Saturday, October 26, 2013


Gianluca Capozzi: Atlas is a solo exhibition that feigns group show. It consists of a collection of artworks in various media including painting, work-on-paper, video, and three-dimensional pieces that could be considered either as sculpture or  functional objects associated with design. Each of the artworks explores different subject matter with conceptual allusions to the painting thematic of nineteenth-century academicism such as landscape, history painting, portraiture, still life, and genre pictures or depictions of the everyday world.

Gianluca Capozzi deconstructs and recontextualizes these conventional academic categories into the present historical moment. Rather than an Arcadian, pastoral painting of a forest, the artist renders a ravaged environment; instead of a romanticized view of the past, Capozzi depicts topical themes culled from current global political situations; his frontal portrait of a transgendered woman with goatee is akin to the paintings made by a royal court artist. Not only is subject matter disparate, however, for the artworks are formally articulated in varied styles and incorporate myriad compositional tropes. Some of these include polychromatic paintings that are purely abstract and reminiscent of Abstract Expressionism, figurative works rendered from idiosyncratic points of view, and works in grisaille technique. 

The three-dimensional works, on the other hand, refer to the commodity object as fetish in that their acquisition promotes lifestyles through the status of design. Finally, the exhibition installation entails the hanging of paintings above and below and side by side into a grid as well as the selection and placement of objects as either works of art or for functional usage. Thus is a chair part of the exhibition to be viewed or is it there so the spectator can sit down and peruse the artworks? Through this oblique strategy the objects contained within the exhibition whether they are artworks or “not,” appear like an atlas created not by the hand of one person, but by a “team of specialists.”

-        a bound collection of maps often including illustrations, informative tables, or textual matter

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