Adam Cvijanovic at Blindarte contemporanea
© courtesy of the artist and Blindarte contemporanea, Napoli
Il Cielo delle Stelle Fisse
Blindarte contemporanea is pleased to announce the first Italian solo exhibition of Adam Cvijanovic.
The New York artist introduces himself to Italy with a timeless show, where the two large'portable murals' and the paintings, especially made for the Neapolitan gallery, connect two distant cultures in terms of time and traditions although they seem to have a common destiny.
On the wake of a long tradition that compares the recent American experience with the one of ancient Rome, the artist skilfully stages an exhibition where the two histories seem to blend into a single long cyclical tradition where republican and imperial Rome looks like the necessary requirement for the later American chance.
The twelve Caesars are the twelve paintings on panels of the marble portraits of as many Presidents of the United States, from Roosevelt to Bush II, which the artist made by looking at the ancient Roman sculptures and inspired by Svetonius's volumes Le vite dei dodici Cesari written in 120 A.D..
The sculptures in the paintings look partially damaged, ruined, crackled, as the marbles of those times generally appear today, thus showing how the greatness of modern times United States had to face a more complicated reality, and the sense of redemption versus the ancient experience then softened in the awareness of a common destiny, by turning even the icons of his power into archaeological finds worn away by time.
These portraits are echoed by the paintings on mylar where a large imaginary space base is drawn, risen somewhere on the California desert, and built to chase the great and ambitious (not only) American dream of ruling the interstellar space, which looked almost achieved in the 1950s and 1960s. Yet, when the target more complex than expectations and the initial enthusiasm turns into disillusion and lack of confidence in the project itself, the huge and achievable aerospace station is discarded and therefore left in a state of abandonment.
On the contrary, the large fresco on Tyvek pape - a technique which characterizes the work of the artist and consists of painting with Flashe and latex paint directly on to a wall with a support that permits to transfer the wall painting once finished - represents a peculiar subject for the artist, the floating city, where the absence of gravity in a urban centre of a typical American West coast city makes domestic and everyday objects wave in the air.
Inspired by Renaissance frescos, these paintings catch the dreams and anxieties of everyday life in the US suburbs in a science fiction scene of consumer ecstasy.
The intense motion of this work is opposed by Il Cielo delle Stelle Fisse, the work which titles the show and is inspired by Dante's Canto Eight of Paradiso, where the artist, painting again on Tyvek, produces a new large fresco which shows a different point of view.
By observing from a distant corner of the galaxy, the one we once longed to reach with our space ships in a search for an extra-terrestrial future, reality changes, and if in the other paintings stories overlaps, the destinies of our society alternate, and fates repeat in cycles, from the outside these changes are no longer perceived, time loses its significance, it does not mark events anymore, and reality always looks equal to itself, fixed and immutable.
Adam Cvijanovic was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts (US), in 1960; he lives and works in New York. Among the protagonists of the recent New Orleans Biennial, Prospect 1, and the latest Liverpool Biennial at the Tate Liverpool, he displayed his works in many museums and galleries in the US and Europe. He had a solo show at Ucla Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, in 2005, and exhibited with Peter Garfield at Mass MoCA, Massachusetts, in 2007. His works were on exhibit at, among others, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Centre, New York and have been included in the USA Today show, organized by Charles Saatchi's collection, at the Royal Academy of London and at the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia. Further information are available on the gallery website.