The paintings in both the shows of these two artists Carole Robb and Andrew Stahl emerged at the time of the resurgence of painting in the early 80’s as a postmodern and powerful alternative to the contemporary minimalist discourse that was losing its dominance. Neither have ever completely left Rome as a source of inspiration – it’s a bit of a Hotel California scenario.
Carole Robb – Whispers In the Night
Opening Feb 7, 6-8pm. Show Feb 7-22, 2020
Carole Robb’s paintings are a complex and layered combination of the mythical, the filmic and the poetic. Nocturnal wanderings through the city capture both glimpses of the contemporary night-time life of the city and classical architectural moments. Images and glimpses of cafes, police sentry boxes, flower stands, contemporary life in the city are interspersed with nightly experiences, classical antiquities, architecture and the filmic. Many of these paintings are made in situ in one go directly in Rome late at night – they have the brevity of Haiku poems and represent a poetic and contemporary vision without ever forgetting that Rome lies at the heart of the western subconscious.
Nocturnal figures, powerful and ghostly presences that have mythical status have often stepped into Robb’s paintings since the time she spent as a scholar at the British School at Rome. Some of the black and white head paintings are inspired by everyday Roman experiences, some by the Capitoline Museum others by contemporary media and film – from Clint Eastwood to Julius Caesar. All these works have a material and visionary presence, and their archetypal roles carry forward into our contemporary subconscious like reminders of ancestral history and the inescapable power of the city.
Andrew Stahl – Walking Through the City
Opening Feb 25, 6-8pm. Show Feb 25 – March 12, 2020.
Roman streets and fountains are imbued with history and memories for Andrew Stahl who was also a scholar at the British School at Rome. This group of Stahl’s paintings often combine flows of thoughts, memories and imaginations coalesced into a whirlwind of fragments which are held together by an overriding sense of euphoria. When Andrew Stahl first saw Munch and German expressionist paintings he knew that painting could be a viable medium for him. He liked the drama and existentialist dimension. It coincided with his reading of writers like Sartre, Camus and Herman Hesse.Rome for Stahl is densely populated with memories, thoughts and magical moments. The walls are soaked in history and the intensity and feelings that he always feels on returning to Rome permeate his work. Time spent in the UAE this summer and the platform for thoughts the desert provides also is a part of these works. The idea that a painting can have painted thoughts and memories emerges from his fascination with the way Chinese painting can feature flow and time. Similarly, in Sienese painting the multiple viewpoints and fragmentations were a major influence as was the incongruity of cubism (an early influence on his work). Fountains are sometimes featured in Stahl’s work as symbolic representations of joy and surprise and often a head is present as a vehicle for the viewer and artist to enter these paintings.
Andrew Stahl and Milos Zahradka Maiorana
Irene Barberis, an Australian/British artist met Sol LeWitt in 1974 and remained friends for over 30 years. She is the first artist have the privilege to make work in Sol LeWitt’s studio in Chester, USA, and has produced new bodies of work responding to his spaces, his studio processes and intersections in their oeuvres. Here she responds to his Italian studios in Spoleto and Praiano. With limited materials and time frame, she has constructed a multitude of works negotiating ‘shapes within shapes’, ‘colour sentences and dialogues’ and accompanying notations.
Barberis is known for her provocative high-chroma exhibitions negotiating a breadth of contemporary conceptual investigations through the use of cutting edge materials including plastics, silicones and new light forms. She is a painter, installation and new media artist working with performative drawing and spatial kinesthetics. Irene is known also for her international initiatives, exhibitions and curatorial work. She is the Founder of Metasenta ® and the Global Centre for Drawing , generating projects and platforms for artists globally.
Irene Barberis e’ un’artista Australiana/Inglese che divento’ amica dell’artista Americano Sol LeWitt nel 1974 mantenendo un amicizia per 30 anni fino alla sua morte nel 2007. Barberis ha avuto il privilegio di lavorare nello studio di LeWitt a Chester negli Stati Uniti rispondendo agli spazi e processi di creazione, investigando le intersezioni tra i loro rispettivi lavori. In questa esclusiva Romana Barberis ci mostra delle impressioni/reazioni agli studi Italiani di LeWitt a Spoleto e Praiano. Con materiali limitatissimi e poco tempo a disposizione Barberis ha costruito un linguaggio di scambio fatto di varie intersezioni concettuali di “forme nelle forme” e “frasi di colore,” con incluse le annotazioni del processo di formazione concettuale.
L’ ouvre dell’artista Australiana si distingue per le sue provocazioni usando la potenza metafisica del colore e l’uso di materiali legati allo sviluppo tecnologico, plastiche varie, leghe sintetiche, e nuove forme di illuminazione. Barberis e’ una pittrice che crea installazioni e presentazioni new media con un occhio attento per l’elemento performativo e coreografico – e’ importante notare che il lavoro artistico di Barberis proviene in principio dalla danza. Il movimento e il colore si fondono in ciò’ che lei chiama psicocoreografia. Barberis e’ un artista che si muove a livello globale e la sua arte rispecchia le problematiche e le possibilità più’ uniche della contemporaneità.