Von Buren Contemporary presents
Christmas group exhibition
with works by
Pietro Bandini Mattia Barbalaco
Tania Brassesco e Lazlo Passi Norberto
Lorenzo Bruschini Lucianella Cafagna
Paolo Cancelliere Alessio Deli
Mihail Dinisiuc Anju Garattoni
Vittorio Iavazzo Donatella Izzo
Gabriele Luciani Charlie Masson
Claire Piredda Guido Ricciardelli
Giulio Rigoni Simona Rinciari
Agostino Rocco Vera Rossi
Tina Sgrò Beppe Stasi
Marco Stefanucci Hannah Ungaro-Pope
Sunday December 4 2022
5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Presentation text: Laura Falqui
Organised and curated by: Michele von Büren
the exhibition will remain on show until January 31, 2023
Look at the Pre-Raphaelites: they lit a small flame, which is still burning despite everything…
Von Buren Contemporary is thrilled to present ETERNALLY PRE-RAPHAELITE, the gallery’s Christmas group exhibition inspired by the much-loved 19th-century English art movement and some of its key members and ideas.
With the participation of 24 artists and works ranging from painting, drawing and sculpture to photography, jewellery and textiles, Eternally Pre-Raphaelite hopes to show the enduring appeal of this radical group and the ways in which its style continues to influence artists today, both consciously and unconsciously.
Several of the included artists are already well known to the Rome gallery’s public: Lucianella Cafagna, who trained in the studio of Pierre Carron, a protégé of Balthus; Lorenzo Bruschini, whose highly imaginative paintings combine dreamlike, mythical references with an elegant, minimalist palette; and the sculptor Alessio Deli, whose works are to be found in numerous public and private collections.
For this occasion, young Italian artist duo Tania Brassesco and Lazlo Passi Norberto, whose fine art photographs have been shown in museums, foundations and galleries around the world, also return to the gallery that helped ‘discover’ them with two photographs that are exquisitely Pre-Raphaelite, one of them featured on the exhibition invite.
Some of the artists, including oil painters Mattia Barbalaco, Mihail Dinisiuc, Gabriele Luciani and Guido Ricciardelli, watercolorourist Beppe Stasi and clay sculptress Claire Piredda, focus their research on the nude human form, bringing to mind the enchanted world of second-wave Pre-Raphaelite Edward Burne-Jones, while the mystical black-and-white photographs of Pietro Bandini and elusive figures of Marco Stefanucci conjure up the soft-focus tableaux vivants of Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron.
Whilst Rome-based photographer Vera Rossi takes the floral designs of William Morris as her inspiration for a series of still lifes, Milanese artist Donatella Izzo participates with a startling black-and-white portrait of a woman’s face which hints at the enigma represented by the Pre-Raphaelite muses – so crucial to the success of the art movement but leaving little direct information about themselves behind.
The dreamy, fable-like paintings of Giulio Rigoni and Paolo Cancelliere, meanwhile, echo the Pre-Raphaelites’ fascination with the medieval period, as well as their attempt to link the separate mediums of painting and illustration together, a theme also taken up by Hannah Ungaro-Pope. Charlie Masson and Agostino Rocco instead take as their starting point specific Pre-Raphaelite works which they revisit with a contemporary eye.
Young Neapolitan sculptor Vittorio Iavazzo has created a series of new, romantic figurative sculptures in his trademark medium of paper mache specifically for this exhibition, while painter Tina Sgrò focuses on the Victorian interior and domestic settings.
In keeping with the broad nature of the movement, which expanded from the original Brotherhood founded by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Everett Millais and William Holman Hunt to embrace the Arts and Crafts movement headed by Morris and Burne-Jones, Eternally Pre-Raphaelite includes a wall-hanging and hand-painted dress made by award-winning young fashion designer Anju Garattoni and natural rose-petal creations by jeweller Simona Rinciari, who has developed a secret innovative technique that allows the conservation of natural elements.
Overall in accordance with Pre-Raphaelite ideas, this exhibition bypasses recent trends in contemporary art and puts the emphasis back on traditional skills, allowing technical mastery and emotional connection to re-emerge alongside ideas as criteria on which to judge a work of art.