June 1 - June 27, 2013
A Collateral Event at the 55th Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia
Curated By Natalie Clifford
Catalogue contribution from Francesco Clemente, Salman RUshdie and Kathleen Goncharov
Dorsoduro 453, Venice, Italy
Nearest vaporetto stop: Santo Spirito line 6; Zattere lines 2, 5.1, 5.2, Salute line 1
Opening hours: 10am-7pm (1-9 June) and 11am-6pm (11-27 June)
Closed on Mondays (except Monday 3rd June)
Nuova Icona and Space SBH present an exhibition of work by Victor Matthews and Paolo Nicola Rossini exploring through painting, sculpture and photography, the theme of Transitions. Both artists question universal themes such as life, memory, dream and the subconscious, reality, time and space and transition from one moment or reality to the next.
Rossini’s photography developed from the need to find a deeper conceptual approach to his work and a personal way of seeing and representing reality through landscapes (in the loosest sense of the word), elements, people and various still life. His multilayered images appear as suspended in time and space, almost indefinite as moments collide.
His photographs melt their subjects together within each image, which combination changes the identity and reality of what the viewer sees, making the work seem more like a painting. The overlap of sequential images dissolving together creates a real distortion of the space. Rossini creates the illusion of depth and engages the viewer in seeking recognizable imagery by inventing a familiar yet anonymous terrain, simultaneously. This process aims to catch reality in its transition - a suspension between past and present; transition of spaces, subjects and moments .The photographs lose definition, their detail tends to disappear. The viewer is drawn to explore the abstract layers of information and Rossini seeks to engage us in the game of duality; creating a false imagery that lies somewhere between reality and illusion.
Matthews’ paintings transcend from his dreams. He probes his subconscious in order to unravel universal perceptions of reality, memory and the world around us. His White Paintings, which reference the New York landscape, have a serenity and simplicity about them which is innocent and playful, demonstrating Matthews’ cherished relationship with his city and affording the viewer an intimate look into his psyche.
The interplay of what appear to be shapes become apparent as iconic landmarks - water towers and bridges, cars, sidewalks, fire hydrants - these objects are immediately recognizable to every inhabitant as shared visual terrain; the very essence of Matthews' old Brooklyn neighbourhood. The paintings have a Modernist sensibility and based on a palate of white, the texture of the acrylic plays against the raw-colored linen canvas, demarcated by a strong presence of the two-dimensional — of line – which winds its way through his city charting the cartography of his subconscious mind.
These paintings dip in and out of the detail of New York which is Matthews' life source - coursing its way through his blood - whether awake or asleep, he lives and breathes his city. Like the man himself, we dance along the joyful, happy strokes that punctuate the canvas – affirmative and present, effortlessly gliding, guiding our way through the metropolis. But it is in the balance and silence of these elegant works, that Matthews’ poised approach and focus are apparent, revealing the inner calm which is Matthews to a tee. He is an artist at peace with himself. The paintings personify a purity within him that transcends time and space.
These two artists present a view of their reality, which leads the viewer to question our own perceptions of our surroundings. Matthews and Rossini challenge the transition of image from the minds eye, externalizing it through their painting and photography. The works suspend themselves on the edge of innovative creative and philosophical thought, and dare to ask where our interaction between the physical world and our imaginative life, begins and ends.
This is the first collaborative exhibition of the artists and is curated by Natalie Clifford.
Both artists are represented by Space SBH – Contemporary Art Gallery.
Nuova Icona is the sponsoring institution of the show and provides its management in Venice.
Additionally, Transitions / Transizioni is a Sponsored Project of Artspire, a program of the New York Foundation for the Arts.