Immagine è somiglianza (come il ritratto sia parte della pittura)

Until 30 November
42 Days until closure

" In ogni istinto, la verità ha preso la forma di un'illusione per agire sulla volontà. " Gilles Deleuze

First solo show at the gallery. The exhibition will take place across the gallery’s two venues: its Rome headquarters and its new venue in Pereto (AQ), inaugurated with the show. Conceived as a whole, the exhibition is dedicated to portraiture, one of the central themes in Fato’s work. Since 2012, following a year of intensive tutoring at the art academy, the artist has focused on portraiture, one of art history’s traditional genres. In this return to his artistic beginnings, Fato has approached portraiture through an art historical lens.

Paradoxically, the genre, conceived as one of the most definitive ways in which to consign an image to history, appears to resist time even in today’s frenzy of contemporary images. Fato’s subjects, who span various cultural backgrounds and historical moments, have been chosen for a particular obsession they nurtured all their lives, transforming them – in Fato’s eyes – into true artists. Examples include the castrato singer Alessandro Moreschi; the scientist Nikola Tesla; the German Sinto boxer Johann Wilhem Trollmann; and the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. In other instances, the portraits stem from invitations to exhibit, becoming tools with which to explore places, as is the case of works dedicated to Bernardino Telesio, Ennio Flaiano and the astronaut Charles Duke.

Image as resemblance (how portraits are a part of painting) stems from Fato’s personal portrait gallery, which highlights luminaries such as the artist Scipione or the philosophers Kierkegaard and Deleuze. It also extends his reflections on living people. Here, Fato creates a constellation of his friendships which offers a study of the art world. His paintings include the gallerist and curator of the show, Paola Capata and Simone Ciglia, as well as Gianni Garrera, a musical philologist who has frequently collaborated with Fato (including in this show), as well as several collectors and a friend. Fato’s aim is to draw attention to the various roles which contribute to defining cultural engagement, exploring portraiture formally.

In this new cycle of works, Fato has concentrated on the essence of the pictorial act, reducing the metapictorial elements which had defined his previous works, ans bestowing his paintings with a more overt presence instead. The installation of the works becomes a mise-en-scène, guided by the portrait’s conception – through the striking of certain poses or the presence of certain objects – and accompanied by effigies. Following an already established practice, Fato has included some ‘foreign’ elements into the show: two previous landscape paintings which detail yet another traditional genre of painting, tracing a connection towards the idea of the portrait as, in the artist’s own words, “the passing of time”.
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Matteo Fato pittura ritratto