The future is PINK! And so is this beautiful house photographed by Dan Graham in 2010 in our lovely city, Brescia. Here's the perfect idea for a joyful and bright beginning of the year. Write now!!!
Vi aspettiamo, se volete chiamate il 019/65432 e lasciate un messaggio. Qui non rimane che prepararci per la vostra visita. Potete rimanere alcuni giorni. Sarà molto bello insieme. Love Icaro's
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With these two solo shows, we renew our interest in figurative painting and its big comeback.
In truth, the figure has been back for a while; actually, it was never completely gone. Indeed, behind the comeback are the same artists who had shut the door on it.
Let’s think for a moment… Mankind invented art and religion: the uppermost expressions of the intellect. Art imitated nature from the beginning, starting at Lascaux. Then, in the twentieth century, a mutation occurs. Artists feel so powerful that they start thinking: “I don’t need to reproduce reality as it is, I can found a new reality, different from the one we can see”. So, a one-hundred-year battle develops between supporters of the new and those who remain faithful to the initial assumptions. “Figurative” artists go on looking into what is visible, some of them with great skill (Alberto Giacometti, Francis Bacon, Andy Warhol); the explorers, on the other hand, venture into distant and uncharted seas. The average artist keeps on an even keel while waiting for the storm to subside. There comes a point when more and more of them leave the ranks of the avant-garde and fall back into line: before long they are countless.
I am glad to recall that Salvo and Ontani were among the first to get back to the figure.
Then one day the controversy dies down, there is room for everyone, the market has exploded.
Things are not so simple, though. The paintings that emerge triumphant are characterised by subdued hues. All of a sudden, Morandi is elected as absolute master, and deservedly so.
Now, I wouldn’t want to go too far, but it takes Albert Samson (Dutch father, Italian mother, a painter for the last ten years) precisely about a decade to set up his first solo exhibition. Albert has an interesting background. He is an “scholarly” naïve ─a contradiction in terms surely, yet full of possibilities─ and, where can we find his works? In the last place I would recommend looking: on the web.
Three times he wrote to me, three times I did not answer. He wrote again and, this time, I answered.
Poor wretched me! Like the Lady of Monza, the famous character in Manzoni’s masterpiece, I said yes. I wish I hadn’t done it! A sea of messages began to flood in; beautiful, incisive, short, self-mocking, as small as his paintings which started off small and have become smaller and smaller.
Individual artists have their own figure, their own style and a dimension that suits them. Calderara likes small formats, Morris Louis prefers large ones; Josef Albers small, Rothko large, etc. Here, our two friendly painters travel exactly in opposite directions and it is no coincidence that we have chosen them for this two-fold exhibition. Albert always goes for small concentrates whereas Ryan, being American, chooses grandeur, stripes, fiction; while Albert quotes Morandi, Ryan Mendoza quotes Walt Disney via Kubrik’s “A Clockwork Orange”. Clash or match, that is the question.
But I haven’t yet told you the most important thing: this two-head four-hand exhibition is unique because, unbeknown to the artists themselves, it reveals their sentiment towards their native Homelands.
Samson’s paintings include many learned references to European painting, from Goya to Morandi. Conversely, Ryan, as a good American, identifies with heroes and myths as recent as his country: Kubrik, Walt Disney, Jack Dempsey; he depicts toy weapons and he poses as an active shooter, alas a well-know figure in the US where, every year, a few hundred Yankees shoot indiscriminately, possibly killing and wounding many people. This, too, is a value. We see here the difference between the two worlds. The Old World shows off its cultural history, the New World shoots it in the legs. The beauty of horror or the horror of beauty?
This exhibition will not determine who wins the duel. We cheer for the supremacy of reason, but we must not forget the reasons of supremacy, “I’ll teach you a lesson” says Mendoza, with his cow-boy hat and a marzipan bazooka, good-naturedly mimicking a threatening attitude. Mendoza features on the cover of his recently released book brandishing plastic weapons that shoot whipped cream. Mendoza looks sternly at us, while Ryan springs from behind to tell us that it is not true, that it is all fiction, a game. Art is a game for grown-ups.