Time: October 10, 2014 at 11am to November 20, 2014 at 7pm
Location: rosenfeld porcini
Street: 37 Rathbone Street W1T 1NZ
Website or Map: http://rosenfeldporcini.com
Phone: +44 20 7637 1133
Event Type: exhibition
Organized By: Rosenfeld Porcini Gallery
Latest Activity: Sep 20, 2014
rosenfeld porcini is proud to present L’Âge Mûr, a first UK solo exhibition of Italian artist Nicola Samorì, which follows his initial participation in the sculpture exhibition Memory and in The Continuation of Romance, a group exhibition exploring the renaissance of painting in contemporary art. The gallery will showcase new marble and wax sculptures as well as Samorì’s latest series of paintings on canvas, copper, linen and wood.
At its essence, the whole corpus of Nicola Samorì's work is a profound meditation on time and the fragility of existence: His earliest works appeared to be paintings of X-rays of individuals as if seen in a morgue – e.g. Der Neid, 2005; other works were constructed as if assembled from archeological remnants – e.g. Siliqua, 2007; and more recently, Samorì has turned his attention to re-examining famous artworks from the Western canon, notably the paintings of Spanish seventeenth century master Jusepe Ribera. Although his starting point will be a brilliantly executed copy of the original, his concern is essentially to apply a contemporary painting and sculptural approach to the works as a comment on the original piece. Samorì’s reinterpretation of Ribera's The Martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew (Ebbro, 2011) is seen as if in a memory, but instead of the saint's skin being flayed the artist peels back the rich crimson paint from the canvas to give a totally contemporary stance to the work. His pictures oscillate between ‘wounds’ made on the original painting and the loss of the image. The title L’Âge Mûr is inspired by a well-known sculpture by the French artist Camille Claudel. The largest work in the exhibition is a painting on linen where Samorì recreates L’Âge Mûr but rewritten as if it was seen through the mediation of a small model made with re-used materials. The sense of movement when we view the picture is evident as one feels the form has stepped back into its larval state. Historically artists created form out of material; Samorì is now involved in reversing this process by creating a form and then partially taking it back to its material state. So, in synthesis, the artist is reversing the traditional historical process.
Nicola Samorì’s use of peeling paint takes us to heart of one of his fascinations: Human skin and what lies beneath it. He has used both painting and sculpture to repeatedly explore this concern. He is, in the highest sense, a figurative artist. His work revolves around the figure both from the outside and from the inside, and more specifically on how his chosen mediums can explore this. There are pictures of faces where his painterly interventions are almost abstract sculptural rendering of the skin, bone and muscle being torn away from the surface as if in a dismemberment. Seeing these works inevitably recalls Rembrandt, Soutine and Bacon’s paintings of animal carcasses and their obsession with the texture of decaying flesh. Whereas some of his paintings achieve certain physicality, his wax sculptures bear the stamp of a painter as he colours and discolours the medium.
Nicola Samorì’s referencing of the history of art to explore his very particular contemporary voice makes him an emblematic artist for rosenfeld porcini. Yet whilst many artists who have attempted this have fallen on the many shards of glass that lie in wait, Samori has both reaffirmed the continual relevance of our artistic heritage and, contemporaneously, found a unique way of establishing his own voice within the current artistic panorama.