VENICE.- Barbati Gallery
is presenting Genius Loci, a new exhibition program showcasing the Venice art scene. The gallery is hosting the works of local contemporary artists, in support of cultural activity in the City of Venice.
The first Genius Loci project is the solo exhibition Fuoco, vuoto by Venetian painter Riccardo Muratori. The exhibition includes several new works and will run from November 19, 2022 until January 11, 2023.
For the pieces on display at Palazzo Lezze, Muratori uses oil and acrylic on canvas, cardboard, and wood as vehicles to interpret the questions arising from our very existence. Traditional tools are released from the strict tenets of painting to favor an intuitive approach. It is the impulse of a thought or a feeling that guides the artist, in an intimate desire for liberation and rebirth through the creative process.
In Fuoco, vuoto Muratori aims to ignite the viewers mind and bat at the idols of our society until they echo with the emptiness inside. Fire, construed as the primary tool of human development, represents the possibility to provoke outcomes that override our mere biological faculties.
According to Stoic philosophy, it is flames in a universal conflagration called ekpyrosis that lead to the worlds end and rebirth, by destroying and then fueling the creation of a new paradigm.
In Muratoris works, fire is therefore a metaphor for change that devours the apparent veil of our world in order to reveal its obsolete structure; it is the force that transforms existence. His paintings immortalize fire at its culmination, moments before the subject collapses into the flames, making this end eternal, spectacular, hypnotic.
Muratori manipulates and empties the painted subject in order to question common archetypes and their obsolescence. He challenges painting through painting itself, placing the pictorial material at the service of a missing element the void with every new layer and brushstroke.
Portraying hollow idols and bodiless armatures and clothing, the artist examines absence in the sense of ideological nothingness. The figure becomes a simulacrum, which becomes existence itself. But Muratoris void is also an existential necessity, depicting contemporary societys fear of the concepts of silence, absence, and the unknown.
Just as man, during the last century and a half, has consumed his own idols and archetypes, moving ever closer towards a possible end, painting too has taken itself as an object, probing its rules of grammar until it winds up decreeing its own epilogue. This conclusion must lead to renewal. For the artist, rebirth is a necessary consequence, in a circular growth pattern where the act of painting is what rotates while the void is the stable, central element of that motion.
Riccardo Muratori was born in Rimini and has lived and worked in Venice since 2000. He began painting after earning a philosophy degree from Ca Foscari University. In 2011 he showed his work at the 54th Venice Biennale and in 2017 at the Karachi Biennale. From 2012 to 2018 he taught drawing and illustration at IUAV University of Venice, in the department of fashion design, visual arts and theater.