The exhibition at Galleria Continua / Le Moulin will display about twenty old and new canvases, like for example, Assolutamente niente (1999) and Tornare a casa (2009). Manuela Sedmach, born in 1953 in Trieste (Italy) where she lives, has for thirty years expressed the complexity of her research through a traditional medium: painting. She develops an intense experience, concentrated on her work, with an almost religious attitude. Following a ritual, the artist begins a canvas with her favourite subject that she makes abstract. She uses only three colours: black, white and brown. At the beginning, Manuela Sedmach begins with a black canvas, on to which she introduces the two other colours, shaped and alternated until the desired effect is achieved. The artwork is defined during the work which can last two or three months. The final result stems from a superposition of layers of colour (up to fifty) which are used to produce the extraordinary game of transparency and voiles. The successive additions progressively change the representation and produce cycles of the same images with a similar title and pattern. The difference in quantity of the three base colours gives diverse chromatic results, like many variations from a single piece of music.
The first series from the 1980’s, a dense and impetuous execution, progressively gave place to a more subtle and fluid style. The figures and objects have disappeared little by little; the subject becoming voluntarily non-narrative. The elements (water, air, fire, earth) are henceforth the only protagonists of the works of art. With skill, Manuela Sedmach passes these ‘normal’ even ordinary fundamental principles, to an unusual and extraordinary dimension.
Today Manuela Sedmach’s themes are undefined places, endless horizons and diaphanous clouds, the distended time of misty marine atmospheres, frozen deserts, the cosmos, stars and white rain. The artist seeks to show the essential in her paintings. Shapes, transparencies and glaze leave room for imagination. Reality is expanding here. The canvas space is contemplated, but not only: this one also speaks of another space, this one outside the canvas, outside time, this one of the depth of the soul. The endless repetition of almost identical visions allows Manuela Sedmach to create a sort of hypnosis. The observer must ‘lose themselves’ in the universe of the artist.
During research and progress, the canvas has then progressively ‘filled with emptiness’. Indeed, the concept infinity or of nothing is at the heart of the paintings. The ‘absolutely nothing’ is questioned until it becomes ‘the absolutely everything.’ First of all the paintings appear simple and clear. Like palimpsests, they hide different levels of reading and paradoxes. The paintings thus sway between the immutability of perfect things and the precariousness of what the passage of time suffers.
Manuela Sedmach’s work has been exhibited in different galleries and museums in Italy. She has taken part in individual and group exhibitions in Belgium, Austria, Germany and Hungary. Her paintings are part of large private collections in Europe, the States and Japan, as well as at the SMAK Museum in Ghent.