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"Drawings for myself": the solo exhibition of Adelaide Cioni at the P420 Gallery.

In conjunction with Arte Fiera, Galleria P420 inaugurates "Drawings for myself" the second solo exhibition by Adelaide Cioni (Bologna, 1976, residing and working between Spoleto and London), an artist capable of achieving a synthesis of the pictorial tradition from Giotto to Sol LeWitt and integrating her literary background into her artistic practice. Translating the contemporary through art history is an intricate process of simplification that involves extensive experimentation with different mediums: painting, drawing, sculpture, and fabric work. Cioni's focus lies in mnemonic images, patterns, and recurring details extracted from reality to become part of a collection of abstract works originating from signs and figures recurrent in visual culture. These images are "epiphanies," capable of awakening the viewer through a poetic interplay of mnemonic references and recognitions by alluding to the childlike or archaic figuration that the audience has undoubtedly experienced in the past and now resides only in the subconscious.

From February 1 to March 23, 2024, visitors can rediscover these archaic suggestions by engaging in a dialogue with the exhibited works. Adelaide Cioni's works breaks into the exhibition space, saturating it, creating an immersive environment that operates on an intimate and personal level to stimulate an individualized consumption mechanism. It constitutes a reflection and observation of interpretative and symbolic mechanisms. 

Volumes, surfaces, thresholds conquer the exhibition space to offer a three-way relationship involving the viewer, the artworks, and the environment. Patterns, forms, and pop symbols occupy the paper with their vibrant colors, they are ordinary but also joyful shapes like a cloud or an ice cream. This common and seemingly unremarkable subject, through Cioni's painting, encapsulates a palette dominated by the pink of Giotto or Piero della Francesca so the subject becomes a means to present color: the true protagonist of the exhibition. The artist's passion for Trecento painting is reflected in works such as "Pezzo di cielo" (2021), capable of transporting us into the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua to admire the pictorial decoration of the ceiling: a magnificent starry sky.

Adelaide Cioni, Drawings for Myself, Galleria P420, Bologna
Adelaide Cioni, Drawings for Myself, Galleria P420, Bologna

To complement the visual narrative constructed by painting, a sound artwork is presented to offer her interpretation of Rick Moody's story "Pip Drifting", translated by her in 2024. Pip is a character from Moby Dick, the cabin boy who falls overboard and is left adrift in the water for hours before being rescued by his shipmates. It is a story of disorientation and madness, where the protagonist seems to liquefy, merging with the sea which is a central element explored and investigated in works such as "Song for the Sea" (2023) and "Bozzetti per il mare" (2019).

An elusive subject par excellence, artists, especially painters, have never abandoned the representation of the sea. It will be Pip himself who leads the audience into the second room, where Cioni will create a site-specific installation consisting of a large painted fabric that completely envelops the space. The intervention confirms a mode of interaction with space that, under its influence, becomes transformative and immersive, a method Cioni has already explored in a previous solo show at Mimosa House in London. This part of the exhibition is an invitation to lose oneself and be confused due to recurring abstract decorative motifs and their modulation and propagation in space.

As described by Cioni herself: "Drawings for Myself is an attempt to create a hermetically sealed environment where the pressures of the external world do not enter, a room she carries around and enters at will. These are thoughts and questions she has been pondering for some time, images she wanted to put out to look at and interrogate. Among them are the sea, translation, voice, objects, body, geometry, and space. It's all quite abstract. But everything has a physical form. Drawings for Myself  has much to do with wasting time, with not being productive but speculative, with the pleasure of the fullness and physicality of things, but also with the anguish of not understanding how to draw the sea. Or rather, understanding that it is entirely impossible to do so, and that all those who have tried, even the great masters, even Monet, even Matisse, have only sketched an idea of the sea, and no one has truly been able to portray it. I thought, therefore, that the sea is something you can only approximate, just as one can only approximate what one would like to say".

In Adelaide Cioni's work the connection with artists like Pascali and Merz is evident, masters who have worked with the simplicity of forms and materials, managing to insert their works into complex reasoning that hides in plain sight a conceptual system that never offers a single answer. To understand the evocative potential of the images born from the painter's imagination, it is necessary to abandon cognitive superstructures and surrender to the communicative power of signs and symbols that are the units of measure of our entire visual heritage.

Adelaide Cioni

Drawings for Myself

Galleria P420

Opening Saturday, February 3, 7-11 PM

Visitable from February 1 to March 23, 2024

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