Curated by Daniele Capra and Giuseppe Frangi
Casa Testori
1 December 2018 – 20 January 2019

Daniele Capra and Giuseppe Frangi

The show Graffiare il presente (i.e. “Scratching the Present”) is inspired by the conviction that there are works of art being made today for which the deepest source of inspiration is the desire to offer tools for interpretation of the reality that surrounds us, whether critical, poetic or militant; tools for holding this reality at bay, or for acting in it, in opposition to the reassuring but sterile idea of suggesting to the viewer a place that is set apart and sheltered from the contamination of the world. In response to this need to play an active role in our times, Graffiare il presente presents works produced in the year 2018 by twenty-one artists, all Italian and all born in the seventies and eighties. These are works that are intended to serve as bricks supporting our own and others’ weight, capable of fighting to escape slipping into the indistinct oblivion that so quickly swallows everything up. These works are offered to the viewer as tools for thought, theses and theorems – both visual and ideal – capable of supporting the suggestion of utopia, the ambition of signifying and the intention of withstanding the tensions and perils of the future: the most treacherous of times, ready to dissolve our ambitions like waves breaking on the shore. 
The purposes of the exhibition include determining how the choice and practice of the medium of painting goes well beyond its alleged self-centredness and exclusive focus on linguistic-stylistic aspects or on an unproductive form of expressive intimism. The choice of painting is not a random one in a place that has, in its history, been the theatre of the adventure in collecting of Giovanni Testori, a passionate lover of painting. 
The works of particular intensity appearing in Graffiare il presente aim to demonstrate how, for an entire generation of artists, the practice of painting is inspired by a need to pursue significant intellectual goals, as an aesthetic, existential or political mission. Eschewing in every way the assertive and reconciling repetition of one’s own identity, the reassuring and inconclusive practice of art as decoration or as concise commentary on the world, the exhibition represents an anarchic attempt to reveal the most significant attempts to resist and not dissolve in the rapid banality of contemporary life. 
As curators of the project, we wish to underline the artists’ conviction and generosity in responding to our invitation, confirmed by the quality of the works, the frequently expressed desire to submit particularly large artworks for the exhibition, and the artists’ active participation in the process of conception and public discussion. This can only be a signal of the extent to which the medium of painting is experienced as an idiom abounding in as-yet unexpressed potential, the significance of which is frequently ignored in our country’s official exhibition halls. This perception is supported by the experimental, often bold, but always methodologically rigorous force characterising many of the works on exhibit. After all, experimentalism is also the practically obligatory result of the pronounced tendency toward questioning that characterises the artists featured in the exhibition, and their strongly felt interior need to make an impact on the present, with its intrinsically formless, liquid, impenetrable nature. 
Lastly, Graffiare il presente confirms that it is meaningful to hold a group exhibition, provided it is based on specific criteria, such as an opportunity for face-to-face interaction with the works of other artists and an opportunity for unexpected contaminations. […]

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Paola Angelini, Mirko Baricchi, Paolo Bini, Lorenza Boisi, Thomas Braida, Alessandro Calabrese, Linda Carrara, Nebojša Despotović, Matteo Fato, Agostino Iacurci, Andrea Kvas, Francesca Longhini, Tiziano Martini, Isabella Nazzarri, Marco Pariani, Nazzarena Poli Maramotti, Alessandro Roma, Nicola Samorì, Alessandro Scarabello, Caterina Silva, Aleksander Velišček.

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The project was realised thanks to the funds obtained through the 2×1000 allocation to Cultural Associations.

Posted on: 5 November 2021, by : Alessandro Ulleri
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