Nick DEvereux - Wilfrid Almendra
OPENING Thursday 21 February 2019
until 4 MAy 2019
“In the language of critics and aesthetics, fantasma (phantom) is the vision, the image as it is presented to the intuition of the poet, and the artist in general, which he translates into poetic reality through words, or sounds, lines, and colours”.
Definition of “fantasma” (phantom), from Treccani dictionary
Francesca Antonini Arte Contemporanea is pleased to present Phantasma, a group show with seven artists compared two by two around the theme of the phantom, assumed as a symbol of reasoning about the dichotomy between presence/absence, vision/apparition, present/past, reality/memory. A binary game of references that bounce between the eartlhy and otherworldly, in an ambiguous territory inhabited by images and signs on the verge of fading away.
Three artists of the gallery – Carocci, Castelli and Pontrelli – have been asked to dialogue with as many “guests” – Devereux / Almendra, Laplante and Scarabello – working in the fields of painting, photography, performance and installation, with a thorough selection of works which have in some cases been specifically conceived for this occasion of connection and mutual relation.
Myriam Laplante’s evanescent self-portrait, accompanied by a danse macabre which seems suspended in time, is the starting point of this choral project. Gioacchino Pontrelli reinterprets her spaces, with his own pictorial version of what look like perfect scenographies for an ectoplasms theater. On the surface of the mirror, where reality divides itself from its deceptive doubling, the two artists trade places: it is Laplante, observing a small canvas by Pontrelli, who turns it into a threshold between contingent worlds and a background for a swarm of biomorphic forms.
Works by Monica Carocci and Alessandro Scarabello appear to be drawing on the same cinematic and hallucinatory landscape, playing with shades of black and white to reduce all elements to the dialectic between lights and shadows. In Scarabello’s empy rooms, behind the curtains that hide a depth shrouded in darkness, the figures of Carocci can appear like flashes of light. On the other hand, the faceless charachter showing up and hiding himself in one of the drawings by the Roman artist – a hitch-hiker who embodies one of the recurring nightmares of American filmography – shares the evanescent and fleeting nature of the entities captured by the shots of the photographer.
The paintings of Guglielmo Castelli describe and dissolve in lumps of color and acid light accents bodies that also move within enclosed rooms, veiled with tapestries and populated by tiny animated presences. A similar impossibility to trace the lines of a face from a distant memory, which the artist builds and destroys with his brushstrokes to the point of contradicting the very nature of portrait, animates the works of Nick Devereux’s Known Unknown series. Together with Wilfrid Almendra, the artist has given life to sculptural busts made of various materials, splinters, leftovers: a tribute to ancient muses, which becomes a monument to consumption, to waste and the transience of matter.
Born in Panama in 1978, he lives and works in Paris. Among the numerous public and private institutions that have presented his solo shows are the Pietro Canonica Museum (Rome, 2017), Villa Medici (Rome, 2016), the Querini Stampalia Foundation (Venice, 2013), and Bugada & Cargne gallery (Paris). His works are part of the collections of the Fonds National D'Art Contemporain (FNAC) and the Centre National des Arts Plastiques (CNAP).
Born in 1972 in Cholet (France), he lives and works between Marseille (France) and Casario (Portugal). Educated at the Academy of Fine Arts in Manchester, Lisbon and Rennes, among his most important solo shows we remind: Matériologique at the Fondation d'Entreprise Ricard in Paris (2013) and Le Little Palais par Wilfrid Almendra at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris (2017 ). In the same year he took part in two different artist residencies: the Résidences internationales de la Compagnie Fruitière, in Cameroun and at the Palais de Tokyo in Chicago.
Born in Bangladesh in 1954, she lives and works in Bevagna (Italy). Laplante's work has been presented several times between Italy, Europe, Canada and Asia. In 2017 she took part in La fenomenologia dell’assenza at the MACRO Museum (Rome). Her work is featured in many public collections: from the Canadian Musée du Quebec and Musée National de la Photographie, to the National Gallery of Modern Art and the Municipal Gallery of Contemporary Art in Rome, and the Museum of New Zealend Te Papa Tongerewa in Wellington.
Born in Rome in 1979, he lives and works in Brussels. His latest solo shows are The Garden of Phersu at The Gallery Apart in Rome and The Gentlemen at Cecilia Jamie Gallery in Ghent (Belgium). In the same year he was part of the group show Praestigium Contemporary Artists from Italy curated by Luca Beatrice at the Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Foundation in Turin. More recent, his participation in Rendez vous - Serena Fineschi, Alessandro Scarabello with Hans Op de Beeck at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium (Brussels).
Born in Rome in 1966, she lives and works in Turin. In 2018 she is protagonist of a charity project for Cute Onlus Un viaggio in Uganda, that is first exhibited in Turin at Alberto Paola and then in Rome at Francesca Antonini, who presented her solo show Outer Space the year before. In 2017, she partecipates in L’altro sguardo, curated by Raffaella Perna at the Milan Triennale. In 2016 her work is part of Time is Out of Joint at the National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art (Rome) and Liberi Tutti, curated by Cristiana Perrella and Luca Beatrice at the Fico Museum in Turin.
Born in Turin in 1987, where he lives and works. Goodmorning Bambino is his last solo show, held at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin in October 2018, following a 12-month residency project. The same year he exhibited in several group shows in Siena, Brussels, Berlin, Singapore, Paris and Rome, where he is among the participating artists in Q-Rated, a workshop of the Quadriennale. In 2017 he had a solo show at the Royal Hall of the Torino Porta Nuova Station, Asomatognosia, curated by Treti Galaxie.
Born in Salerno in 1966, he lives and works in Rome. Among his latest solo shows: Una specie di equilibrio, at the Pilies Gallerija in Vilnius (Lithuania), Memorie di ragazzi per bene at the MAC of Lissone and Non chiedere at Francesca Antonini Contemporary Art. In the same year, he participated in the group shows Twiner# 6. Liveliness curated by Ex Elettrofonica at the Tennis Central in Rome and De prospectiva pingendi, curated by Massimo Mattioli in Todi. In 2016 MACRO Museum (Rome) presented his solo show Bedroom.