Andrea Bolognino, Verdiana Bove, Natacha Donzé, Elia Fidanza, Pietro Moretti
With the group show Figure Out, 1/9unosunove opens its doors to five young painters, all born in the 1990s, and presented for the first time in the gallery. “Generational” painting which, as evidence of the renewed attention to the pictorial medium that characterizes the contemporary artistic panorama, is presented in a very multifaceted way, albeit already with interesting characteristics of maturity.
In the works of the exhibited artists we can see five markedly different ways of understanding painting. The restitution of a gaze on the world becomes at the same time a “physical” (not exclusively optical) and “narrative” (not exclusively decorative) element. The colored surface becomes a meeting/battle-ground between aesthetic choices and characterizing themes that, from time to time, invite the viewer not to accept them passively, but rather to decipher them, even through the visual tools of the contemporary world.
For this reason, the title of the exhibition is inspired by the English expression “figure out”, which can be translated to Italian as how to solve and understand. In this expression, the verb “to figure” dominates and, among its many possible translations, it also has to imagine and represent. Playing on a linguistic level with this expression, it is possible to read the exhibition as a set of connected attempts to provide a solution to the pictorial problem of re-presentation in the current socio-communicative context. All through the understanding of the imaginative power of painting and with special attention to its installation.
In the first room, the activated comparison highlights affinities and divergences between the rarefied, conceptual and installative works of Bolognino, Donzé and Fidanza, which seem to almost disintegrate and disperse the recognizable object of painting. In the second room, the direct confrontation between Bove and Moretti refers to a more stringent link with the themes of figuration. Yet, when analyzing the works better, one can also see in Donzé, Bolognino and Fidanza a connection with the representation of reality, even the most daily and domestic one. In Moretti and Bove’s works – albeit with two completely different ways of making, one more saturated and colorful, the other more ethereal and intangible – the spatial composition and technical rendering fall outside a simplistic figurative reading.
Despite the different languages between them, it is clear that all five artists think “in painting” – a painting that does not take refuge in archaism and that, on the contrary, exploits various references to the strictly newness, whose echo influences forms, compositions, chromatic, stylistic and thematic choices. The dichotomy between materiality and virtuality of the image – a characterizing element of the contemporary world – becomes painting, but without giving in to exclusively descriptive or didactic intentions.
The five artists on show propose different aesthetic solutions to the problem of the pictorial representation of actuality, triggering continuous references between realism and fiction that aim to stimulate the observer, questioning his privileged point of view and leaving him the task of “figuring out” the work, drawing from each re-presentation its own interpretations and references to contemporary visibility.
Andrea Bolognino (Naples, Italy, 1991) lives and works in Naples. In his work he explores the boundaries between the human and the non-human, where images become living objects, animated by the encounter between fragments from symbolic universes, scientific diagrams and sketches of figuration. His last solo show was cecità, accecamento, oltraggio, curated by Sylvain Bellenger at the Real Museo e Bosco di Capodimonte, Naples (2022). He has taken part in group exhibitions in other important institutions, including There is not time to enjoy the sun, Fondazione Morra Greco, Naples (2020) and Open System, Museo Hermann Nitsch, Naples (2021). From 2015 to 2019 he was the Art Director of the La Digestion contemporary music festival in Naples.
Natacha Donzé (Boudevilliers, Switzerland, 1991) lives and works in Lausanne. Her works simulate ethereal spaces within which elements coming from our collective memory co-exist in an aesthetic relationship devoid of any narrative content. Her solo shows include Natacha Donzé in der reihe seitenwagen, Kunst (Zeug) Haus, Rapperswill Jona (2022); Festins, Musée des Beaux Arts, Chaux-de-Fonds (2021); Life Savers, Unit110, New York (2018). She has participated in group exhibitions in Switzerland, Japan, Germany, the Czech Republic and Mexico. Her works are held in several Swiss collections, including the Fond des Art Plastiques de la Ville de Lausanne and the Musée des Beaux-Arts de La Chaux-de-Fonds, where she also won the Prix Jeune Talent in 2018.
Verdiana Bove (Rome, Italy 1996) lives and works in Rome. Her paintings take shape starting from photographs of her family or of personal collections, which, on the pictorial surface, reveal themselves as vivid memories, distinct in remembrance and at the same time blurred, indefinite by the passage of time. She recently presented her work in the solo show Nuove vedute di Roma, Laboratorio KH, Rome (2022). She has participated in several group exhibitions such as Materia Nova. Roma nuove generazioni a confronto, curated by Massimo Mininni, Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Rome (2021); La danza degli opposti, Rome (2020); HideArt, Rome (2019); Progetto Lampo, Milan (2016). She is co-founder of the artist-run space CONDOTTO48 in Rome and of the contemporary art magazine Karne Magazine.
Elia Fidanza (Monfalcone, Gorizia, Italy, 1996) lives and works in Geneva. Through site-specific installations, the artist places drawing, writing and poetry in dialogue in a network of relationships that are sometimes forced by an underlying fiction, sometimes suggested by a visual coherence. He recently obtained a diploma from the HEAD – Haute École d’Art et de Design in Geneva in Practices of Contemporary Arts. His recent group exhibitions include: Meet me Halfway, LiveInYourHead, Geneva (2022); Bassin, Center Culturel de Chênée, Liège (2021); TERRAINVAGUES, Porteus, Geneva (2021); Erbacce, curated by Edoardo Manzoni, Andrea Manzoni and Lorenzo Lunghi, Monza (2020). He is co-author of the text I Sensibili for Lorenzo Lunghi’s installation exhibited at the Rome Quadriennale (2020-21).
Pietro Moretti (Rome, Italy, 1996) lives and works in Rome. The narrative character of his work develops in an atmosphere to the limit between the everyday and the fantastic, which investigate: the ambivalent and contradictory nature of human feelings, the complexity of the desire for belonging and identity in male dynamics and the body as an intersection between the personal and the social. He graduated in Painting from the Slade School of Art in London in 2020. In 2022, he realized his first solo show Il Rossore dell’Asino at the Doris Ghetta Gallery, Ortisei, Bolzano (2022). He has participated in group exhibitions such as I Am a Broken Mirror, Studio 11, Palazzo Orsini, Bomarzo, Viterbo (2022); Post Fata Resurgo, Florence (2021); No Vacancy, Latina (2021); Waterways, London (2021); The Eternity Exhibition, London (2020). In 2020 he was the winner of the Robert Ross Prize.
The exhibition will be open until Saturday, 22 October 2022