Simon Callery | Valentina D’Amaro
Both artists, from different positions and with different poetics, have worked for a number of years on the theme of landscape with a particular focus on perception.
Simon Callery (London, UK, 1960) makes emphatically physical paintings. The artist works in landscape, both urban and rural, to develop new forms and functions for contemporary painting. These works are characterised by material properties – including holes and voids – that expand their range beyond the pictorial. The paintings exhibited at 1/9unosunove are the result of a period of research over the winter when Callery was Abbey Fellow in Painting at the British School at Rome. Lenghts of canvas, soaked in pigment, were worked on by the artist in direct contact with the surfaces of the city (including archaeological ruins, suburban parks and the Tiber river), where the fabric was marked, cut and punctured. Back in the studio, the parts were sewn together to construct paintings with spatial depth. These contact paintings, as Callery calls them, derive from and record the urban Roman landscape and its individual character, not through conventional representation, but in direct physical terms.
Valentina D’Amaro (Massa, Italy, 1966) condenses, instead, the essence of the natural landscape in figurative images with a suspended atmosphere. Photography is the starting point, but used from the beginning with the “painter gaze”. Indeed, the painted image transcends the realistic representation through a formal elaboration that transforms the natural landscape into a metaphor referring to something else. At 1/9unosunove D’Amaro presents a selection of works from her latest Viridis series, started in 2016 as a direct evolution of the previous cycle entitled Vespro. The dominant color is the green of uncontaminated nature, but what we have in front of our eyes is not exclusively landscape painting. By configuring scenarios in which human figures don’t appear to give life to a narrative dimension, her paintings produce a state of alienating suspension, in response to which the spectator is invited to assume a contemplative attitude and to undertake, through their own perceptions and resonances, a journey of inner rediscovery.
Simon Callery lives and works in London and Turin. Educated: Campion School, Athens; Berkshire College of Art and Cardiff College of Art. Has exhibited in the UK and internationally since the mid 1990’s. Early shows include: Young British Artists III, Saatchi Gallery; Sensation, Royal Academy of Arts, Hamburger Bahnhof (Berlin) and Brooklyn Museum (New York); About Vision, Museum of Modern Art (Oxford); Paper Assets, British Museum; Art Now 19, Tate Britain. Recent solo shows, 2015 – 2017 include: Open Body, Annex14 (Zurich); Pit & Void Sequence, Geukens & De Vil (Knokke); Flat Paintings, Fold Gallery (London).
Valentina D’Amaro lives and works in Milan. She studied Painting at Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera. She has exhibited in museums and Italian institutions, including the 54th Venice Biennale; PAC, Palazzo Reale, Triennale, Palazzo della Permanente (Milan); Museo d’Arte Contemporanea di Lissone; Palazzo Parasi (Cannobio). International exhibition venues include: 2nd Prague Biennale; Guang Dong Museum of Art (Canton, China); Hangart-7 (Salzburg); Barbican Centre (London). Winner of the 6th Cairo Communication Award (2005), in 2016 her work was included in the volume Vitamin P3: New Perspectives in Painting published by Phaidon.
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