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Painting School by Orietta Berlanda and Gian Marco Montesano

TRENT, ITALY.- Nine artists and a picture gallery containing examples of illustrious paintings from the past, to guide art-lovers and the curious towards a direct confrontation, to the sound of the paintbrush, with the techniques, the themes and the styles of painting. There is a lot to discover during the summer months at the Civic Gallery of Contemporary Art in Trento which from July 7 to October 14 2007 presents the exhibition-workshop Painting School.

This initiative aims to delve into the themes and the validity of painting today as well as the importance of research also involving this branch of creativity. What is the sense of painting today? Does this “manual labour” still hold meaning in a period in which everything can be replaced by technology? Can painting also be innovative or by now is it condemned to repeat itself with a tried and tested formula? Continuing the Civic Gallery’s usual practice of presenting itself as a place of research and innovation, Painting School aims to delve into this technique following an unusual approach. Therefore, it is an exhibition space which on the one hand transforms itself into a real laboratory under the direction of Gian Marco Montesano where some talented contemporary artists will hold real painting courses open to the public. On the other hand, an ideal gallery curated by Orietta Berlanda, with a look at works by historic authors, a tribute to some of the masters who have defined paths which are still in use today. Amongst these, names of great importance stand out, like Max Bill, Eugène Boudin, Giorgio de Chirico, Salvador Dalì, Tullio Garbari, Giovanni Battista Lampi, Henri Matisse, Giorgio Morandi, Domenico Morelli, Andy Warhol.

The workshops will develop classic themes such as the nude, still life, the portrait, the landscape, genre and abstract painting, dealing with different styles and techniques. The artists invited to do the workshops are Italo Bressan, Francesco De Grandi, Fulvio Di Piazza, Greta Frau, Francesco Lauretta, Federico Lombardo, Marco Raparelli, Alessandro Roma, Esther Stocker.

The workshops are open to everyone through enrolment. Every week, from Tuesday to Friday, a contemporary artist will become “master of the workshop” and will demonstrate to those present, the characteristics of various pictorial styles and reveal some “tricks of the trade”. At the end of the exhibition, to delve further into the themes dealt with, a conference will be organized about painting and its validity and importance today.

Italo Bressan, 1950, Trentino, creates works of strong chromatic intensity. After a debut dedicated to the experimentation of different methods, from paper applied to tables to painting on glass.

Francesco De Grandi, 1968, lives and works in Milan. Sex and the body are his main subjects which are expressed with cynicism, repeated, distorted and presented in aggressive and provocative poses. Alternative metropolitan visions of landscapes and characters with mythological features.

Fulvio Di Piazza, 1969, is one of the most successful artists in Italy today. A hyperrealist, he describes with abundance of detail imaginary monsters, oniric and disturbing scenes, anthropomorphic natural elements, charmed, enchanted and sometimes cruel worlds.

Greta Frau, 1942 or 1952, or even 1962, is a painter and preacher from Bellezza. Her pictures are portraits of women’s faces, depicted realistically yet with a standard system, intentionally classical. Seen front-on, these faces disturbingly look like each other.

Francesco Lauretta, 1964, depicts his birthplace, Sicily, through hyperrealistic painting. The subjects of his works are landscapes, popular celebrations, moments of public or private life, funerals of still life, painted with vivid colours and defined lines.

Federico Lombardo, 1970, has presented himself through his work as an author of a research into the human figure. He uses techniques from water-colour to air-brushed oils. His works are characterised by the lack of background.

Marco Raparelli, 1975, work has many similarities to the comic and illustration and favours grottesque depictions of reality, in accordance with a personal tendency towards stinging satire. His works on canvas are constructed by a grey monochrome base on which the artist traces in black his often exaggerated, awkward and ignorant characters.

Alessandro Roma, 1977, presents his works whose characters are objects of design, architecture, buildings, chequering and grills, superimposed grids, lozenges and streaks.

Esther Stocker, 1974, presents a reflection based on geometry and on the interaction of the work and the observer. The severity of her visual language is composed of basic shapes, grids, geometric components and “non colours” black and white.

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