2. July - 3. September 2021
A solo-show with works by Gian-Martino Cecere
Gian-Martino Cecere’s first solo exhibition Ritrovamenti Atemporali at re|space gallery shows a selection of the artist’s works on canvas and paper. The title of the show, which translates to “Atemporal Artefacts”, alludes to the nature of Cecere’s works. As a whole, the works exhibited may be considered as an archive. This archive being of both personal and collective memory from which the works-as-artefacts have been systematically excavated. Cecere uses collage as a method to reference both a collective past as well as his own cultural history.
The forms in Cecere’s works are largely abstracted but interspersed with a number of figurative elements. These figurative elements form an iconography unique to Cecere. Though identifiable as signifiers, it is not clear what exactly these forms refer to. Almost like archeologists attempting to decipher runes, and other markings of ancient civilisations, the observer of Cecere’s works may marvel and speculate at the significance of a slingshot or a citrus slice and their relevance within their abstract surroundings.
Beyond the small number of figurative elements, Cecere builds his compositions with pastel or earthy coloured forms that interlock, layer, and converse with one another. These forms that are primarily organic with a lack of hard edges grow from the artist’s nurture rather than being pre-meditated constructs. A significant aspect to Cecere’s methodology is the cutting up of his previously used canvases to use the fragments as a starting point or catalyst for new works. Furthermore, Cecere reworks his canvases adding intricate detail that juxtaposes the large surface-covering and often semi-transparent shapes.
There is an undoubtedly Geographical feel to several of Cecere’s works. Particularly those hung in landscape spread over the canvas as though documenting a fictional topography. Lines reach across the composition like roads or rivers while fields of colour seem to suggest a mountainous or flat terrain. Geography and History are inextricably linked much as Cecere’s own history as an Italian - German is linked to Geography. While maps may help us to visualise history, they are inherently biased and subject to the cartographer’s viewpoint. Accordingly, if Cecere’s works can be read as maps, then they are maps that are self-aware in their subjectivity and thus knowingly refute the possibility of a singular interpretation.
In contrast to the canvas works exhibited, Cecere’s paper works are stripped down to the very essence of the artist’s visual language. These works form a new branch to the artist’s practice in which the paper as limiting factor provokes the artist to explore the potential in reducing the surface area of his visual language without losing significance and depth. The simpler compositions focus on a single subject that lies embedded in the white surface of the paper like a specimen in a display case. Perhaps, however, what we see in Cecere’s works on paper are not so much the specimens or artefacts themselves but rather the tools with which said items are to be excavated. Perhaps these tools differ from tools familiar to us in that they serve an archaeology not of the earth but of the mind and soul.