The Continuation of Romance: Painting – An Interrupted Discourse
Rosenfeld Porcini are proud to present The Continuation of Romance: Painting – an Interrupted Discourse, a group exhibition of fourteen international artists working with painting
The Continuation of Romance brings together twelve European artists and two South American artists: Emmanuel Barcilon (France), Zsolt Bodoni (Romania), Bram Bogart (Belgium), Enrique Brinkmann (Spain), Piero Pizzi Cannella (Italy), Francisco Corcuera (Chile), Steve Goddard (UK), Aida Rubio Gonzalez (Spain), Nadia Hebson (UK), Carlo Mattioli (Italy), Nicola Samori (Italy), Toti Scialoja (Italy), Eduardo Stupia (Argentina) and Bogdan Vladuta (Romania).
Just as painting has been intermittently pronounced “dead”, “beauty” has been labelled a mere paean to the bourgeoisie inducing nothing more than a passive appreciation. This exhibition will attempt both to show that painting is still very much alive but also that “beauty” rather than being passive, can have cathartic powers, as witnessed by the great religious masterpieces which adorned so many of the churches of Catholic Europe. Through both abstract and figurative examples, the exhibition will contain a variety of artists’ approaches to mark making and will attempt to stimulate thoughts on the mystery of man’s continued ability to find and convey inspiration through this age old medium.
The work ‘Le Cattedrali’ by Italian artist Piero Pizzi Cannella clearly references an essential part of European history but in an unmistakably contemporary way, illustrating perfectly both in form and content how one can continue with the great tradition yet remain very much of our time. In contrast to Cannella’s rich palette, Bogdan Vladuta’s work is painted predominantly in black and white and represents a large panoramic view of a cityscape with its Communist era buildings partially destroyed. Although painting a potentially highly charged and political subject, Vladuta’s interests are far more concerned with decay and memory.
Italian artist Nicola Samori; has worked for a few years now around the figure of the great Spanish painter who lived most of his life in Naples, Italy; Jusepe Ribera. In part reproducing and in part totally transforming the highly dramatic images of the artist, he has managed to create a visual lineage between the seventeenth century and the present day. We are showing ‘Ebbro’ a large canvas which features a transformed version of Ribera’s ‘The Martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew’. The English artist Nadia Hebson’s large canvas of a shipwreck is another work which strongly references an existing tradition. At times embracing abstraction, at times unmistakenly figurative, the monochromatic blue palette gives a strange and surreal light to the composition as if the shipwreck stands as a metaphor with far wider implications.
The Romanian artist Zsolt Bodoni intertwines his own personal history with those of his country, his rich visual imagination creating images of great fascination and power. ‘In Bloom’ is a recent work in which a highly original and very worked palette provides the rich backdrop to Bodoni’s mysterious yet evocative imagery. Also filtered with a personal approach, the work of English artist Steve Goddard recounts an individual journey through memory – both individual and art historical – as the artist moves with total ease between sculpture, drawing and painting. We have included in the exhibition a large ‘Nan in Chair’ which directly relates to his memories of his grandmother who was instrumental in his becoming an artist.
For Italian painter Carlo Mattioli, the solitary tree in a landscape is an image which has remained dominant throughout his painterly life. In ‘Landscape’, the abiding monochromatic tone only accentuates the haunting image which appears to emerge out of the landscape as if surrounded by a great mist. Aida Rubio Gonzalez is a young Spanish artist whose highly-original paintings display enormous confidence; her works vary from sexually-charged human relationships to paintings that rework art history.
Early in his artistic career, Spanish artist Enrique Brinkmann sought to find a way to “create air between the picture surface and the wall”. From that need he arrived at the idea of a transparent metal mesh which would hang a short distance from the wall. We are showing works in the exhibition which illustrate the extreme musicality of these compositions and the beauty of their colour and form. Argentinian artist Eduardo Stupía works almost exclusively in black and white, drawing upon an extensive palette of marks and techniques within a single canvas: pencil, charcoal, acrylic, graphite, watercolour and ink are used to push the boundaries of each medium’s potential as far as possible, yet succeeding in creating final works full of harmony and vitality.
Like Stupía, the large compositions of Francisco Corcuera draw upon a variety of mediums, combining a great lyricism with this continual sense of a highly mathematical attempt at governing the space, yet never managing to achieve it. Toti Scialoja is an Italian artist who has embraced abstraction throughout his career, yet moving constantly through various stages of expression. The large work on display in the exhibition belongs to the final artistic period of his life when he found a new freedom both in gesture, exuberance of colour and energy.
Bram Bogart, another artist who was never to leave abstraction, is renowned for the thickness of the applied paint. In Bogart’s works from the 50s the juxtaposition of brush strokes, striking use of colour and dynamism of the composition render the thickness of the paint a logical consequence of the whole. Finally, Emmanuel Barcilon is a French artist who uses a material consisting of varnish mixed with pure pigment which he applies numerous times to the wooden surface, often intervening during this process to add graphic elements so that at the painting’s conclusion, various images, marks or colours are visible below the surface, some buried deeper than others, as he creates a very personal visual diary.
The Continuation of Romance is the seventh exhibition at Rosenfeld Porcini, and the second in its series of occasional themed group shows. The exhibition will extend over both floors of the extensive gallery space.
Rosenfeld Porcini Gallery
Founded in June 2011 by Ian Rosenfeld and Dario Porcini, directors of Italy’s Galleria Napoli Nobilissima, Rosenfeld Porcini occupies a prime location in the heart of the dynamic gallery district of London’s Fitzrovia. With 3,000 square feet of gallery space, Rosenfeld Porcini has a strong international outlook committed to showing contemporary artists from around the world with an innovative exhibitions programme. Old Master and Modern shows will occasionally be presented, either monographic or themed, within the context of the contemporary space, exploring a firm curatorial belief in the continuity that underlies the story of art.