Galerie Gmurzynska informs about the opening of the following exhibition Sylvester Stallone "Real Love: Paintings 1975-2015" at Galerie Contemporaine du Musée de Nice, May 15- May 30, 2015.
"There is a public face and a private face. And I feel the same way about art. It’s a collage of emotions. And when you can transfer that onto the canvas, it’s an amazing feeling." –Sylvester Stallone
The Galerie Contemporaine du Musée de Nice presents a retrospective exhibition by Sylvester Stallone spanning four decades, encompassing his earliest figurative paintings to the artist’s most recent large abstract canvases.
Renowned worldwide for having created some of the 20th century’s most memorable characters on the screen, Stallone has continually pursued a dedicated painting practice from the 1970s onwards, having identified his true calling as a visual artist since childhood.
This retrospective presents his second important museum exhibition after the State Russian Museum St. Petersburg in 2013, which garnered extensive reviews and critical acclaim in the international press, from the New York Times to coverage on BBC.
Stallone would from the very beginning of his painting practice self-reflexively engage with his nascent Hollywood career, his name soon to become a global household name equitable with his powerful male roles of first Rocky and subsequently Rambo.
In fact, the earliest painting on view, entitled “Finding Rocky” (1975), precedes the script and release of Rocky the movie which came out in 1976, with Stallone effectually previsioning the challenges of fame and the increasing blurring of the boundaries separating his assertive screen identities from his actual personhood in the public eye.
In a work like “The Arena” (1999) that employs figurative as well as photographic renderings of Stallone’s cinematic characters, Stallone continues to stage a fascinating dialogue between these fictional realms encroaching upon his private persona.
Over the years Stallone has developed a highly individual aesthetic that comprises a bold energetic handling of paint and color. Furthermore, the works are distinguished by symbolic tropes such as the recurring clock and prominent features in form of his specially fabricated frames that abruptly cut off halfway through the canvas, emphasizing the open-endedness and evolution of the themes the artist seeks to literally frame, while these details become integral to the works in the manner of Baroque painting.
Stallone’s critical painterly engagement with pop-culture’s male icons ranges from James Dean to Michael Jackson, often accentuating the darker facets of celebrity and fame he himself has endured and exposed as such.
Always eager to explore and probe formative artistic styles from avant-garde to abstract expressionism, beginning in the 2000s Stallone’s paintings veer towards a more reduced palette of black, white and his favorite color, a sanguine and visceral red, in potent abstract paintings, transposing his profoundly physical screen characters to the creative act of painting, with the canvases registering the vigor of the artist’s handling of the medium.
His latest works, which will make their debut in Nice, meanwhile see Stallone combining organic and geometric shapes in this robust black, white and red palette that further demonstrate his dialogue with modern painting.
Taken together, the works assembled for “Real Love”, offer an exclusive and first deeper insight into Stallone’s powerful art over almost half a century while introducing a new definitive force to be reckoned with to the international art circuit.
A fully illustrated catalogue in French featuring documentary images and an interview with the artist will accompany the exhibition.
Sylvester Stallone is represented by Galerie Gmurzynska.