Song of myself
I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.
Walter Whitman, Song of myself
The exhibition Song of myself draws the title from Walter Whitman’s poem and its intention is to enhance the concept of repetition in the artistic creative act. A regularity that implies a principle, or a rule, by allowing the viewer to identify the distinctive style of an artist, among a plethora of artistic productions.
What Jean-Étienne Dominique Esquirol defined as monomania is, artistically speaking, nothing more than an inordinate zeal and obsessive interest in a subject, a color, an idea. Paul Cézanne, for example, devoted a lifetime to the intimate depiction of the landscape overlooked by the Montagne Sainte-Victoire, steadily and stubbornly seeking perfection, permanence, and personal satisfaction. A few decades later, Piet Mondrian unconditionally refused to accept and represent the nature in its mutable and unstable being by resisting the rationalist motif featured by lines and colors that would have become eternal and distinctive. Monomania, hence, as a means of self-promotion and formation of identity. The adoption of a system of precise signs and a recognizable language reveals the desire of validity and the search of authority in the artistic production.
The topic of the search for identity through the obsessive and at times suffering repetition of the act introduces the concept of ritual as a form of inner knowledge, whose function- here is intended as a social and anthropological level- is that to confirm the value and the content of the artistic process. Motivated by the passion/obsession with an action or a concept, the artists presented explore through painting and sculpture, the notion of repetition over the time and its relevance into the construction of the artistic visual identity.
Heir of Action Painting, Jason Martin (1970, Jersey, UK) concretizes the idée fixe in the realization of monochrome paintings on aluminum, where the physical act of painting itself becomes the subject of the work. David Adamo (1979, Rochester, USA) contrasts the theatrical dimension of the sculptural process, stylistic cipher of his interventions. The procedural dimension and form in the making are the fixed and distinctive codes of Gianni Caravaggio’s (1968, Rocca S.Giovanni, Italy) work, who investigates the evocative potential of the image – whether sculptural or a drawn – defined as a “seed”, a generative element. Monomania as an inordinate zeal is what characterizes the work of Gianni Piacentino (1945, Coazze, Italy), halfway between Arte Povera and Minimalism. True to the idea of dynamism and speed of the Futurists, his projects – planes, motorcycles, and cars – demonstrate a maniacal attention to details and an elevated artisan technique. More focused on an aesthetics of background, Dan Shaw-Town (1983, Huddersfield, UK) extends his own interest, showing through his new works the manual process of the creation of a work on one side, and its exhaustive value as a final resting point on the other. Sophie Bueno-Boutellier (1974, Toulouse, France) re-elaborates the theories of the Spatialism in a modern key. The artist uses the canvas to create tridimensional constructions in which the ritual of the gesture contributes to the definition of the formalization of the artwork as well as the acquisition of a characteristic element typical of what lasts in time.
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