Eduardo Secci’s new -and second- venue in Milan, in via Olmetto 1, opens with a double exhibition, with a special focus on painting that stratifies and contaminates between two exhibition projects, Unmatter – Joshua Hagler, Luisa Rabbia and Maja Ruznic curated by Alberto Fiz and the solo show by Tillman Kaiser in the experimental independent venue NOVO under the artistic direction of Pier Paolo Pancotto. Until 5 August 2022.
From the Renaissance shadow of Santa Maria delle Grazie to the Baroque shadow of Sant’Alessandro in Zebedia, the maze of streets in the Missori district welcomes the new exhibition venue of the Eduardo Secci Gallery, which doubles its Milanese outpost less than a year later. More than 200 square metres dedicated to the contemporary research of international artists gather in the courtyard of Palazzo Casati, barely hinted at by a window overlooking the elegant Via Olmetto. Proceeding in parallel on two exhibition tracks, a classical one and an independent experimental one, the gallery presents the group show Unmatter – Joshua Hagler, Luisa Rabbia and Maja Ruznic, curated by Alberto Fiz, and the solo show by Tillman Kaiser curated by Pier Paolo Pancotto.
Unmatter – Joshua Hagler, Luisa Rabbia and Maja Ruznic, curated by Alberto Fiz
Unmatter, literally ‘non-matter’, a transitory land of shifting boundaries in which individual and collective meet, embrace and lose themselves. The painting, even before the subject, the returned image -figurative or not or barely hinted at-, is the protagonist. Layered, ambiguous and enthralling, the exhibition presents the mostly unpublished works of Joshua Hagler (1979, Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, United States), Luisa Rabbia (1970, Pinerolo, Italy) and Maja Ruznic (1983, Bosnia and Herzegovina) in a visual and emotional interweaving that, despite the linguistic autonomy of each artist, gathers the works into a single choral symphony. In fact, the all-embracing experience of the creative process unites the poetics of the three; this is not a simple collective but a true exhibition project “that has the capacity to express the same attitude towards painting”, explains Alberto Fiz. From Hagler’s broad, mellow backgrounds to the layering of signs and imprints in Luisa Rabbia’s scraped canvases to Ruznic’s interrupted transitions between form and colour, little by little, as when moving from an extremely well-lit outdoor location to an indoor space, the focus reveals assonances and dissonances, in a complex interplay of signs and suggestions in which the material translates and restores the abysses of the inner landscape (Luisa Rabbia), the exploration of 19th century North America, modern science fiction and the traditions of Italian religious art (Joshua Hagler), and the themes of nostalgia and trauma due to the experience of war (Maja Ruznic).
NOVO: Tillman Kaiser, curated by Pier Paolo Pancotto
This is the first solo exhibition in Italy by Tillman Kaiser (b. 1972, Graz, Austria), the exhibition presented in the spaces of NOVO, the independent exhibition project of the Eduardo Secci gallery inaugurated in 2021 and dedicated to experimental contemporary research, whose curatorship for the next two years is entrusted to Pier Paolo Pancotto. Painting, drawing, photography, serigraphy, collage and sculpture make up Kaiser’s work amidst evocations of Futurism and Early Modernism. Symmetrical abstractions in mixed media, oil and watercolour on cyanotypes, photograms and photographs invade the space overlooking Via Olmetto with site-specific installations and sculptures, all produced between 2020 and 2022. A creative process that relies on chance, in which matter is both victim and executioner of the nature that invades and pervades it. Error, in shades of blue, constitutes and reflects the profound freedom with which Tillman approaches artistic creation: the unplanned incidence of light, the different and unpredictable response of a colour with respect to the material on which it is applied, the mixing of refined and humble objects in a set of relationships without a natural or logical connection but exclusively imaginary, perceptive, empathetic, dreamlike. Pier Paolo Pancotto likens the artist’s work to kaleidoscopes that, turned in the direction of a light source, give colourful visions, dynamic and in continuous becoming of reality, distorted, perspectival, two-dimensional, vertiginously infinite in its restitution.
“Echoes of the historical avant-gardes, from Futurism to Constructivism to post-World War II abstract expressionism via Cercle et Carré, surface in his works, confirming the continuous syntactic shift that accompanies the technical one. The reference to early 20th century modernism is reinforced above all by the choice of materials used: consistent and ephemeral at the same time, for example paper or cardboard, which, associated with elements belonging to everyday life, give his works a primordial, almost prototypical character”.
From the critical text by Pier Paolo Pancotto.