Paintings and papers created by Enzo Cursaro in recent years, which shows a marked interest in the sign as an expressive figure that finds in the plot, a narrative plot full of references drawn from the anthropological sphere. “At stake is the figure of his existential identity, of his link with the places where he was born, with Paestum and his mystery. Attica is above all the panorama that opens to his eyes when, from the top of his studio, they range over the expanse of the plain that welcomes the Magna Graecia city going west, until reaching Capri. It acts as a reunion with its origins, with memory, with the vitality of the first encounter with the sign “.
Enzo Cursaro was born in Paestum in 1953. He studied in Naples where, at the Academy of Fine Arts, he followed Domenico Spinosa’s lessons and where he graduated in 1978. In those years his interest was oriented towards abstract-informal compositions, which he would later resume in the 90’s. In the second half of the 70’s, as soon as he left the Academy of Fine Arts, he began his relationship with San Carlo Art Gallery directed by Raffaele Formisano, thus becoming an active part of a group of artists belonging to the Mezzogiorno (South of Italy). For about thirty years (1983-2012), he lives permanently in Verona, where he teaches art history and pictorial disciplines at public secondary schools. Since the mid-eighties he has exhibited mainly in Europe. Recently he has returned to Paestum where he lives and works.
The project RETURN Berlin-Rome | Rome-Berlin, born from an idea by Susanne Kessler, is curated by the Centro Di Sarro in collaboration with the Verein Berliner Künstler, and under the patronage of the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Berlin, with the intention of starting an exchange between the artistic realities of Italy and Germany through the dialogue between the two cities where the proposing associations are based. The project involves two parts: RETURN Berlin-Rome will exhibit the works of 5 German artists (Birgit Borggrebe, Jürgen Kellig, Susanne Kessler, Nele Probst, Marianne Stoll) and the works at the Centro Di Sarro, from 4 April to 4 May 2019 subsequently RETURN Rome-Berlin will see the exhibition of the works of 5 Italian artists (Andrea Aquilanti, Angelo Casciello, Veronica Montanino, Pamela Pintus, Sara Spizzichino) at the Galerie VBK-Verein Berliner Künstler, from 13 September to 6 October 2019.
Birgit Borggrebe.Born in Arnsberg, lives and works in Berlin. “The harsh and abstract character of our cities, the globalization of the modern world, are in contrast with what remains of Nature: here a tree, a herd of goats there, yet even the clouds themselves shine with suspicious colors. Borggrebe’s images are kaleidoscopes, poetic encounters with a nightmarish reality that could soon cover a large part of our planet. An aesthetic protest spreads from the paintings: that our world is not as it should be. Although it seems strange, the futuristic and apocalyptic landscapes depicted in his paintings are permeated by something that could be described as a “nostalgia for Paradise”. (Kai Michel, Zurich)
Jürgen Kellig. Born in Berlin where he lives and works. My drawings deal with rhythm and structure, in particular with the interaction between chaos and order, with the similarities between micro and macrocosm. Although reworked in a concrete way, these works can recall organic networks, as well as technological networks. (Jürgen Kellig) Jürgen Kellig draws freehand. The accuracy of its graphic elements does not follow a program, a pre-established scheme. It simulates the certainty of geometric laws, as in a free zone between micrological proximity and macrological distance: a subject already addressed by the author in previous works. Consequently, the titles of his drawings suggest conceptual clarity: “notation”, “score”, “interconnection”, “civilization”. They transform images into conceptual associations. Images that are the result of associative processes related to a graphic self-referentiality, fixing point as point, line as line and plan as plan or their arbitrary succession. (Wolfgang Siano, from the text in the catalog “Implacable, between line and line and beyond”)
Susanne Kessler. Born in Wuppertal in 1955, she lives and works in Berlin and Rome. She studied painting and graphics in Berlin at the Hochschule der Künste (UDK) and in London at the Royal College of Art (RCA). She prefers large installations, both indoors and outdoors. She has taught at California State University (CSU) and at the City University of New York (CUNY). Business trips have taken her to Ethiopia, Guatemala, Mali, Pakistan, India and Iran. All these places have left traces in her work. Her installations, sometimes ephemeral, are published in numerous catalogs and books. The former director of the Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum Raimund Stecker describes the artist’s method as follows: “Susanne Kessler constantly plays with separation and contact, closeness and distance, reality and illusion. The tangible is sometimes lost in the incomprehensible and the inconceivable becomes tangible, the chaotic becomes cosmic, the messy sometimes rational, and the certainties seem confused “.
Nele Probst. Since 1995 he lives and works in Berlin. From 1989 to 1993 he studied Visual Communication, Fachhochschule für Gestaltung, Mannheim with Prof. Günter Slabon, Prof. Wolf Magin, Prof. Roland Fürst, Prof. Eckhard Neumann. From 1993 to 1995 he lived and worked in Hamburg. In the works of Nele Probst, both in painting and in sculpture and installations, the additive process, understood as collection and thickening, plays an important role. The narrative moment and its associations are reflected both in the content and in the structure of his works. Color and material are in the foreground. His playful, experimental and sensitive relationship with materials and composition creates a sense of lightness and joy that characterizes his work and involves the viewer.
Marianne Stoll. Born in Darmstadt, lives and works in Berlin. She studied art history with Prof. Uwe M. Schneede, Ludwig Maximilian Universität of Munich. Through sculptures and drawings (…) Marianne Stoll explores in a playful but always serious, lucid and surprising way the many facets of living, of the house, of the origins – and of the constant threat of loss of a dwelling, of a shelter. In her compositions, Marianne recalls the question of how one should inhabit the World-Home, how to settle into this dwelling, which has not been handed over to humanity on a turnkey basis. With daring changes of perspective, the small and the large, the solid and the fragile, the dangerous and the harmless come together in the act of drawing (…) the graphic forms satisfy and nourish each other, in a strange analogy with creating a habitat for humans. (Dorothée Bauerle-Willert, from the text in the catalog “Dream Houses”)
Thanks to Giorgio Benni for photographs of the exhibition in slideshow.
About 100 works, between paintings, sculptures, graphics and photography, some of which have never been exhibited before or not exhibited for a long time, coming from the contemporary art collections of Rome – GAM.Galleria d’Arte Moderna and MACRO – to document how the female universe has always been the object a favorite of artistic attention, from an object to admire, as an angel or a temptress, to a mysterious subject who wonders about his identity up to the new image born of the contestation of the Sixties.
It’s Women. Body and image between symbol and revolution, exhibition that the Gallery of Modern Art hosts from January 24 to October 13, 2019. The exhibition path is accompanied by documentary material, video installations, photographic and film documents taken from cinematographic works and newsreels, as well as from performance videos and artist films.
In the series of portraits on the second floor of the exhibition stands out, among others, the face of Elisa, the wife of Giacomo Balla, portrayed while he turns to look at something or someone behind him. The iconic value of the image is enclosed in the look that changes the amazement in seduction and curiosity transforming the portrait of the young woman from an object to admire to a mysterious subject.
The exhibition itinerary is accompanied by video installations, photographic and filmic documents taken from cinematographic works and newsreels from the Bologna Film Library and the Istituto Luce-Cinecittà Archive which have overseen their implementation.
In a room of the exhibition is shown the film, produced by the Istituto Luce, Bellissima (2004) by Giovanna Gagliardi which, through historical documents of the Luce Archive, film clips, popular songs and interviews tells the story of women’s journey in the twentieth century .
The last section of the exhibition, dedicated to the dynamics and relationships between the developments of contemporary art, women’s emancipation and feminist struggles, presents documentary material from ARCHIVIA – Women’s Libraries Documentation Centers – and testimonies of performance and film artist of some protagonists of that fundamental season coming from private collections, important museums and public institutions (Museum of Rome in Trastevere, Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia – National Film Library, Galleria Civica of Modern Art Turin, MAMbo – Museum of Modern Art of Bologna, MART – Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto – Tullia Denza Archive).
Jordan Sweke (1991) and Skumbuzo (Skubalisto) Vabaza (1987), from Cape Town to Rome thanks to ARP-Art Residency Project, will show their outlook on the City and its suburbs. People and landscapes, imagining realities: a journey that explores the present and the history of the Caput Mundi through various expressive media (painting, graphics and videos). The two South African artists produced artworks for this exhibition during the six-weeks residency period in Italy.
The ARP, a Bilateral Residency Programme for Young Artists between Italy and South Africa, is promoted by the CENTRO DI DOCUMENTAZIONE DELLA RICERCA ARTISTICA CONTEMPORANEA LUIGI DI SARRO and realized with the contribution of MAECI, Italian ministry of Foreign Affaires and International Cooperation, and with the collaboration of the Everard Read/CIRCA Gallery. In Cape Town, next February and March 2018, ARP will host italian artists Elena Giustozzi and Caterina Silva, selected to the residency programme, which will also see the collaboration of Ruth Prowse School of Art and Rainbow Media NPO.
Skumbuzo’s narrative is multifaceted (including visual art, design, music and fashion), he often incorporates contemporary figuration, imbued traditional iconography and several urban ‘graffiti’ based languages. Skumbuzo’s work aims to break down the human experience to its very core in order to expose the man made social constructs that serve to separate. His work is a bridge illustrating commonalities of consumerism, industrialization, corruption, hope, family, heart break, race , nationality and religion. His graffiti background and street art influence become obvious with his abstract use of colours and stylistic figure painting technique.
Jordan works within notions of the landscape and the natural environment. He abstractly explores ‘nature’ – a sublime and all-encompassing force. More specifically, he explores the relationship which currently exists between humanity and nature and ways in which this relationship might be reconstituted. His main focus of production lies in large oil paintings, but a rounded conceptual framework is achieved through his creation of photographs, sculptures, video works, print media and installation.
Both these young Cape-Town-based creatives have come together in ARP Rome 2017/2018 for IMAGINING REALITIES. This presentation comprises separate artworks, as well as collaborative work resulting from merging conversations between the two artists. At the Centro Luigi Di Sarro, Skumbuzo’s portrait paintings (in various mixed media) and Jordan’s landscapes (monochrome drawings, canvas based paintings and video work) are installed alongside collaborative linocuts and paintings executed together while in Rome on the ARP Residency.
The relationship between people and their environments is one of the major themes of the exhibition. IMAGINING REALITIES aims to address the notions of each person’s ‘reality’- how they see the world, and in contrast what goes on unnoticed around us all. Skumbuzo’s and Jordan’s active conversations illustrate and imagine what is taking place for many, addressing ideas of ‘marginalized poverty and the many unseen inhabitants of Rome’. This speaks about relationships between foreigners and the Roman landscapes, and serves to address “the social impact of immigrants, and the realities that lie behind the idealised ways people frame what they see and live.”
Skumbuzo and Jordan exist within the organic creative frameworks that pulsate around them in Cape Town, and both artists have an ongoing interest in periphery spaces and working-class areas. The ARP experience in Rome has served to ignite a joint conversation about the peoples in Rome, their ‘landscapes’ and the city itself. Although both artists actively acknowledge that this is a social commentary from an outsider’s perspective, they too feel ‘there are ridges of social and cultural similarities between Rome and Cape Town, that they both had been addressing in Cape Town. By creating some mural artworks in Rome both Skumbuzo and Jordan hope to reimagine the reality of what is present there. In addition to their social commentary, the artists have endeavoured to critique the juxtaposition between nature and urbanization: the kind of relationship the people in Rome have with their natural environments, and natural selves. The artists have observed there are ‘remnants of human artefacts in nature, nature is surviving in heavily built up spaces, nature it feels is versus the city, and humans are versus nature’. The artists explain: ‘Rome is like a big breasted mother who feeds the whole of Italy. All of Italy is in Rome, not just Romans. One can almost feel Rome struggling under the pressure’. IMAGINING REALITIES, investigates this reality too and gives scope to see the world re-examined and envisioned through Skumbuzo’s and Jordan’s synergistic discourse.
Emma Vandermerwe – Senior Curator Everard Read/CIRCA Cape Town
We are delighted to announce the arrival in Cape Town of Italian artist Valentina Colella, who was selected for a residency in the framework of ARP-Art Residency Project V Edition. The project, ideated by Centro Luigi Di Sarro of Rome in collaboration this year with Everard Read Gallery Cape Town, began in 2009 and involved various important galleries as well as 13 artists. This fifth edition enjoys the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation; in the period 2015-2017 the project’s activities increased, witnessing many young art enthusiasts as well as art students actively contributing to the residencies in Rome and Cape Town of the two winners of the selection, Valentina Colella for Italy and Zwelethu Machepha for South Africa. Young curators, art historians, photographers, videomakers and students of various disciplines collaborated with the two leaders of this exchange, the artists, through training contributions and the participation to meetings and workshops. It is because of this activity, considered of high cultural, educational and social value, that ARP project was invited this year to take part to Cape Town Art Fair in the Cultural Platforms section, next to the most important South African non-profit organisations.
We invite you to visit stand F13, where the artworks of all Italian and South African artists who took part until today to ARP project will be exhibited, and where it will be possible to find out more about all the events organized by ARP between now and the end of March.
Saturday 18th February from 11 until 3, artists Colella e Machepha will be at ARP’s stand to introduce themselves to CTAF visitors. At 2 pm, the Italian Consul in Cape Town, Antonio Tagliaferri, and the Director of the Italian Insitute of Culture of Pretoria, Anna Amendolagine, will be in conversation with the Project Director, Alessandra Atti Di Sarro, of Centro Luigi Di Sarro, about ARP project and its history. All artists and gallerists who took part to ARP exchanges in the last eight years have been invited to join and share their experiences.
Congratulation to Paolo Bini! He won the XVII Edizione Premio Cairo 2016 in Milan, one of the most relevant prize focused on the emerging talents. Paolo Bini was selected for our ARP-Art Residency Project 2013 to go for a monthly art residency in Cape Town and this experience definitely opened his southafrican adventure. Now the Centro Di Sarro are very proud about this award. The ARP is an exchange programme focused to the young talents. In RSA ARP is active from 2009. The new edition will be in march 2017 in Cape Town.
Last hours in Rome for the 26 years old Zwelethu Machepha who ended his artistic residency within ARP – Art Residency Project, at the Centro Luigi Di Sarro he had the final interview by the filmmaker Angelica Farinelli which is building the documentary about the whole project. As location, the ‘virtual piazza’ that the big Machepha’s works had crowded into the central room of the exhibition space of the Center for Documentation of Contemporary Artistic Research in Rome. All around, on the walls and the floor, the huge sheets spread out like the many figures who crowded the six weeks of meetings and emotions. After the opening, Machepha continued to visit the City. Together with Emanuele Meschini, who accompanied him throughout the period of the residency, he noted the different architectures of neighborhoods, as Eur, Flaminio, Historical centre, Villa Borghese. He visited the MAXXI, the Roman temple of contemporary art and the Auditorium Parco della Musica, the Colosseum and the archeological sites at the Foro Romano, and the Vatican Museums with the wonder of the Sistine Chapel.
Finally last week for the young South African artist even a day trip to Florence thanks to a meeting with the sculptor Nicola Rossini who drove in the cradle of the Renaissance, and accompanied him in the visit to the Academy of Fine Arts of Florence.
A millennial history summed up in a forty-five-day trip that probably will bear fruit in the coming months. “I will need time – said Zwelethu Machepha – to rework the multitude of informations and emotions that I got. If I think about it now, I feel just overpowered.” What will remain of the meetings, human and artistic exchanges, the wires stretched between worlds, definitely not so far, are some works created during the residency, one of which, entitled “Made in Rome” entered in the Centro Di Sarro collection. The ARP project is now preparing for the second phase. The team will travel to Cape Town, South Africa, to prepare for the arrival of Valentina Colella, in February 2017.
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