Still Image

04 Sep - 17 Oct 2010

'Omaggio a Clergue – A Fior d’Acqua', 2001
graphite on paper on aluminum
200 x 142 cm diptych
Contemporary Italian Painting

Luca Pancrazzi
Manuela Sedmach

GALLERIA CONTINUA / BEIJING September 4th – October 17th

Galleria Continua is pleased to present the exhibition STILL IMAGE that features works of Italian artists: Luca Pancrazzi, Manuela Sedmach and Serse. STILL IMAGE comprises a series of works produced with techniques ranging from acrylic and oil painting to graphite drawing, offering a cross-section of the contemporary Italian art scene. Each work presents a view of reality explored through the artist’s sensibility. The polymorphous protagonist of the scene is the landscape, which is depicted in a very detailed way, to the extent of revealing powerful analogies with photography. In other cases it is more urban in nature, and sometimes is perceived as it gradually dissolves into abstract forms. All the works result from a slow, meticulous ritual, with the images acquiring form from the stratification of material on the support, be it canvas or paper.

Luca Pancrazzi (Figline Valdarno, Florence 1961, lives and works in Milan and Tuscany) has used a wide range of media in the course of his career to date, including painting, photography, video, sound, sculpture and large-scale installations. The central theme of his work is the creative process and the deconstruction of reality through the gaze. The overcoming of the boundary between inside and out, the staggering of time and perception, continual gaps and serial variations – these are the elements used by the artist in his investigations. His observation of reality and the almost anthropological way in which he probes the territory is never rendered in an objective, documentary fashion, but is always mediated, reconsidered through other languages, filtered by memory and finally internalized. This results in an acute sensitivity towards issues relating to the vision, construction, reproduction and transmission of images, and the perception and definition of the coordinates of space and time in contemporary reality. A non-narration that revolves around the concepts of centre and periphery, and the relationships that form between definition of the planned urban landscape and processes of perception of individuality. Luca Pancrazzi has shown extensively both in Italy and abroad. He has been displayed in many museums as the Karlsruhe in Germany, Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome, MAMbo in Bologna and MACRO in Rome. In 2007 he was invited to represent Italy in the Special Guests category of the Second Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art.

Manuela Sedmach (Trieste1953, lives and works in Trieste) expresses the complexity of her research through a traditional medium: painting. Following a ritual, the artist begins a canvas with her favourite subject that she turns abstract. She uses only three colours: black, white and raw sienna (terra di Siena). Manuela Sedmach starts with a black canvas, on to which she introduces the other two colours, shaped and alternated until the desired effect is achieved. The artwork is defined during the working process, which can last two or three months. The final result stems from a superposition of layers of colour (up to fifty) that are used to produce the extraordinary game of transparency and voiles. The successive additions progressively change the representation and produce cycles of the same images with a similar title and pattern. The difference in quantity of the three base colours gives diverse chromatic results, like many variations from a single piece of music. The first series from the 1980’s, a dense and impetuous execution, progressively gave place to a more subtle and fluid style. The figures and objects have disappeared little by little; the subject becoming voluntarily non-narrative. The elements (water, air, fire, earth) are henceforth the only protagonists of the works of art. Today Manuela Sedmach’s themes are undefined places, endless horizons and diaphanous clouds, the distended time of misty marine atmospheres, frozen deserts, the cosmos, stars and white rain. The artist seeks to show the essential in her paintings. Shapes, transparencies and glaze leave room for imagination. Reality is expanding here. The canvas space is contemplated, but not only: this one also speaks of another space, this one outside the canvas, outside time, this one of the depth of the soul. Manuela Sedmach’s work has been exhibited in different galleries and museums in Italy. She has taken part in individual and group exhibitions in Belgium, Austria, Germany and Hungary. Her paintings are part of large private collections in Europe, the States and Japan, as well as at the SMAK Museum in Ghent.

Serse (San Polo del Piave 1952, lives and works in Trieste) has pursued his artistic research for more than twenty years and is considered one of the key figures in the panorama of contemporary Italian drawing. The artist produces his works by using graphite powder and rubber on paper. His drawings represent the plant and architectural landscape as only a photograph can and are characterized by the sophisticated use of black and white. According to the artist, these two tones are a way of understanding the physical essence of reality and matter. Through his play on shadows and light, Serse manages to create an almost magical landscape, where time is suspended: storms, which disrupt the sea, remain frozen in his photogram; the reflections carved in real time have hardly finished blending. Serse’s work has been displayed in many museums like Museum of Beaux Arts and SMAK in Gand, at Royal Palace in Milan, at Luigi Pecci Centre for Contemporary Art and in 2005 participated in the third Valence Biennial in Spain.

Tags: Luca Pancrazzi, Manuela Sedmach, Serse