Sixteen Shades of Grey
curated by Eva Comuzzi
November 28, 2014 – January 16, 2015
Opening Friday November 28, 7pm
Painting again takes centre stage with a dialogue between the works of two artists, in which grey and the interest in detail form the leitmotif
Galleria Massimodeluca presents its latest exhibition Sixteen Shades of Grey, a two-person exhibition by Giovanni Sartori Braido ( Mestre – Venezia, 1989) and Vito Stassi (Palermo, 1980), curated by Eva Comuzzi (from 29 November 2014 to 16 January 2015, inauguration on Friday 28 November 2014 at 7 pm).
The title, an ironic allusion to the erotic best seller by Erika Leonard James that is currently the most sold book ever, came instinctively and with a hint of fun thinking about what, at first glance, unites the work of the two artists, while the number indicates all the shades of grey that the human eye can perceive.
“The title came not only spontaneously and with a touch of irony” states the curator, “but I liked the idea that it would make a contrast to the two regal and refined titles used for the previous two exhibitions, Regio and Reginae, being on the one hand recognisable and banal like most things that attract society today, and on the other disorientating, just like the works of the two artists. So, my reflection on the canvases and the dialogue to be established between Stassi and Sartori Braido continued with the book in mind: the coldness of certain settings and embraces, the artificiality or surrealism of the dialogues and especially the sense of control and obsessive-fetishist attention of the protagonist. Attention which I find both in the quest for variation of colour and in the interest for the object/detail. Given that the sad, silent and often funereal side of their production has been highlighted more than once, I would now like to look into the innermost layers of the surface, into all those deposits that have formed the skin over the white canvas and among all those elements that give life to a quiet but teeming archaeology of experience”.
“My work features enigmatic figures with an artificial and inhuman appearance, placed inside gelid spaces without atmosphere, with clear references to computerised graphics, giving everything a deep feeling of melancholy – that’s how Giovanni Sartori Braido talks about his work – The subjects are taken from all sorts of sources: old photographs, school encyclopaedias, magazines as well as cinema and television. They are fragments of forgotten images from different times and settings and resurrected from their oblivion, then set down as if from the memory of an out-of-control computer that is incapable of perceiving their nature”.
“When I think about painting I think of archaeology in the sense of silence, immobility and waiting, of restitution and return to light. These are the things that I seek in my work and I believe that they are some of the elements that make up the actual essence of painting - maintains Vito Stassi – I try to overcome the concept of actuality, taken as representation of what exists today, in order to pursue a timeless and universal dimension. Painting lives a dogmatic dimension of its own. A dimension that lies beyond reason and the purely logical representation of things. Not by chance is there a moment in painting when it is the painting itself that acts, that takes its own direction. Every previous intention and idea will ‘fail’, will be diverted”.
Vito Stassi was born in 1980 in Palermo where he lives and works. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts of Palermo in 2006. His solo exhibitions have been: Phalaenopsis, Galleria Nuvole, Palermo (2011); La conquista dell’inutile, Zelle Arte Contemporanea, Palermo (2009). Group exhibitions in which he has participated include: THE SPACE IN-BETWEEN US, curated by Giovanna Manzotti, Villa Vertua Masolo, Nova Milanese; Visioni per un inventario: una mappa del navegar pitoresco, curated by Andrea Bruciati, Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, Venezia; Esercizi di stile, curated by Marina Bastianello, Andrea Bruciati, Maurizio Nobile, Galleria Maurizio Nobile, Bologna (2014); VHS/LO SGUARDO INVISIBILE. Un'indagine sulle possibilità del paesaggio, Von Holden Studio, Palermo; Yellowing of the Lunar Consciousness, curated by Andrea Bruciati, Galleria Massimodeluca, Mestre – Venezia; Palazzo Bonvicini, Venezia (2013); NI DIEU NI MAÎTRE, curated by Andrea Bruciati, Galleria Massimodeluca, Mestre – Venezia; Painting Detours, curated by Andrea Bruciati, Villa Gorgo Guado dell’Arciduca, San Vito al Torre; Per te solo il cuore dimentica ogni suo affanno, GAMUD –Galleria d'Arte Moderna in Udine, Udine (2012); Allegory of the Cave, curated by Guillaume Von Holden, quattrocentometriquadri Gallery, Ancona; Silver Session, South & North, Valencia, Spain (2011); CARTacea, curated by Albano Morandi, Galleria delle Battaglie, Brescia; Sweet Sheets (Moves to Modica), Palazzo della Cultura, Modica, Ragusa; Sweet Sheets III, Zelle Arte Contemporanea, Palermo (2010); Dry as dust, GATE21. Catania (2009); Fuori Rotta/Off Course, Galleria dell'Arco, Shanghai (2008); There is no optical in stripes, Scotty Enterprises, Berlin (2007).
ph Giovanni Cecchinato