Bringing together pictorial counterpoints, the exhibition highlights the ways in which Damiano Azzizia and Eder Olguin express their vision of time in domestic spaces. The title of the exhibition is inspired by a line in the first of the Four Quartets by the American poet TS Eliot: the still point of the turning world. This sentence is a poetic description of the place where the two artists’ practices begin: in a moment of temporal suspension.

 

Devoid of human presence, Azzizia’s works are imbued with an essential and yet theatrical atmosphere. The cropped chairs against the intense monochrome backgrounds, like protagonists on a stage create their own narrative which expands in time until the image itself is suspended. Seemingly waiting for someone to move them, the viewer wonders if the chairs are going to remain just like the artist has painted them. On the other hand, Olguin's works freeze ordinary moments in time. Depicted while sitting motionless on chairs, the female figures are transfigured into pictorial transparencies. They become actual apparitions where nothing seems to happen whilst time appears to be frozen in the moment. In Olguin's paintings the human presence is a memory emerging from lights and surrealistic colored shadows.

 

Azzizia’s work relates to the aesthetic theory of continuity of shape developed by Rudolph Arnheim and the Gestalt Psychology, according to which our mind is able to complete the missing parts in a figure. Thus, the chairs as universally recognisable objects become relational means to engage the viewer: although they are left unfinished, we are able to guess what it is we are observing. With the series Catisofobia, which means a fear of sitting down, Azzizia reflects on the immobility of things, on the evocative power of daily-life objects and on the role they play as humans’ surrogates.

Olguin depicts domestic and intimate scenes which especially refer to the very recent lockdown he experienced in Paris. These works from his last series Isolation Journal recall that sense of physical stillness, those lone moments when the need of looking beyond the surface of things makes common objects and people become an occasion for contemplation and introspection.  The female figures caught while sitting motionless and alone, even if portrayed in their daily-life dimension are surrounded by a dreamlike atmosphere which protects their intimacy.

 

As if they are moving on parallel tracks, the artists’ works never really meet in this exhibition. They share the same domestic scenarios and even the same objects (chairs where no one sits in Azzizia's works, people seated in Olguin's), but they suggest different interpretations of time. The result is a silent juxtaposition of full and empty, presence and absence, object and subject.

 

The installation choice aims to highlight the intimate atmosphere of the works on display by transforming the exhibition space into a room where old-fashioned pavements, grayish walls and soft lights recall domestic interiors.

Victor Stoichita once wrote: «every framed painting, even if non-representative or non-illusionist, is a negation of the wall»[1]. In response, Hans Belting replied that a painting is like a window which is strictly related to the wall, so that it is the painting itself which make the wall present[2]. In this sense, the paintings by Azzizia and Olguin simultaneously affirm and deny the existence of the digital walls on which they hang, and they bring into the space a fifth dimension, that of the gaze and of the viewer’s personal experience of the artworks.

- Lorenzo Galuppo

 

[1] Soichita, Victor.  L’instauration Du Tableau:  Métapeinture  à  L'Aube  Des  Temps Modernes. Paris, Klincksieck, 1993.

[2] Belting, Hans.  Spiegel der Welt: Die Erfindung des Gemäldes in den Niederlanden, München, C. H. Beck, 2010 (trad. it. Specchio del mondo. L'invenzione del quadro nell'arte fiamminga, Roma, Carocci editore, 2016)

Damiano Azzizia
Catisofobia, 2020
Acrylic on cardboard
28 x 18.5 cm

Damiano Azzizia
Catisofobia, 2020
Acrylic on cardboard
28 x 15.5 cm

Damiano Azzizia
Catisofobia, 2020
Acrylic on cardboard
30 x 16.5 cm

Damiano Azzizia
Catisofobia, 2018
Acrylic on cardboard
19 x 13.5 cm

Damiano Azzizia
Catisofobia, 2019
Acrylic on cardboard
19 x 15 cm

Eder Olguin
Apparition, 2020
Oil on canvas
80 x 60 cm

Eder Olguin
Apparition Nue, 2020
Oil on canvas
80 x 60 cm

Eder Olguin
Apparition Rose, 2020
Oil on canvas
80 x 60 cm

Damiano Azzizia (born in 1993 in Martina Franca, Italy) currently lives in Bari, where he started his artistic education in 2014 enrolling at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bari. In 2019 he moves to Cluj-Napoca for an Erasmus internship in Romania, where he shows his works and deepens his pictorial research, continuously inspired by different spaces and atmospheres.

Back in Bari, he graduated with an MFA in Painting in 2020. His paintings evoke essentiality and timelessness. His technique is the result of a careful study of the surrounding space, especially the domestic one and the objects/subjects that inhabit it. His search for simplicity in painting led him to choose a poor material such as cardboard as a support for his paintings, giving further delicacy to his work. Among the significant events of his young artistic career we remember his solo show "Polvere" at the Casa Vuota exhibition space (Rome, 2019), curated by Francesco Paolo Del Re and Sabino De Nichilo; and the first prize won in the Painting category for the Nocivelli Award (Brescia, 2017).

Photo: Inés Picaud Larrandart

Eder Olguin (born in 1989 in Puebla, Mexico) started his studies in Industrial Engineering in his city. Then he moved to Naples in Italy to enroll at the Academy of Fine Arts in 2013. Since 2017 he lives in Paris, where he completed his artistic education at the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne in 2019. Now he’s working as artist in the suggestive spaces of 59 Rivoli Gallery in the city centre, where he’s deepening his pictorial

research. His work makes eco of

a variety of inspiration sources ranging from historical avant-garde movements to contemporary art. These elements, whose goal is to create visual mechanisms that link together the pictorial gesture and an imagery in constant renewal, reflect on the representative possibilities of memory, taking account of its ephemeral, anecdotal or symbolic qualities. Among the most significant experiences for the artist we remember the group show “Traverser Latitudes, Artistes Contemporains de l’Amérique Latine” at the Galerie 59 Rivoli in Paris (2020); and the artist residency at the 59 Rivoli Collective in Paris (2019 – 2020).

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