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SPLENDOR IN THE BRUSH

Ep.1 Panting Beyond Borders

curated by Alessandro Romanini

29 January – 17 March 2020

A collective exhibition dedicated to painting, in its multiple expressive forms, and to video art.
Despite the different geographical origins, style and techniques, the artists on display are united by a pictorial attitude that connects different iconographies and cultures.
In their works, history and news, poetry and philosophy, tradition and experimentation, museum and street dialogue, affirming the relevance of the ancient pictorial medium on the basis of the words of Gino de Dominicis:
“Painting is not a form of traditional expression, but original, therefore also of the future”.
In this context, can painting, the oldest and most connected medium of expression to the human perceptual structure, still represent an effective antidote against the approved images of the mass media?

PRESS RELEASE (Italian)

PRESS RELEASE (English)

Peter Angermann

(1945 – Rehau)

born in 1945 in Rehau, a town in Upper Franconia in Bavaria, he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Nuremberg, then, in the autumn of 1968, he was attracted to Joseph Beuys at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf. In 1969 he founded the legendary YIUP group with Jan Knap, which was followed by a short period of artistic reflection which saw him, with his ex-partner Milan Kunc, driving a new visual language in 1973. Together they developed a new oriented visual current to everyday life, which at the same time was fueled by a spiritual and anarchist impulse. In 1979 he founded the artistic group NORMAL with Knut and Knap. They immediately supported the refusal of individualism and, in line with this, created a large number of common works, in some cases even made in public. Peter Angermann retained the socio-critical impulse of his previous works, combined with that provocative and sometimes absurd humor that distinguishes many of his paintings even today. In 1976 he surprised the world with the first of his “bear paintings” and what was to be the beginning of a series that continued to expand. Ten years later he surprised the world of art again with air painting. An artist tirelessly devoted to individual experimentation and the representation of his contemporaneity. Parallel to this he transferred his artistic experience to a new generation of artists at the Academy of Fine Arts in Nuremberg. Since 1995 he lives near Nuremberg, far from the turbulence of the art world, where he still dedicates with enthusiasm to the medium that keeps him open to all the possibilities of artistic development: painting. 

Exhibits include the Times Square Show, Colab, NYC, 1980; New Wild Painters, Groninger Museum, 2016; Peter Angermann – PleinAir, Bode Galerie & Edition, Nuremberg, Germany, 2018. Museum museums include Glasgow Museums, Glasgow; Johnson Museum of Art, Ithaca NY; MACI Museum of Contemporary Art, Isernia.

Frédéric Bruly Bouabrè

(1923 – 2014, Costa d’Avorio)

In 1948 Bruly Bouabré becomes Cheik Nadro, literally ‘who does not forget‘ and begins a philosophical research on the state of Africa and on the meaning of life. From then on, Bruly Bouabré became interested in all fields of knowledge – art, poetry, tradition and legends, religion and philosophy – proving to be a great thinker, poet and scientist. Since the 70s, day by day, the artist has created what is called the Connaissance du monde, a work that will continue until his death. On 10x15cm cards, dated and signed, with ballpoint pen and colored pencils, Bruly Bouabré records, codifies and stores knowledge, in particular that related to the Beté tribe of which it belongs. Draw symbolic images surrounded by a border of text on each postcard: he will create more than a thousand drawings. Bruly Bouabré is the creator of a new alphabet consisting of 448 monosyllabic pictograms whose diffusion would allow European and African cultures to marry each other. ‘ An attempt to pacify the world through universal language.

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré is among the artists of the Ivory Coast pavilion in the 55th edition of the Venice Art Biennale. Personal and group exhibitions include those at Contemporary African Art fair, New York (2015), Center Pompidou, Paris (2014) and Tate Modern, London (2010). His work was exhibited at Palazzo Grassi on the occasion of the exhibition The world belongs to you (2011-12); Documenta, Kassel.

Gino De Dominicis

(1947 – 1998, Ancona)

Controversial protagonist of Italian art after the Second World War, he used different techniques and defined himself as a painter, sculptor, philosopher and architect. His work tends to become independent of both trends and neo-avant-garde groups. Therefore, it cannot be framed in a specific artistic current: not in Arte Povera, not in the Transavanguardia, not in the conceptual art, which rejected it by mocking it. De Dominicis’s artistic research can be divided into two periods. The first included between the end of the sixties and the end of the seventies in which the artist expresses himself above all through installations and sculptures; the second between the early eighties and 1998, the year of his death, in which De Dominicis resumed his activity as a figurative painter, dedicating himself almost exclusively to it. The first of these phases is mainly marked by the artist’s theories on the relationship between time and eternity expressed in the Letter on the immortality of the body published in 1970, the second by the work Second solution of immortality (The Universe is Immobile) exposed to the Venice Biennale of 1972.

In his artistic career he has been exhibited in all the major international museums, to name a few: Museo di Capodimonte, Naples, 1996; Palace of Versailles, Paris, 2008; PS1 Contemporary Art Center, New York, 2009-2010; The immortal edited curated by Achille Bonito Oliva, MAXXI, Rome, 2010.

Helgi Friodjonsson

(1953 – Islanda)

Helgi was one of the painters involved in the New Painting movement born in Iceland in 1980. Here also in the same year he exhibited his oil paintings in the Leechers Street 7 Gallery, and in the Nordic House the following year. He took part in major exhibitions that shocked the Icelandic art community as Gold Coast Spirit held at the JL-House in 1983. In these years he began to paint figurative characters, which have characterized his painting ever since. In his paintings references to legends and stories in surreal nuances are always present, even if the work is never formally surrealist. The most represented figures in his landscapes are angels that almost never touch each other, with eyes that never meet, as in absolute solitude as a whole.

Among the various institutions and museums that exhibited his works we find: ASI Art Museum, Reykjavik, 2005; Galerie Leger, Malmö, Sweden, 2006; Gallery Turpentine, Reykjavik, 2008. Among his most important exhibitions: Biennale de Paris, France, 1980; Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy, 1990; Confronting Nature, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C, 2002.

Jan Knap

(1949 – , Chrudim, Ex-cecoslovacchia)

He immediately felt the call of freedom, which in 1970 pushed him to leave his own country. He traveled to Brazil, New York, Europe and this allowed him to study cultural but above all artistic diversity, synthesizing a personal style. In his training he studied at the Academy of Dusseldorf with Gerhard Richter and his passion for painting immediately turned towards abstract expressionism, the world of fairy tales and European religious iconographies: the illustrations of the books enchant him and academism European influences his style. In his painting we find what he called “concreteness intended as sensuality” in the sense of emotion felt through the senses in front of a painting. In Europe he meets Peter Angermann and Milan Kunc, with whom he shares the study and the same type of research. With them he founded the Normal Group, and starting from the early 80’s he elaborated the style that still characterizes him today, the description of the childhood of Jesus, consoled by his mother, cheered by the presence of little angels, in a rural landscape. At first the critics expressed some perplexity, but then, thanks to the 1986 exhibition at the gallery of the authoritative Paul Maenz in Cologne, the situation changed and the consideration of his works grew worldwide. Jan Knap’s work manages to update the message of Christianity, inserting itself gracefully in the wake of the cultured Renaissance iconographic tradition.

 

Among the institutions that represented it are Cenaal Museum, Utrecht; Holly Solomon Gallery, NY; Kunstverein, Lingen; Galerie Paul Maenz, Cologne.

Moneyless

(1980 – Milano)

Teo Pirisi aka Moneyless lives and works in Lucca, for years he has been researching and imagining different aspects of geometric shapes and spaces as a visual artist. After graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts in Carrara (multimedia course), he attended a post-graduate course in Communication Design in Isia (Florence). At the same time he developed an artistic career that led his works of art to be exhibited in public spaces and in abandoned places. Teo is a freelance graphic designer, illustrator and street artist who has now gone viral thanks to his identifiable and recognizable style.

He has developed public art projects and murals, including Victoria Park, Australia; Living Walls, Atlanta; Brave Festival, Kiev; Brandearts, Istanbul; Muraliza, Crans Montana; Helsingborg tunnel, Sweden. He has also collaborated with renowned brands such as Adidas, Red Bull, and Napapijri.

Wael Shawky

(1971 – Alessandria d’Egitto)

His work is based on long periods of research and deals with notions of national, religious and artistic identity through films, shows and narration. Shawky frames contemporary culture through the lens of historical tradition and vice versa. Mixing truth and fiction, childhood wonder and spiritual doctrine, staging epic recreations of the medieval clashes between Muslims and Christians in his trilogy of puppets and marionettes.

To date, he is one of the most famous artists in the Middle East who has obtained international recognition for his works that trace the history of the Crusades through a Middle Eastern lens. In 2017, he presented his latest project Song of Roland: The Arabic Version at the inauguration of the Theater der Welt 2017 in Hamburg, Germany. The large musical and theatrical installation translates the epic French verse “La Chanson de Roland” into classical Arabic and presents performances by 25 singer-DJs. Fidjeri is a type of music sung by pearl divers from the Persian Gulf states, as part of a tradition that dates back more than 800 years.

In 2016 he held solo exhibitions at the Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria, The Merz Foundation and Castello di Rivoli, both in Turin, Italy. In 2014, Serpentine Galleries in London organized a personal exhibition of his work. Shawky’s works are found in numerous public collections, in particular: the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), in New York City, the United States, the National Gallery of Canada, in Ottawa, Canada, and the Tate Collection, in London, UK. In 2011 he presented his work at the XII Istanbul Biennial and in 2010, he launched MASS Alexandria, the first independent study program for young artists in Alexandria, Egypt.

He is currently engaged in a residence at MATHAF, in collaboration with the fire station, in Doha, Qatar, where he is conducting research for his first feature film on the history of oil production in the Persian Gulf.

Yungsuk Yoon

(1965 – Onyang, South Korea)

Origin from Korea, she has lived in Europe for some years. She studied in Germany at the Kunstakademie in Münster and at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf, the city where he currently works. She has won prestigious scholarships, including that of the DAAD in Berlin (2000). In 2004/05 she followed a specialization course at the Chelsea College of Art & Design in London.

He has participated in solo and group exhibitions both in Europe and Asia. Jongsuk Yoon started her business developing a painting in which figure and abstraction merge and in which often the pictorial material is replaced by the embroidery of letters or figures. Since 2005 the artist has explored new ways of doing painting, orienting herself on the one hand to a greater figurativeness and on the other hand, approaching more oriental expressive ways: take for example the use of the line, intended as ‘intimate expression of form’ , as the artist stated in a recent interview. The Lucca exhibition proposes ongoing experiments through a rich selection of recently produced works. Large and medium-sized oil paintings will be on display, characterized by a dreamlike vision of reality: the subjects of his works, inserted in enchanted natural scenarios, appear as if suspended in another dimension. The inspiration for these works stems from the impressions, desires or many and many solicitations that come to the artist from everyday life, especially from reading and reflecting on the photographic images that she takes or selects from magazines and newspapers. Jongsuk Yoon’s painting is the result of her life experience between East and West, it is identity and knowledge that meet and is sometimes led by critics to that trend of current art that makes neo-romantic painting one of the strongest currents.

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