[dip] contemporary art has been delighted to present Paolo Canevari’s (1963, Rome) first solo show in Switzerland. In his artworks, the Italian artist conveys the complexity of the fleeting and transient reality of the contemporary world through the use of multiple mediums, from sculptures, to drawings, to installations and to videos.
CONSTELLATIONS inaugurated on March 1st, at the presence of the artist.
Paolo Canevari’s work stems from thoughts and re ections on the transient nature of art and on the signi cance of artistic sculptures in modern society. While wondering on the value and origin of the most intimate aspects of me- mory, the artist develops his own personal language where symbols, pop cul- ture, historical knowledge and politics are intertwined in a new interpretation of daily life and where memory and remembrance take on a metaphysical form.
The dialectic between memory and eetingness, both in art and in reality, has always been the origin and essence of Canevari’s works. In order for the past to become true in the present, the images must be broken apart in our memo- ries to then take on a new form. For this reason, the artist frequently uses the colour black as it facilitates the neutralisation of former symbols and emblems, mutating their meanings so that they can be translated into a new iconographic vocabulary in the present.
The exhibition CONSTELLATIONS presents works from the artist ranging from the early 2000s until his latest production. The series Constellations, pro- duced between 2017 and the first months of 2018, is presented for its first viewing in Lugano. In these artworks the artist uses his favoured material, rubber, together with diamonds, to reflect on the universality of art as an op- portunity for salvation, in a conceptual continuation of the series of drawings/collages Black Tears. Here, signs disappear: the picture vanishes giving way to the imagination of the artist and the observer, and the paper itself becomes a narrative of its own nature and essence. Strictly conceptual, Black Tears displays a fleeting, unreal and unintelligible present, which merely concedes fragments of apparitions, specks of notions...
Amongst the exhibited pieces are some works created with graphite on paper in which the artist selects symbolical icons, transforming their significance and value. This selection contains drawings of big and small dimensions, which re-veal the inescapable and undeniable physical engagement of the body of the artist in the process of creation. In this way, the bond between the artist and his own art is manifested unequivocally. Paper, pencil and ink are the simplest and most primitive tools which every artist has had to confront in his artistic career, as they are the primary means of creation, the principal and original physical form of an idea, of an artistic mindset, made explicit through a line, a mark, a stroke. Paper confers to the artwork a sense of fragility, impermanence and finiteness, emblematic of Canevari’s oeuvre.
The recovery of iconic architectural forms inspired by classical art history is a prerogative of the Italian artist. Colosseo and Monuments of the Memory express the richness of the past while at the same time embodying its cultural and artistic burden which presents a mnemonic horizon without boundaries. Paolo Canevari describes it as “the intimidating and obscure presence of the greatness of classical art.”
Through these artworks it is evident how the ties with artistic tradition and hu-man history are inextricable and enduring. The use of different raw materials combined with poetic concepts, creates a profound dialectic between idea and form, heaviness and lightness, solidity and docility, tangibility and ephemerali-ty. In Canevari’s artworks, monuments and symbols of our society are forever bound in this radical opposition of forces.
Born in Rome in 1963, Paolo Canevari lives and works between Rome and New York. Born in an elevator and raised in a family where his grandfather was a painter mosaicist and his uncle a sculptor, Canevari is one of the most internationally renowned artists of his generation.
He has participated in numerous museum exhibitions, public commissions and publications throughout Europe, the Americas and Asia. In 2007 he participated at the 52nd Biennial in Venice curated by Robert Storr. His work is collected by major museums throughout the World: Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato; Museum of Modern art MoMA, New York; Foundation Louis Vuit- ton pour la Creation, Paris; Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, Miami; Macro, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rome; MART Museo d’Arte Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto; Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg; Istituto Nazio- nale per la Gra ca Calcogra a Nazionale, Rome; GNAM Galleria Nazionale di Arte Mo- derna, Rome; Perna Foundation, Capri; Olnick Spanu Art Program Garrison, New York.
[dip] contemporary art
[dip] is a contemporary art gallery located in Lugano, opened in October 2016 by Michela Negrini. Representing a range of international artists, [dip] aims at being a stimulating platform for exploring new developments in international contemporary art, across a range of practices and media, building a bridge between art and society, raising public attention on the issues that inspire and challenge our society.