Rolando Anselmi is thrilled to announce the opening of About Painting II, a group exhibition that – by echoing last year’s About Painting – aims to present an articulate overview that explores contemporary painting. The relevance of this medium is examined through the work of nine internationa lartists who, diverse in their approaches and techniques, have been invited to exhibit their personal understanding of the medium itself and to expand the conventional debate around the notion of painting.This third chapter will feature works by Ana Cláudia Almeida (b. 1993, BR), Li Gang (b.1986, CN), Matthew Hansel (b.1977, USA), Olivia Hill (b. 1985, USA), Andrea Respino (b. 1976, ITA), Paul Rouphail (b. 1987, USA), Carla Santana (b. 1995, BR), Vincenzo Schillaci (b. 1984, ITA), Georgia-May Travers Cook (b. 1995, UK).
The exhibition sets off with Paul Rouphail’s Hothouse Flowers: a still life painting enveloped by a warm light coming through the grates of a window. In his works relatable everyday settings intertwine with surreal and purposedly conflicting elements. Matthew Hansel follows up with The Study and Night Swimming. Employing both humour and pathos together, the Brooklyn native creates classical images from art history which overlap with the grotesque, withdrawn from our collective subconscious. Ana Cláudia Almeida seeks intersections between time, landscapes and action: the brazilian’s paintings feature the juxtaposition of surfaces colours and lines, suggesting a continuous flow. Tactile and materic elements are pivotal to Carla Santana’s Freático and Miragem. Their motives are shaped by the accumulation process of clay and natural pigments and they hark back to primordial figures. The lower floor is welcomed by two works from Olivia Hill’s Oceanfront Property series. Her landscapes are a mixture of real and imaginary places which portray the bright coast of southern California. Human figures are not visible, yet man’s influence is all over the canvas, revealing harmonies and discords of man’s relationship with nature. Undefined and unsettling scenaries characterise Andrea Respino’s artistic production: in Infastidite Acque V and Le Calde Correnti the pencil traits occur as uninterrupted fluxes with turbulent motion, creating a pattern of discrepancies which give life to a dreamlike environment where every element is almost an extension of the figure. In Li Gang’s Bottom Color series it is highlighted the complicated link between materiality, emotion and essence of painting: this corpus of works consists of a number of paintings realised with handmade red clay pigments, which suggest a visual jargon halfway through figuration and abstraction. Vincenzo Schillaci’s first round format work, Di Età Acerba, combines different layers of pictorial matter which form a varied impasto. Thanks to this technique resulting into shady colour fields he achieves a “non-representation” of visions always resurfacing but never fully in focus. Piling on material after material Schillaci brings to life psychological landscapes overfilling the borders of the wooden board. Georgia-May Travers Cook is at the end of the exhibition path: in The crime and The Movie in my Mind there is an evident blend between realistic figuration and an unsettling but potentially surreal aesthetic which is typical of her work. Stories portrayed never lose their objective status but leave room for interpretation.
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