Italian artist to exhibit, undertake residency at Galeria Jaqueline Martins.
Drawings, paintings and installations in which line paths delimit and question what makes an artwork figurative or abstract underpin the oeuvre of Riccardo Baruzzi, whom the gallery invited to work on an exhibition featuring pieces created during his stay in São Paulo.
Born in Lugo, Italy, 1976, Riccardo Baruzzi will make his solo debut in Brazil with Del Disegno e Della Vertigine. The show opens on August 5, taking up most of the gallery’s first and second floors and featuring never-before-shown, purpose-made works.
Since much of the artist’s research revolves around the notion of the unfinished, the makeshift and the suggestive, in artworks that reference a never fully manifest figuration or materiality, it is fitting that the exhibit should present itself as the culmination of a residency process: just as the artist is aware that the hanging of a picture on the wall does not entail the artwork’s completion, the show’s opening does not mean that the signifying processes he underwent during the residency have come to an end.
Riccardo Baruzzi often claims that “the evocative power of most of his work resides precisely in their lack of description, in their existence as a suggestion, or provocation, as to what they might be”. The 2015 series Quasimezzo saw Baruzzi create a series of paintings on small panels, which he coated with dense layers of oil paint before carving out designs on them with a knife, looking to bring the gesturality of a pencil drawing into painting. Thus, the lines in this new drawing are combined with the earlier brushstrokes to blur the line between what would be either an attempt to draw a painting or to paint a drawing.
In another series, Porta Pittura, from 2010-2015, the viewer is faced with a monochrome canvas on the wall that seems to hark back to 20th century European modernism, right next to a small table-pedestal where other similar canvases lay available to replace the first one. While canvas and table sit in space with sculpture-like presence, the notion of replacement or of serial production that the arrangement hints can prompt the viewer to ponder notions of authorship and individual expression intimately tied with the history of modern painting.
With situations like this, Riccardo Baruzzi looks to challenge assumptions of value and authorship found in painting, sculpture, and drawing. In this process, the line, its gestuality and responsibility in defining what is figurative or abstract takes on a pivotal role in the artist’s quest to overcome the boundaries that constrain these languages.
Galeria Jaqueline Martins (press release)