Khen Shish and Veronica Botticelli “The Scope of Reason” at Anna Marra Contemporanea, Rome
Anna Marra Contemporanea is pleased to present a dual personal exhibition curated by Giorgia Calò, entitled “The Scope of Reason”, that brings together two painters, Khen Shish (Safed 1970) and Veronica Botticelli (Rome 1979). The idea for this exhibition was born from a desire to understand some of the aspects that move painting today, painting in which the meeting of figurative and abstract seems more natural than vital and reaches an extraordinary equilibrium.
Both these artists work on large formats and both use drawings on paper to complement their respective research, Shish carefully considers the lessons of German expressionism and Trans- avant-garde (she lived a few years in Berlin and Rome), as well as to the canons of an earlier generation of Israeli painters. Botticelli’s art on the other hand comes from an entirely Italian tradition or more accurately Roman, from the School of Piazza del Popolo to the School of San Lorenzo.
Gestures, intuitive those of Khen and more reflexive those of Veronica, and a continuous redefining of the image, as if the artist were unable to stop her execution and consider the work completed are common to both. This approach to work – explains Giorgia Calò – is extremely feminine and maternal: first a period of gestation, then an almost symbiotic relation and finally the trauma of parting. Both also have secret places in their memories to which they can go in search, to bring out parts of their subconscious which they express through small clues scattered around their canvases.
Khen Shish’s painting is carnal, based on order and disorder in which violent colours and strokes, iconic and aniconic images, form and abstraction alternate. She hates frames and anything that can contain, delineate and confine her dynamic painting within established boundaries. Her works, pure fantasy, seem escape routes from reality, at times leading us to fantasy worlds and at others as scenography for nightmares. On the other hand this seems the artist’s intention, the nature of human beings is made of joy and pain, anguish and happiness. Khen’s images crystalise to repeat themselves as flowers, hearts or eyes, characterised by strokes that almost slice into the canvas, from her loud colours to black which seems to dominate. And then there is the intaglio into paper, made with gesture and action that removes the painting from any reality.
Veronica Botticelli’s iconography instead, can be summed up in a single theme with its thousand facets and meanings: Singer, yes none other than that famous sewing machine our mothers and grandmothers used, the symbol par excellence of a certain type of femininity, perhaps lost, and of manual skills that suggest the creative act. The artist seems to have frozen the image and now she presents it on structured backgrounds of large fields of colour, on which she intervenes by applying paper that then becomes one with the canvas. Veronica has chosen this object precisely because of its strong poetic message, making it the custodian of memories, both personal and collective, in which we mix the nostalgic thoughts we have as we gaze at a work that suggests to us the enchantment of a lost past.
at Anna Marra Contemporanea, Rome
until 28 October 2017