Adi Haxhiaj, born in Albania
A painting is, first and foremost, an object. Starting from this premise, Adi Haxhiaj’s poetics have modelled and remodelled over time, confusing and superimposing subject and object, mingling views and viewpoints. O.T. has as its support the cushion of a divan which the artist found in a tip for oversize refuse and which he used as a backrest for years. When he moved house, he realized he could transform it into a pictorial support, like many other objects around him, on which to immortalize the view of the divan itself. The cushion became a collector of memories, fragmented and almost unrecognizable. It conserves traces of events that, with an inversion of its viewpoint, it has witnessed. His painting, in turn, reveals its material essence, clotting and leaving most of the surface bare. This consistency, at times repellent, is exaggerated in the frame of the small drawing made with washable ink on paper, born as a sketch to pass the time and then transformed into a self-portrait. A wasp is immortalized as it collides with a mosquito net that prevents it from returning to where it had built its nest. The starting point is a real experience, the observation of conduct dictated by violence and a tear. At the same time, the chequered line portraying the mosquito net cannot help evoking the place where the drawing was made, that is to say the cloakroom of the Fondazione Prada and its metal grid, on which the artist got caught.
Agnese Skujina, born in Latvia
Agnese Skujina, who usually uses paper as the support for her liquid landscapes, has chosen to work on wood for this occasion: planks from an old parquet that the artist’s grandfather bought for his house but could not lay because of the damp. Fifty years later, Agnese Skujina’s father used it, choosing it as the floor for the home he was building little by little. A third generation, that of the artist, gave new life to this material, painting two distinct landscapes on it, one Latvian and one Italian, then decomposing them and recomposing them to make a new unit. The painting emerges on the surface like a patch of damp, fluid and indistinct in form, without any apparent figuration or any possibility of recognizing a subject.