Agenda / Malmaison


from 14/09/2017 to 12/11/2017
Fondazione 107

Fondazione 107 is pleased to present Malmaison, a one-man show by the artist Marcovinicio, a nucleus of drawings and paintings that have never been shown before, but were produced site-specifically by the artist for an organic project developed for the Fondazione 107 exhibition space.

The exhibition’s title Malmaison derives from Latin mala mansio, a place that earned its name by being a refuge for pirates in the Ile-deFrance during the ninth century. Marcovinicio has constructed a physical space within the Fondazione 107, marking out a territory that instantly gives the impression of being foreign to the context where it has been inserted, like a spaceship that has landed in an industrial factory building. His space is a room whose walls are assemblies of objects typical of a twentieth-century middle-class home: furnishings, trinkets, carpets, paintings whose artists defy identification, even the entrance door was made by recycling an element from a wall of assembled furnishings.

Inside are an armchair and some objects scattered here and there, while there are clothing and contemporary ornaments in the cupboards, symbols of a human presence, but also references to art history. The room comes across as a geometric construction, a volume that reflects a mentalspace, a place for pausing and thinking: the aim appears to be to induce us, once we have entered and are sitting comfortably, to explore an elsewhere. The evocation of a nomadic condition is immediate. But then, is a painter who concentrates on painting, in this day and age of ours, not a wayfarer? Somebody lost in the lucid awareness that he is tackling an almost impossible challenge. Centuries of painting are observing us:

Marcovinicio does not deny his references to the great names of the past (Gauguin, Van Gogh, Segantini), but employs the objects of his everyday world to launch a new challenge. To reinvent his approach to painting, inserting a frantic, electric trait, a scratched sign that vibrates, that obliges the observer to chase what he sees, reserving the vision of the whole in the pursuit of the detail, in a race that mutates into a vortex.

He constructs, fragments and deconstructs in a puzzle of references to his everyday world, which he has exploded and dissected after thirty years of silent discipline. With this new series of paintings, Marcovinicio strips himself bare, giving himself the greatest possible freedom of action to practise what for him is hissole form of nourishment: painting. His paintings become such explosions that they can be turned upside-down and rotated through 180 degrees, both vertically and horizontally.

That’s how Marcovinicio’s voice shouts out loud within this spaceship-room. This is a situation that is only apparently calm, a restricted space with a defined perimeter, an apparently protected space: all this enables us to take a breather, allows us a chance to dream, to open ourselves up a different world, one that is completely revolutionised. Marcovinicio has decided to go against the grain, leaving technologies, the Internet, instant communications and rapid, stolen imagery… in short, all contemporary stratagems to one side, to put his trust in the timeless medium of expression of oil painting and to declare his vision when faced with the loss of his dreams.

Thus do we find new elements in his paintings: trousers, jackets, crocodiles, African masks, cows that come out of wardrobes, flaring trunks, landscapes that contain washing machines, guitars and feminine men or masculine women, coffee pots, hats, snakes, painters’ easels that are sometimes tipped over, dogs and the same wardrobe seen from above, so that it looks as though it has become a cupboard-coffin, where a snake, the symbol of desire, persists in its presence even beyond death. The desire to paint, taking the form of the ultimate act of an erotic relationship, persists beyond the time allotted to us mortals. The colour of his paintings is unconventional: pink that counters tones of black, yellows paired with blues, acidic greens with earthen tones. Nor could it be otherwise: his contrasts are extreme; when he decides to explore, to abandon what he knows, all limits are cancelled out.

Thus does Marcovinicio break away from all sense of modesty, rising to the occasion to the extent of creating space-objects whose presence is implied by the exclusive absence of colour, bullets speeding towards a void, shots into infinity. By surprising himself he also surprises us: in this rising to the occasion, the artist has shed his protection and now has set himself (but also us) to face a new language, of which this exhibition is but a foretaste

Fondazione 107
via Andrea Sansovino 234, 10151 Torino