidance of Pericle Fazzini. From 1971 to 1988 he was a lecturer in Sculpture at the State Art High School of Teramo. Since the early eighties he has carried out an intense and significant artistic activity by participating in numerous national and international exhibitions. Winner of the National Competition, from 1988 to 2011 he was Dean of the Liceo Artistico Statale di Treviso.
In the fortieth anniversary of the death of Luigi Di Sarro, the exhibition organized by the MLAC with Centro Di Sarro offers a glimpse of the production of Luigi Di Sarro between the 1960s and the 1970s, highlighting the transversal nature of his approach to techniques and materials and his characteristic conception of the “sign” as a generative element of shapes and spaces, without a real caesura between abstraction and figuration, evident both in graphic and pictorial work, and in photography and sculpture.
Di Sarro, avid experimenter in his artistic activity, has practiced drawing, painting, engraving, sculpture, photography and performance, focusing in particular on themes related to the body, movement, light and abstraction capacity of the sign and the geometric figures. Di Sarro died only thirty-seven years old, killed for a fatal misunderstanding in the tense climate of the years of lead in Rome, on February 24, 1979; he left a vast artistic production (paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, graphics, projects, notes, aphorisms). Works by Luigi Di Sarro are in several Italian and foreign public collections (including GNAM, MACRO, Palazzo Braschi and the National Institute for Graphic Design in Rome, Pompidou Center in Paris).</p>
Active since 1987, the Museo Laboratorio di Arte Contemporanea-MLAC, directed by Prof. Claudio Zambianchi, has been proposed since the beginning as a meeting place between the university and the contemporary cultural world, distinguishing itself for its vocation to research and training. Among the initiatives that have animated the program for thirty years, there are exhibitions, conferences, round tables, book presentations, festivals, video reviews and musical proposals, which aim at first hand to put in contact the most lively artistic and cultural realities of the moment with the students and scholars of the University, often coming to involve them actively. In the same way, the will to open up to the city is strong, involving all citizens through the proposal of a very varied program.
Exhibitions and events promoted and organized by the MLAC take place in the spaces set aside in 1985 by the La Sapienza University of Rome, at the Rettorato Building, in the heart of the University City.
On the occasion of organizing and carrying out the exhibition the MLAC offers a possibility of internship to students who have an interest in deepening in the field the craft of the historian and art critic in all facets. The internship foresees, in fact, an active commitment both during the preparation stage, with the possibility of working in close contact with the curators, and during the opening period of the exhibition, managing the guided tours, the reception of visitors and, last but not least , all the work related to the promotion of the exhibition, learning to manage the various online communication channels, from the blog to the main social networks.
With FINITE / INFINITE, Elena Giustozzi and Caterina Silva show the work done during the ARP-Art Residency Project in South Africa. An exhibition that offers itself as a journey on many levels, not the simple notion of travel, but the will to observe from and with different points of view.
The slow walks in the nature of Elena Giustozzi are revealed in comparison with the gaze from the top offered by Boomslang, the suspended walkway of Kirstenbosh Gardens, but also in a sketchbook of digital sounds collected in various corners of Cape Town. Works done in Italy, in the Marche region where the artist lives, mix with the paintings painted in Cape Town. A work wich is slow, meticulous, meditative, intimate and grandiose at the same time.
The vicissitudes of the soul of Caterina Silva, her continuous queries on the meaning of reality, and the language she would like to express it, are certainly in her large canvases, colored and wrinkled, but also in comparison with what the soul carries with its past far or near. And so, thanks to the meeting with the students of the Ruth Prowse School of Art the performance ticticfhsfhscoldcoldrainrain has come to life, and that continues a similar research just carried out by the artist in Norway.
The double solo exhibition of Isabella Nazzarri (Livorno, 1987) and Viviana Valla (Voghera, 1986) focuses on the direct comparison between the different methodological and stylistic approaches that the two artists used to build their own original pictorial language.
Focused on an essentially gestural and erratic process, Isabella Nazzarri’s painting coagulates in a series of surprising shapes, characterized by vivid and brilliant colors that stand out on monochromatic backgrounds in the papers as in the canvases. The light precipitated in the pigments becomes the material also of her sculptures, made of colored resins enclosed in glass ampoules (Monadi) or expanded polyurethane molded to evoke the rock formations and calcareous deposits present in nature.
Based on the stratigraphy of paper materials is the research of Viviana Valla, who through the reworking of post-it, clippings of magazines, pre-printed sheets, shreds of silver papers and much more builds an intimate and diaristic painting that paradoxically assumes the appearance of a geometric composition. The theme of her investigation is the conflict between emotionality and censorship, which is expressed in a continuous balance between the accumulative method, of an intuitive nature, and the rigid control exercised on the often orthogonal forms of his compositions.
Both Isabella Nazzarri’s erratic method, based on gestural trust and freedom and on chromatic and signic lightness, as well as the critical and conflictual one by Viviana Valla, articulated in a dynamic contrast between emotionality and rationality, prefigure the assumption of responsibility towards the pictorial language, used as an interpretative filter for the construction of a Weltanschauung, a vision of the world.
The title Not Provisional alludes to the committed and “non-temporary” character of the pictorial approaches of Nazzarri and Valla. The two Italian artists, in fact, differently from provisional painters who avoid the overload of expectations linked to a secular medium such as painting, accept to elaborate grammars capable of expressing the dubious, enigmatic and uncertain character that is on the origin of the visual art training.
The exhibition Not Provisional presents about thirty works – including paintings, papers and sculptures – of the recent production of the two artists.
Public art has become in recent years not only an alternative form of expression, but also a real stage with which artists confront and dialogue. We no longer speak of a conflict between an artwork that is by definition donated to the community and an artwork that is born to be sold under the rules of the market: artists more and more often move freely between these two options, until a few years ago considered in antithesis. Rome offers several examples of public art: from the fantastic intervention by William Kentridge Triumphs & Laments on the Lungotevere banks under Ponte Sisto, to the SanBa project that designed San Basilio’s public housing according to a specific urban redevelopment project, to the spontaneous open-air gallery that is flourishing in Corviale at the foot of the famous building called ‘Serpentone’, to arrive at interventions in the occupied realities such as the Tufello students’ house run by the Astra activists. ARP has made a journey to discover these realities together with the South African artists Skubalisto and Jordan Sweke participating in the residency in Rome in November and December 2017.
Both artists chosen this year by the ARP-Art Residency Project (created by the Centro Luigi Di Sarro with the contribution of MAECI and with the collaboration of Everard Read/CIRCA and RainbowMediaNPO) have an interest in the investigation of urban reality, as well it is the gentrification of the peripheral areas or redevelopment planned by social and housing policies, or even fertile ground of public artistic commission. Their investigation of the Roman reality has therefore often turned to those areas that could offer fertile inspirations. In parallel to the study that led to the realization of the exhibition REALTA’ IMMAGINARIE/IMAGINING REALITIES that was held at the Centro Luigi Di Sarro (30th November-14th December 2017), the two artists also wanted to bet on the public art front, realizing some works in the Roman suburbs: in Corviale (where they worked thanks to the hospitality of Alessandro Fornaci and the Laborintus Association and to the Prenestino, in a center for asylum seekers, a place of high symbolic value. In these years there is much discussion about what to do and how to give meaning to interculture: Art is one of the most universal means of communication and friendship between people.
“In the middle of the walk of our life, I found myself in a dark forest … (Dante, The Divine Comedy, Hell)”, the quote of the greatest Italian poet is not accidental and takes on meaning at the end of the long journey of meetings and crossings of routes that the two artists, guests of the ARP residence, have completed in the Capital. Jordan Sweke’s forest and the Skubalisto’s portraits tell of the past and the present. The immediate interest that both have shown for the urban socio-economic structure integrated with their artistic research has given rise to a very deep dialogue in their practice and with the inhabitants of the city. Dialogue that was realized with the final two-handed work performed in Corviale.
ARP-ART RESIDENCY PROJECT, designed by Centro di documentazione della ricerca artistica contemporanea Luigi Di Sarro, aims to promote and support emerging artistic talent in Italy and abroad and is part of a wider network of actions that Centro Di Sarro does through bilateral cultural exchanges in the field of visual arts. The programme has a contribution of MAECI, Italian Foreign Affaires Ministry, and the collaboration of Everard Read/CIRCA Gallery Cape Town.
ARP aims to promote mobility and knowledge of new cultural realities through the experimentation of materials, techniques and languages in contemporary art. The 6-weeks residency offers the opportunity for new creative experiences and technical and professional training, a human and artistic comparison, the study of the social, political and cultural history of the hosting country.
from left: Caterina Silva, Jordan Sweke, Skumbuzo Vabaza, Elena Giustozzi
Who are the 6th Edition between Italy and South Africa 2017/18 four winners:
ELENA GIUSTOZZI was born in Civitanova Marche (MC, Italy) in 1983.
After the diploma at Science high school, she enrolled at the Academy of fine arts in Macerata, Italy, where in 2008/2009 she obtained a Bachelor degree in decoration. In 2011/2012 she ends the Master degree in painting. Since 2013 is teaching assistant at the Academy of Fine Arts in Macerata: Painting Techniques (three years), Techniques and Technologies of Contemporary Visual Arts, Painting Techniques and Technologies Lab (Master degree course). Her selected project is Little Finite Landscapes. Different perspectives of landscape. “The perspective discloses to our eyes, not strained to the horizon like a parallel look to the ground, but cut and collected in a finite space. What do we look at? What are we listening to? The road that opens in front of us, the noise of our footsteps. My walks in the garden tell the story of the time that passes by, the seasons that follow one another, new but always the same, the earth that changes, transforms and deforms to then return to resemble every variation“. www.elenagiustozzi.com
CATERINA SILVA (Rome, 1983) explores the links between power and language from often silent or pre-linguistic places in order to elude canonical structures of production of meaning. She studied sculpture in London (Camberwell College of Arts), philosophy and Scenography in Rome (La Sapienza, Ied). Her work ranges from painting to performance. “I see my painting practice as a struggle with language and its classification’s systems. I use painting to probe at the obscure spaces of the mind, that which is impossible to explain in words but which exists and materializes into matter and then object. I create open images available to the interpretation of the observer, consequence of a process of deconstruction of my own internal superstructure carried out through the matter of painting itself and its translation into choreographic experiments and performances”. www.caterinasilva.com
JORDAN SWEKE (born 1991, Johannesburg. Lives and works in Cape Town) nel 2014 Bachelor and Honours in Fine Art, Specialising in Painting. Michaelis School of Fine Art. University of Cape Town, South Africa. Exploring and reflecting upon spatial perceptions within the natural world, Jordan Sweke aims to create “a marriage between the mathematical and the abstract, the geometric and the organic.” Working in a wide array of visual media including video, land art and urban installations, photography and oil paint on canvas, Sweke identifies each for its tactile emphasis of the material elements of his natural surroundings.The perceptions that result in his artworks transgress the usual prescribed concepts of the environment, and serve to challenge them. Fresh and uncompromising, his rendering ‘manages to reflect a Romantic beauty, a synthesis of life, death and the sublime’ and all serve to illustrate and redefine his audiences engagement and understanding of conceptual natural space. www.jordansweke.com
SKUMBUZO VABAZA, popularly known as “Skubalisto” is a visual artist from Cape Town, South Africa. Skubalisto was born in Harare, Zimbabwe, (1987) where his parents had spent their twenties in exile. His mother was studying medicine and his father as an active member of the ANC. Who primarily creates portraits in a contemporary expressionist style, channeled through muralism, wood boards and canvas. His mediums range from spray paint, acrylic, oil pastel, charcoal and ink. Since his return to South Africa he has been touring on a quest to rediscover the landscape and a connection with his country through an artist’s eyes. “I am not a writer, painting is my weapon of choice. The makings of a true artist lie in the fact that an individual can create no matter what medium they use”. skubalisto.tumblr.com
FACCIONI, in italian means large faces, but also means the big poster on the road. So in this way, FACCIONI are images of women made object from advertising. The Eva Macali’s show offers an overturns of the hierarchical relationship between the observer and the observed. “One of my goals – says the artist – is that the women I represent can receive their subjectivity back. … My trial intervenes between the codes of modern painting, photography and the media; It is generally linked to the broader theme of the iconography “. Roberto Gramiccia writes in the text “I Faccioni, the looks, the question” that accompanies the exhibition: … Eva Macali’s FACCIONI are in the tradition, but also outside of the traditional (…) made by an energetic gazelle post-pop, and that’s is also a natural anti-pop for an artist who has to dial with a Mediterranean culture. A culture that for thousands of years, rather than giving answers, he prefers to give questions. The same questions arising from the crossed eyes of FACCIONI showed at Centro Di Sarro. A question is in every glance. And in that question is the deeper meaning of life”.
Paolo Bini – Brink of the Ocean/Dinanzi all’Oceano
In collaboration with the Centro Di Sarro in Italy, the Italian Consulate in Cape Town and SMAC Art Gallery, Italian artist Paolo Bini presents his first South African solo exhibition entitled Brink of the Ocean/Dinanzi all’Oceano. Bini chosen by the Centro Di Sarro presents a new body of work completed during his one month residency, facilitated by the ARP – Art Residency Project, in Cape Town.
This exhibition will be hosted at the Provenance Auction House in Cape Town and runs concurrently with the program of the 13th Week of Italian Language in the World under the High Patronage of the President of the Italian Republic. Brink of the Ocean/Dinanzi all’Oceano continues Bini’s experimentation with lines and colours while incorporating the unique South African geography that permeates into the fabric of this new body of work.
An artist deeply inspired by geographical forms, colour and abstract landscapes, Bini has acknowledged that the context of this residency has had “an important impact on the directions and gesture of [his] art,” remarking that he can see a transformative difference in what he has produced during this period.
In response to his new environment, Bini searched across his own personal colour palette and points of reference. Bini believes that colour directly reflects emotion, which he dubs as “emotional chromatics,” citing the influences of Neo-Expressionism and artists such as Julian Schnabel.
The effect and significance of rendering “the line” is part of the artist’s vision as well. Affected by the unique landscapes that he absorbs, from the winelands of Stellenbosch to the rugged terrain of Cape Point, Bini has created spontaneous paintings of a fluid and transcendent nature.
The materials used are of importance to Bini. Monochromatic and fluorescent paint is applied to various surfaces ranging from canvas to long stretches of paper tape on wooden board. When the tape is covered in acrylic, the work acquires a new dimension, highlighting a “transformation” of his materials. The artist feels free with paper as he finds the medium “poetic, soft yet textural, and able to take colour passionately,” creating abstract compositions with a vibrancy of colour and line in response to the landscape and sights he encountered in South Africa.
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