Massimo Giannoni, an Italian painter working and living in Florence, comes to Singapore after having obtained remarkable accomplishments for his numerous European exhibitions that are highly praised by critics and the public.
After “Arte Italiana” at Palazzo Reale of Milan (2007) and the Venice Biennale (2011) curated by Vittorio Sgarbi, “Four Triptychs” at Palazzo delle Esposizioni of Rome (2012) and “Linee di confine” at the Museum Bilotti of Rome (2015), today Giannoni is for the first time in Singapore as the leading character of a great monographic exhibition curated by Sergio Risaliti.
The artist presents 27 large oil paintings, expressly realized for Partners & Mucciaccia Art Gallery. These paintings are characterized by pasty and profound colors with a dense and substantial pictorial matter that enhances the color expressive power and seems that literally devours the subject figurative textile making it nearly unrecognizable. With his painting, Giannoni gives shape to sensations and materializes his beloved places: the ceiling frescoes of the ancient Libraries, the views of Florence or Singapore, the crowded places of stock exchanges and of the Specola (Museum of Natural History of Florence). These are places where the artist draws inspiration from the past, he classifies it and he reinterprets it from a contemporary point of view, starting a new complex mechanism of nested structures where worlds return to other endless worlds.
These are places where forces, impulses and conflicting sketchiness act like in order and disorder, figurative and unclear visibility, expressing desires of conservation and abandonment; sometimes desolate, sometimes full of persons, however it gathers in itself unlimited possibilities where the passage of time is at a still.
The title of the exhibition, “Panopticon”, refers to the idea of the observation of the space around one’s own body, where the Ego is at the center of the world and the artist exercises his optical, mental and sentimental domain. Therefore Giannoni’s paintings reveal themselves to be “Cabinets of curiosities” that turn into metaphors of other place, apparently desolate, with bookshelves that hold all the knowledge of time or of exchanges that seem to accelerate or fragment it.
The exhibition comes with a rich monographic catalogue in English and Italian, published by editor Carlo Cambi with texts of Alberto Agazzani, Rolando Bellini, Flaminio Gualdoni, Lea Matterella, Sergio Risaliti, Marco Tonelli.
Born in Empoli in 1954, he currently lives and works in Florence. In 1979, he won the Lubiam Prize (Mantova), which is awarded to the best student amongst those attending Academies of Fine Arts in Italy. He spent the early 90’s living in Australia and the United States, before returning to Italy approximately in the middle of the decade, when he began to work on the Librerie and Borse d’affari series. Amongst his solo and collective exhibitions: 2005, Fuori tema/Italian feeling, curated by Marco Tonelli, XIV Rome Quadriennale, Palazzo Delle Esposizioni, Rome; 1968-2007, Arte Italiana, curated by Vittorio Sgarbi, Palazzo Reale, Milan, 2007. In 2011, he was one of the 10 artists selected by the Foundation Roma for the 54th Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition, Italian Pavilion, and in the same year he also took part in the Mantova literature festival, with the exhibition L’Aleph, at the Palazzo della Regione. In 2013, he participated in Mimesis, variations on the book, exhibition curated by Sergio Risaliti, at the Uffizi Library in Florence; in the same year, he also held the solo show Durata dell’immagine, curated by Flaminio Gualdoni at Palazzo Giureconsulti, in Milan. In 2015, he took part in the collective exhibition Linee di confine, curated by Marco di Capua at the Bilotti Museum in Rome, and in 2016 he exhibited his oil painting on canvas Muro del Pianto, at the Jewish museum in Bologna; a preliminary study for a large-scale triptych (cm 200×600), created for his solo show Four Triptychs – curated by Marco Tonelli – at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome in 2012.