Exhibition Past – SHED

23 February - 30 July 2023

Gian Maria Tosatti


Curated by Vicente Todolí

Gian Maria Tosatti’s (Rome, 1980; lives and works in Naples) exhibition consists of two cycles of paintings presented for the first time at Pirelli HangarBicocca, Portraits (2022) and NOw/here (2023). These large-scale works are set up in close relationship with the architecture of Pirelli HangarBicocca, creating moments of interaction and contrasting situations. Portraits comprises four gold and rust paintings on iron panels, assembled and installed on tube and clamp structures. On the other hand, the NOw/here series takes the form of ten large fields of graphite and white charcoal on canvas suspended from the ceiling.
This new body of work condenses several recurring concepts of Gian Maria Tosatti’s research over the past two decades and embodies a dialogue with the Zeitgeist (Spirit of the time), resonating with the feelings, characteristic of the artist’s generation. For Tosatti, the exhibition becomes an opportunity to address aspects of current events as well as the human condition at such a difficult moment in time, in a society poised between catastrophe and evolution. These works are also conceived as “mirrors,” open questions that directly confront the visitor.

Through their material qualities, the paintings reconnect with the very moment when reality reveals itself, as evoked by the exhibition title “NOw/here,” whose elements can be read individually, as “now” and “here,” or sequentially, as in “nowhere.” In “NOw/here” Tosatti seems to confront History, interpreting it not as a chain of events, but as a feeling, while trying to capture the moment to which we belong.

The lighting of the exhibition “Now/here” has been conceived by Pasquale Mari, a renowned light designer and director of photography who works in cinema, theatre and art.

Gian Maria Tosatti’s works and site-specific installations have been presented internationally: Tarlabaşi district, Istanbul (2021); Kuyalnik lake, Odesa (2020); A4 Arts Foundation, Cape Town (2019); Palazzo Biscari, Catania (2018); Museo Madre, Naples (2016); Castel Sant’Elmo, Naples; Museo Archeologico, Salerno; CCS Bard – Hessel Museum, New York (2014). In 2022, Tosatti represented Italy at the 59th Venice Biennale. His works have also been included in major exhibitions such as Manifesta 12, Palermo (2018), or in group shows such as the exhibitions at the Italian Cultural Institute, New York (2019); Galleria Nazionale, Rome, Petah Tikva Museum of Art, Israel (2017); Fondazione Rivoli 2, Milan (2015); Fabbrica del Vapore, Milan; Museo Osvaldo Licini, Ascoli Piceno (2014); Mole Vanvitelliana, Ancona (2013); Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York (2011). Tosatti was awarded the Frescobaldi Prize (2020), the New York Prize (2017), the Ettore Fico Foundation Prize (2016) and the Terna Prize (2008). Gian Maria Tosatti is also a writer and journalist: he collaborates with several newspapers and has published a number of essays, including “Esperienza e realtà” (2021) and “New Men’s Land: Storia e Destino della Jungle di Calais” (2017). He is the artistic director of the Rome Quadriennale for the three-year period 2021-2024.

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