Written by Lawrence C. Miller
Twenty-two contemporary European artists are featured at Palazzo Falconieri (the Hungarian Academy in Rome) in an exhibition entitled Oltre Roma. Here, curator Sabino Maria Frassà makes a case for the region’s cultural vitality. The exhibition is the final phase of the cultural project OLTRE, that started in Budapest in 2015. The exhibition is promoted and supported by the Hungarian Academy in Rome – Balassi Institute, the Giorgio Pardi Foundation, CRAMUM, the Ludwig Muzeum, the Polish Institute in Rome, the Rome Municipality, the childhood associations ASM and Ama Nutri Cresci. Outré Roma runs from 26th November 2016 to 13th January 2017 at Palazzo Falconieri- Via Giulia, 1, Rome, Italy. Although the artists in this show live and work within specific regions of Europe, their creative output startles the viewer with its poignant universality. The ancient city of Rome complements the energy generated by the work exhibited here.
Some of the artists in Oltre Roma have achieved international recognition and serve as reference for mapping a contemporary European zeitgeist. The artists included in Oltre Roma are: Magdalena Abakanowicz, Zolt Asta, Szilárd Cseke, Eracle Dartizio, Laura de Santillana, Alberto Di Fabio, Michele Fato, Andi Kacziba, Kamilia Kard, H.H. LIM, Franco Mazzucchelli, David Merényi, Raffaele Penna, Paolo Peroni, Francesca Piovesan, Luigi Presicce, Daniele Salvalai, Elisabeth Scherffig, Eva Sorensen, Beáta Székely, Zoltán Tombor and Michele Volpe.
The Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz is honored with her work “Face XXXI.” Other Polish artists are Szilárd Cseke, who represented Hungary at Venice Biennale 2015; Andi Kacziba, textile sculptor; Zolt Asta, who represented Hungary at Venice Biennale 2013; Zoltán Tombor, international photographer.
The young Hungarian talents represented in Oltre Roma are David Merényi, Beáta Székely and Kamilia Kard.
The Italian artists are Eva Sorensen (in Italy since 1961) sole representative of the Italian Pavilion at Venice Biennale 1981; Laura de Santillana, Venice Biennale 2009; Alberto Di Fabio, whose exhibition was held at Macro in Rome in 2015; Elisabeth Scherffig (in Italy since 1978); Daniele Salvalai; HH LIM (in Italy since 1976), Venice Biennale 2013 and whose “Aspettando l’ispirazione” (“Waiting for inspiration”) is now at the Museum Francesco Messina in Milan; Franco Mazzucchelli, Venice Biennale 1976; Raffaele Penna, well known Italian fiber-artists; Luigi Presicce, well known Italian performance artist; Michele Volpe, visionary artist from Latina. The young talents selected by the CRAMUM Award are Paolo Peroni, Francesca Piovesan, Eracle Dartizio, and Michele Fato.
What do these artists have in common – if anything? It’s the Sisyphus-like task of gaining a view beyond the artificial nervous system of the information wilderness. Analysis proliferates in decorative chaos. Scrutiny of this fog-of-war holds us together. If we look long enough at the work in Oltre Roma subtle traits in the mode of investigation might be determined. The quest itself becomes the subject. It’s a decoy. A brilliant expression of the human condition is arrived at subconsciously. We crave clarity – truth (whatever that might be these days).
Let’s take a closer look at one of the artists in Oltre Roma.
Alberto Di Fabio is fascinated with the theory of relativity and quantum theory as they subdue chaos in the universe. His most recent paintings are a deep analysis of human physiology wherein he focuses on the foundations of our existence. His paintings suggest molecular, ecological, biological and chemical diagrams that incorporate science and aesthetics. Alberto Di Fabio sieves out the chaotic detritus in our information overload.
The friction between art and the cosmos creates lingering intellectual sparks in Di Fabio’s work. He claims the ancient Greek philosophers Anaximander and Democritus as inspirations. This is reflected in his aesthetic that suggests science, the study of outer space, and an atomic theory of the universe. These intellectual constructs serve as a point of departure for his subjective interpretations – his poetic statement.
Visible and invisible, chaos and order, relativity and quantum physics have always been part of my work. My abstract painting comes from reality, from the organic abstraction that lives in each and every one of us. Through what I have defined as ‘landscape vision’ I entered the ‘magma’. I got interested in mineral fusions, the composition of silicates, quartz, gasses, the phenomena of electromagnetism. What I’m seeking is a mathematics that is yet to be decoded. After all, nowadays we are only aware of 4 % of the whole universe. Living in New York changed me deeply. I was obviously interested in all the artists that had been in New York before me and to the American Abstract Art in particular; I studied those paintings in the museums and it’s clear that they influenced my work.
Alberto Di Fabio, from an interview with Deianira Tolema (2014)
Outré Roma runs from 26th November 2016 to 13th January 2017 at Palazzo Falconieri- Via Giulia, 1, Rome, Italy.