Elisa Bertaglia. Out of the Blue

15 Dec 2016 — 29 Jan 2017 at Officine dell’Immagine in Milan, Italy

15 DECEMBER 2016
Elisa Bertaglia, Out of the Blue, 2016. Courtesy of Officine dell'Immagine
Elisa Bertaglia, Out of the Blue, 2016. Courtesy of Officine dell'Immagine

The dreamlike and fairytale imagery of Elisa Bertaglia is on show, from 15 December 2016 to 29 January 2017at the Officine dell’Immagine in Milan (Via Atto Vannucci, nr. 13). Curated by Matteo Galbiati, the exhibition will be inaugurated on Thursday, 15 December at 7 pm.

Winner of the Officine dell’Immagine ad Arteam Cup 2015 Special Prize, the artist presents some thirty new works in the gallery, created in 2016 in America, during an artist's residency promoted by ESKFF (Eileen S. Kaminsky Family Foundation) at the MANA Contemporary Jersey City.

The title of the exhibition - "Out of the blue"- is based on the series of the same name, on its first public exhibition. The expression paraphrases "A bolt from the blue" discovered by Elisa Bertaglia in a book by Patricia Highsmith, which she read during her stay in the U.S. On the one hand, this is a literary reference, as literature has always accompanied the artist's career, on the other hand, blue is the predominant colour in the new production.

The project consists of two sections: on the ground floor, there is a selection of medium and large paintings; downstairs, the small sizes are gradually replaced by a site-specific mural work that will transform the basement into a lararium, an intimate and meditative shrine dedicated to family deities. In this context, they will be an installation of two dimensional works, related to the personal experience of the artist.

Elisa Bertaglia's language is lyrical, evanescent and highly symbolic. Through a mythological vocabulary matured over the years, she proposes a reflection on the themes of duality and metamorphosis, in a search for personal and collective identity.

The protagonists of her works, all executed in mixed media and collage on paper, board and hardboard, are pre-adolescent girls and animals, immersed in an alienating landscape, where the rules of perspective and composition are left to one's imagination.

"The characters in these stories - explains Elisa Bertaglia - are in atypical and unusual relationships with each other, relationships bearing multiple symbolic meanings: small diving-girls, twisted by snakes, clambering over rocks or enveloped in ivy and carnivorous plants, alluding to the difficult passage from childhood to adulthood. Here everything is in metamorphosis; identity, and not only the body, undergoes transformation and rebirth. Dogs and wolves, crows and herons are the guarantors of that rite of passage, protectors of a subtle glimpse of intimacy".

As pointed out by Matteo Galbiati, the works of the series "Out of the blue" differ from previous productions both for the colour choices and the format. If the colours are more intense and sharp, less tied to the Italian pictorial tradition, the composition evokes greater freedom, unfettered by landscape elements, while the drafted sign is used in pictorial style, in a dialogue with the background and collage inserts.

Seemingly simple and pleasing to the eye, Elisa Bertaglia's painting hides deeper meanings and unsettling details: harsh elements, violent traits that propel the narrative beyond the imagination plane, re-establishing a relationship to contemporary society.

Elisa Bertaglia was born in Rovigo in 1983. She enrolled at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice in 2002, under the guidance of Professor Carlo Di Raco, earning a Level I degree in 2006 and a Level II Degree in Painting in 2009. Since 2008 she has been actively exhibiting, establishing several partnerships with critics, curators and journalists. Among the major exhibitions: "The state of the art" (54th International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia, Pavilion Academies, Tese di San Cristoforo - Arsenale, Venice, 2011), "Contemporary Dolomites" (Sospirolo, 2011; Taibon Agordino, 2012; Casso, 2013; Borca di Cadore, 2014), "Elisa Bertaglia" (MZ Gallery, Augsburg, 2014), "Bindwood" (Banca Sistema, Milan, 2015), "Arteam Cup" (Officina delle Zattere, Venice, 2015; Palazzo del Monferrato, Alessandria, 2016). As part of Arteam Cup in 2016, she was awarded the Residenza Milano Officine Saffi Special Prize. She lives and works in Rovigo.