Anna Caruso
Curated by Davide Dall’Ombra
Casa Testori
21 June – 10 November 2019

Davide Dall’Ombra

“My paintings are based on a distinction between illustrated space and abstract pictorial space. The former is mimetic and referential, while the latter is transformative, entirely incarnated by the dynamics of the paint, because formalist abstraction does not attempt to achieve a represented subject and claims the space it wishes to inhabit. I know. It’s the most self-referential form of painting possible, but it’s (also) my own”. 

The exhibition held by Anna Caruso on the first floor of Casa Testori includes a series of works on paper and installations, immersive wall drawings, and new paintings, almost all of which were created especially for the occasion, experimenting with new techniques and allowing herself to be interrogated by the ideas of belonging and of breaking away characteristic of the figure of Giovanni Testori and easy to find between the walls of his house, now a cultural hub in its tenth year of experimentation in a number of areas, including young contemporary art. 

In her solo show at Thomas Masters Gallery in Chicago last January, Anna added a new tile to the mosaic of her study of human perception of reality, enquiring into the subjective vision of time and the synaesthesia that affect our memories. 

The focus of her study is in fact reality as it is filtered, and, in a certain sense, erased, taken apart and put back together again in our memories, visible in paintings featuring geometric stripes that create infinitely multiplied planes and spaces. In a rhythm combining natural and artificial elements of flora, fauna and architecture, the artist obliges us to glide over these planes with a kind of motion that, in terms of perception, cannot help leading us to pursue emotions and memories.
Our own. 

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As we climb the steps of the staircase, we are greeted by the work that gives the exhibition its title, La casa intorno al vaso (The house around the vase), a vase that is evoked and not represented, as a symbol of the house itself, which is capable of embracing the emptiness of existence; indeed, just like the vase, it draws its nature and function from surrounding an absence.
In the large bedroom, a canvas over four metres long opens up the back wall towards the rocky mountains and three superimposed planes of transparent PVC dilate the inclined planes of the artist’s and the observer’s imaginary perspective. On the walls of the next room the famous Crocifissione (Crucifixion) of 1949, painted by Testori, and the artist’s personal tribute face each other: a work of the same format and, probably, subject as much as possible to sincerity and contamination, both personal and of our time.

Four portraits of equal format stand in front of the large bookcase. They are Giovanni Testori and his mother, the artist and her father. Affections and tensions, inevitably constructive and destructive at the same time, intertwine in a profound dialogue of the unexpected, between cultural history and affections. 
In Testori’s room as a boy, the theme of the nude on the walls – once in canvases attributed to Géricault and Courbet, now in the work dedicated to them by Andrea Mastrovito (2011) – inspires Caruso with an intimate work, the child of the installation presented at the Elfo Puccini Theatre last year, in which a cloud of hundreds of drawings caresses the visitor. 

The final small room welcomes worlds that expand once again. Anna paints all the walls with a large wall drawing and the floor covered with a canvas, but the painting gives itself no boundaries, climbing the steps leading to the attic and interacting with the large conifer in the garden, which stands out beyond the window.


Anna Caruso was born in Cernusco sul Naviglio (MI) in 1980. In 2004 she graduated in painting from the Academy of Fine Arts in Bergamo. She lives and works in Milan. She has worked with galleries in Italy and abroad, including Studio d’Arte Cannaviello in Milan, Anna Marra Contemporanea in Rome and Thomas Masters Gallery in Chicago (USA).

Posted on: 4 November 2021, by : Alessandro Ulleri