Concerto. Singing over the Bones
Curated by Rossella Farinotti
March 16th 2019/May 31st 2019
Opening: Saturday March 16th 2019 @6PM
SINGING OVER THE BONES
Symbolism and rituals to be accomplished. Meticulously stratified abstract figures that cover ambiguous formal mentions of little girl bodies, deer or dogs’ details, and re-elaborate an always more complex vision. Different materials – canvas, Japanese papers, silk, concrete, bones, ceramic – used after an intense study and a restless research. New sculptures – the first ever realized by the artist – in concrete and fish bones, have the function of totems to observe and overstep. The path of Concerto. Singing over the Bones can start from a list of elements that Elisa Bertaglia has re-elaborated and put in a static pose on paintings, drawings and sculptures after having worked on a new cycle of works for over two years. A very intense two-year period for the Venetian artist who has chosen not to stop travelling with her husband as much as possible for artistic professional inspiration in places such as New York and Germany, including a future trip to Japan, in order to assimilate the many artworks seen in exhibitions and museums as well as meet those figures representing counterpoints for an open artistic dialogue. Bertaglia’s artwork impresses also for the tireless work, the energy and the passion in her pragmatic and poetical research. I have rarely met an artist like her.
Bertaglia is like her works: they do not appear so complex if you do not know them. Yet, a second look is enough to catch suggestions that anchor themselves in the viewer’s imagination. Her paintings and drawings speak clearly: they are labyrinths dense of enigmatic, ambiguous shapes and signs. Some of them are light – such as the graphite ones that step by step allow the beneficiary to discover always smaller and elaborated figures – others made with oil colour are more tangible in the material and at glance. These works exhibited at Martina Corbetta’s Gallery, have been condensed in the more linear path possible. Yet what do they represent? They tell stories, depict landscapes – real or not, it does not matter – and oneiric environments. The last paintings, realized between 2017 and 2019, reveal an accuracy in the almost painful colours. This is due to a constant tension and changes. After two years of study and research between United States and Italy, the artist highlights the developments of her last cycle of works through more severe reflections above nature and childhood, always using an unreal and metaphoric representative key. Themes – such as landscape, concealed human aspects, dark, nature and abstract shapes – have been analyzed by the artist through different sides and media: from Japanese paper to cement, from fish bones, ironically gathered in markets, to ceramics produced during an artist residency at Officine Saffi in Milan in 2017, until the light silk fabric, hiding the painting, elaborated over many layers of canvas, as in a private voyeurism. And then the three big concrete columns, two and a half meters high, realized by Elisa in a self-taught and determined attitude to create a site-specific installation inside the gallery: a passage with obstacles that, once the threshold has been crossed, must be overstepped to have a dialogue with the drawn and painted artworks, observing them with care. The artist (accompanied by musical backgrounds that inspired the title of the solo show) mixes her own past and suggestions from the art world she likes with the same care, looking at different artists – both historical and contemporary – and with a spiritual mood, often balancing among the surreal, the troubled and the natural. The last big paper, the first we can see in the exhibition path, represents this complicated macro-world gradually developed through other artworks that, like in a puzzle, recreate the story.
“Let’s meet at the gallery. Elisa is leaving for the United States, then she might go to Japan so she wants to show us some new works she has created”. The story of this project, elaborated by Elisa Bertaglia in the time-frame of two years started this way, in 2017. Concerto. Singing over the Bones is an itinerary that presents more than thirty works of different dimensions the artist has disclosed to narrate many experiences, course changes and stratifications of matter and thoughts. Colour spots over landscapes and heaps of bones, animal antlers or poplar leaves, carefully drawn with graphite, create textures as a solid base where the artist has played with shapes, nuances and new materials. This is how images are driven straight to the eyes by a little bit of casualty, as it happens with her ceramics too.
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