Gladstone Gallery in Brussels opens an exhibition of works by Salvo

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Gladstone Gallery in Brussels opens an exhibition of works by Salvo
Installation view, Salvo: Capricci, Gladstone Gallery, Brussels, 2023.

BRUSSELS.- Gladstone Gallery is showing Capricci, a presentation of works by Salvo (1947–2015). Throughout Salvo’s career, the artist pursued a spiritual connection with the world of antiquity and explored themes of temporality and materiality. Salvo’s practice evolved from provocative conceptual sculptures and political self-portraiture to ‘capricci’ paintings that were formative to his lifelong body of work. Salvo’s fascination by the marriage of architecture, archeological ruins, and landscapes into the mythological compositions of ‘capricci’ brought the past into conversation with the present. Foregrounding Salvo’s study of Greek and Roman ruins, columns, and landscapes, Capricci presents a selection of works spanning oil painting, pastel, ceramics, and works on paper, distilling remembered spaces and architectural motifs into a meditation on the passage of time.

Salvo emerged within Turin’s vibrant Arte Povera movement of the late 1960s, following a decade of social and political unrest in Italy. Early in his career, Salvo employed conceptual strategies and reflected on the nature of an artist's role as a conduit to the past. Salvo’s understanding that art and architecture could stabilize history was realized through the ambiguous and poetic qualities of conceptual art, particularly in his early engraved marble works. By 1973, Salvo pivoted, delving into the complex possibilities inherent in figurative painting. Driven by Salvo’s mercurial nature, this departure from the artistic zeitgeist of the 1970s culminated in a visual and material shift that preoccupied the artist for decades, resulting in hundreds of paintings with impressive depth and refinement.

Salvo’s return to painting in the early 1970s offered new and distinct avenues to further develop the medium's expected material and visual language through explorations of abstract notions of time, light, and space. Through painting Greek and Roman ruins, Salvo reflected upon his classical roots and refined a distinctive style that would later imagine the vibrant and saturated Mediterranean landscapes of his native Italy. Shifting with positionality and time, light also became a subject of the artist’s work. Capricci exhibits Salvo’s decades-long practice where symbols of a past culture are transformed into painterly landscapes of his present, demonstrating a commitment to the history of culture.

This exhibition is presented in collaboration with Archivio Salvo.

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