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Ryan Lee opens exhibition of paintings, drawings and photographs by Italian artist Angiola Gatti
Angiola Gatti, Untitled (Senza titolo), 2013-2018. Ballpoint pen on canvas, 81 x 102 inches. © Angiola Gatti; Courtesy of the artist and RYAN LEE Gallery, New York.

NEW YORK, NY.- Ryan Lee presents Lines of Time, its second exhibition of paintings, drawings and photographs by Italian artist Angiola Gatti. In Lines of Time, Gatti continues to push the limitations of her preferred medium, the ballpoint pen. In both her intimately-scaled works on paper and large unstretched canvases, Gatti weaves a complex network of pen marks to create compositions that seem at once frenetic, spontaneous and meticulously composed. Using a limited palette of blacks, blues, reds and yellows, Gatti blurs the boundary between painting and drawing. She layers her lines to produce abstract veils of varying densities, explosions of forward motion that halt abruptly, and erratic bursts of shape and hue that seem to hover and float.

The relationship between line and negative space is of particular significance to Gatti, and the exhibition’s five large paintings range from the spare and minimal to the sprawling and dense. These paintings emerge out of the physical relationship between her body and the canvas—the dimensions of each painting are determined by her height and reach, and her varied markmaking reflects the dynamism of her hand in motion. Combining elements of her own history and memory in addition to her corporeal experience, her works resonate with an enigmatic emotional charge. They contain, as she has said, “an accumulation of energy, an elevation, an exuberance, a crossing, a search.”

Her long walks in the mountains of Piedmont or through her home city of Turin, where the architecture, urban landscape, and legacy of Arte Povera have helped to define her artistic philosophy, influence Gatti’s incorporation of multiple vantage points. She continuously renegotiates relationships between space, line, form and void via the humble ballpoint pen. This interest in everyday surroundings and materials is also reflected in the selection of monochromatic color photographs included in the exhibition.

Born and raised in birthplace of Arte Povera, Angiola Gatti (b. 1960 Turin, Italy) uses a common tool—the ballpoint pen—to interpret this tradition. She pushes the boundary between painting and drawing, suggesting the irrelevance of such distinctions in a contemporary context. She has exhibited at Villa Giulia at Centro di Ricerca Arte Attuale (CRAA), Verbania, Italy; Le Creux de l’enfer, Centre d’art contemporain, Thiers, France; Museo Ettore Fico, Turin, Italy; and Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London, UK.

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