GIOVANNI MANFREDINI – PIAGHE E GLORIA
12th November – 23rd December 2010
Vernissage: Friday 12th November 2010 at 8 pm at both galleries.
Galleria Nove and Werkstattgallery show in a new collaboration for the first time in Berlin works by Italian artist Giovanni Manfredini. The solo exhibition titled “Piaghe e Gloria”, will open on Friday, November 12th and lasts until 23rd December 2010.
Giovanni Manfredini was born in 1963 in Modena. At the age of two years he suffered severe burns. After several painful skin grafts, which should renew and replace his own skin, the suffering became unbearable and he was no longer willing to undergo further operations. This molting process, which had originated from fire, Manfredini transfers onto the surface of his paintings.
In 1988 his first work cycle “Altar of Solitude” was exhibited at the Biennale dei Giovani Artisti dell’Europa Mediterranea in Bologna. A year later this work was bought by the Contemporary Collection Draving of the Galleria Civica in Modena and put on permant display.
Since 1992 he develops his own style of painting and became the young Italian master of Chiaro Scuro-painting. Onto the paintingssurface a mixture of shell-flour and resin is applied. After a lengthy drying process, this area is dusted and darkened with a Bunsen burner. On this treated surface Manfredini prints his own body or parts of it. The impression created by this process resembels an absolute mimesis: a realistic representation with bodyhair and the blood vessels and the strong black and white contrasts often make it look like photographs or radiographs.
Parts or the whole body appear light in a dark environment, the internal drawing to be read only by shades of gray. The often used postures in his work reminiscent the Passion of Christ. Due to the spiritual and religious depth and intensity of his work two of his CORPI paintings have been displayed in the church of Santa Maria del Popolo in Rome along with works by Caravaggio.
In his more recent works, Giovanni Manfredini has been replacing the human body by a circular template. Whereas hitherto the focal point of his work was the existentialist selfportrait, the figurative has now given way to a luminous disc that seems to lift itself away from its deep black ground. Through a sfumato effect, which he employs with varying intensity, Giovanni Manfredini complements the chiaroscuro effect of the image with a further traditional technique of art-historical significance. The title of this group of works – Estasi (Ecstasy) – aptly describes the atmosphere created by these hovering, gleaming forms that seem to emerge from another, completely unknown dimension. No matter how they may be interpreted, they operate like dreams, inspiring the imagination of everyone who looks at them.
In his forthcoming exhibition, Piaghe e Gloria, Giovanni Manfredini will be showing new works from his Corpi and Estasi series. These works, which differ enormously in size, from pocketformat to monumental, including a large tondo, will plunge the gallery into a vast black-andwhite cosmos. Here, too, the title of the exhibition is most apt, for it poetically alludes to the artist’s idea of preserving his images, which have their origins in infernal fire and physical pain, for eternity. Human and superhuman, body and soul, the source and the end, these are the contradictions that come together in the work of Giovanni Manfredini.
His works are in public collections such as the Bonn Art Museum, the Kunsthalle Stuttgart, the Museum of the City Waiblingen, the MoMA Toronto and others.