First gaining critical attention in 1993 after participating in the 45th Venice Biennale, Grazia Toderi is often referred to as one of the most important contemporary artists, working in the fields of drawings, photography, video projection, and installation art. Toderi is recognized for her iconic use of aerial images of night time metropolitan cities. Works such as The Trail of Angels (La pista degli angeli, 2000), Florence, Stars of Earth (Firenze, stelle di terra, 2000), Mirabilia Urbis (2001), Invisible City (Città invisibile, 2003), Red Babel (Rosso Babele, 2006), Red Orbits (Orbite Rosse, 2009) have entered the anthology of contemporary art as the finest examples of video projections where cities such as Rome, Florence, and London, but also imaginary cities, are explored through an unfamiliar viewpoint, transforming them into a magical and mysterious territory, mirrored between sky and earth.
For her first solo show at Braverman Gallery, Grazia Toderi is showing a new series of works called Red Map (2016-2018), influenced by Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, where cities are shown through luminous and reddish oval shapes that, intermixing different possible maps, create new open cities. Our cities are made of different layers built by time and by our histories. Those layers are hidden from our eyes, but exist in the memory of the earth. Cities are also made by relations and energies that cross our experience, changing the space and the city. The oval shape is an homage to the ancient tradition of terrestrial and celestial mapping, the planisphere.
In the gallery two video projections are installed in the dark. On the left, Red Map (2016-2018) is a projection that appears on the floor. The map becomes a kind of red carpet, made of brilliant lights of cities that appear and disappear one on top of the other, creating new geographies in continuous transformations. On the right, Red Map (2016-2018) is also a projection on the floor, but is divided by a wall, changing the drawing and the form of the maps. Different meeting points of the lights alter their direction, and the red map also appears in vertical, luminous signs that move from up to down, and from down to up.
Through her series of new drawings, “Disappearing map” (2018), made of graphite on opalescent layers, Toderi realized that showing oval maps one over the other creates an appearing/disappearing drawings of appearing/disappearing cities.
In the Bakery, the artist is showing the work Scala Nera (2006), a work that was dedicated to the famous opera theatre. Fascinated by the use of images and by the dynamics of spectacle, she works on images of stadiums, arenas, and large historical theaters, considering them also like small cities where imagery, appearing in continuous transformation, tackles the relationship between time, light and energy.
Born in Padua in 1963, she moved to Milan in 1992 after studying at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Bologna. She lives in Milan and Turin since 2005.
She has taken part in group exhibitions and major events, including the Venice Biennale, in 1993, 1999 (when she was one of the winners of the Golden Lion) and 2009, and the biennial of Istanbul (1997), Sydney (1998), Pusan (2000 and 2002), Pontevedra (2004), New Orleans (2011) Mechelen (2015).
Her solo exhibitions in public museums include those at Frac Languedoc-Roussillon, Montpellier (1995), Casino Luxembourg, Luxembourg (1998), Castello di Rivoli, Torino (1998), Frac Bourgogne, Digione (1998), Museo Ludwig, Colonia (1999), De Appel Foundation, Amsterdam (1999), Fundaciò Joan Mirò, Barcellona (2002), Miami Art Museum, Miami (2006), PAC, Milano (2006), Museo Serralves, Oporto (2010), Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. (2011), MAXXI, Roma (2012), John Curtin Gallery, Perth (2013), MIT Museum, Boston (2016), MART, Rovereto (2017).