“Orizzonti” at Galleria Vistamare, Pescara
Galleria Vistamare inaugurates a group exhibition entitled “Orizzonti” [Horizons].
The works on show (all of which are photographic) offer an opportunity to compare artists from very different creative backgrounds, who on this occasion dialogue with one another in an exploration of the common theme of “the horizon”, each expressing his or her very personal vision of the notion.
Here the gallery’s “historical” artists, including Mimmo Jodice, Armin Linke, Mario Airò and Bethan Huws, are joined for the first time by the British artist Darren Almond alongside works by Man Ray and major figures from the history of Italian photography including Luigi Ghirri and Mario Giacomelli, together with the young artist Linda Fregni Nagler.
“We all live under the same sky, but we don’t all have the same horizon”
As a project “Orizzonti” originates in a desire to collaborate on a visual, personal and conceptual level – a collaboration in which each artist reflects on the work of the others, generating an extraordinary creative synergy. Despite their diverse sensibilities, all of the works on show reveal a common viewpoint, a gaze turned to consider the line that man has always identified as “the apparent meeting point of earth and sky”. The horizon is a fascinating theme much debated by the great thinkers of the past. The thin line that visibly divides and connects earth, sea and sky and thus reunites the elemental substances of our life on Earth has been a subject of reflection for astronomers, philosophers, mathematicians, poets and sailors. The artists exhibiting have also turned their gaze to this line (in reality a curve) in an attempt to describe and to reveal to others the overwhelming connection between finite and infinite, and a very human desire to reconnect with the absolute which on a visual level translates into a simple borderline.
The show features works by the great Italian photographer Mimmo Jodice (Naples, 1934), from two of his long career’s landmark series, Marelux and le Attese. In both the Neapolitan master explores the line of the horizon, employing a black and white formed of a multitude of greys and turning his gaze alternately to the sea and to static images that recall the voids and the sense of frozen movement typical of De Chirico’s metaphysical works. The two large works by Armin Linke (Milan, 1966) scan the horizon in order to underline its imposing physicality (as is the case with the expanses of ice and snow in Ice pack), but also the presence of man and the ambiguous relationship that humanity establishes with the inhabited environment, permanently modifying its natural profile. In the photographs of Darren Almond (Wigan, 1971) poetry encounters the conceptual. With their vivid streaks of light, his landscapes possess a spectral quality that reveals a very contemporary sense of uneasiness which in its air of mystery offers echoes of Leopardi’s poem “L’infinito”. The horizons presented by Mario Airò (Pavia, 1961) and Bethan Huws (Bangor, 1961) – whose art utilizes diverse media and evolves in multiple directions – perfectly encapsulate the paths that both artists’ careers have taken: in Airò through the image of strings of light that reknot our broken ties with nature, and in the work of Huws once again revealing the profoundly poetic essence of the artist’s continuous study of her own rural origins and of images that play with non-sense. With their typically acerbic Dadaist provocativeness, the works of Man Ray (Philadelphia, 1890 – Paris, 1976) reveal another form of horizon, very different from the geographical variety; a horizon formed of female silhouettes – human outlines that resemble gentle hills, in a game of unsettling cross-references.
With their soft pastels the photos from Luigi Ghirri’s (Scandiano, 1943 – Roncocesi, 1992) Versailles series resemble the picture postcards fashionable several decades ago; here the line of the horizon is entangled and merges with a play on perspective created by the lines of force offered by the lavish French architecture. With its references to the experience and processes of printing, the clarity and dazzling contrast of the black and white of another great Italian photographer, Mario Giacomelli (Senigallia, 1925 – 2000) conveys the artist’s constant yearning for the infinite, expressed in verse and in landscapes in which places are transformed into poetic and abstract images. The work of Linda Fregni Nagler (Stockholm, 1976) explores photography with a critical eye that focuses on a re-reading of history. In collecting old and anonymous images her photos reflect a desire to establish new relationships with the past, offering a renewed and energizing interpretation.
The theme of the horizon is explored and reconsidered in the over 20 works on show, at times with an intimate and poetic spirit, at others with the powerful impact of anthropological and geopolitical investigations, resurrected and renewed in the myriad facets of the personal horizons of each artist.
at Galleria Vistamare, Pescara
until 14 January 2017