top of page
5.jpg

ARTISTS

Mattia Barbieri

Monica Mazzone

TEXT BY

Pierluca Nardoni

COLLABORATION

Rizzuto Gallery - Palermo

ON OCCASION

ArtCity Bologna

SOSTANZIALE-SUPER-SOSTANZIALE

01.02 - 08.03.2024

Preview: Studio la Linea Verticale, on the occasion of Arte Fiera and Art City Bologna, presents the exhibition Substantial-Super-Substantial, a dual show featuring artists Mattia Barbieri and Monica Mazzone, organized in collaboration with Rizzuto Gallery of Palermo and accompanied by the critical text by Pierluca Nardoni. Event Details: Title: Substantial-Super-Substantial Artists: Mattia Barbieri - Monica Mazzone Text by: Pierluca Nardoni Preview: February 1, 2024, 3:00 PM - 8:00 PM Opening: February 2, 2024, 9:00 PM - 11:00 PM Duration of the Exhibition: February 1 - March 9, 2024 Location: Studio la Linea Verticale, via dell’Oro 4b, Bologna Hours during Art City: February 1: 3:00 PM - 8:00 PM February 2: 3:00 PM - 11:00 PM February 3: 3:00 PM - 12:00 AM February 4: 3:00 PM - 8:00 PM Abstract: "Substantial-Super-Substantial" is an alchemical dialogue between two independent yet rooted researches. The term Supersubstantial, found in various philosophical traditions, symbolizes the nourishment of Gnostic knowledge, the inner fire that feeds spirituality and moves universal energies. In an exchange between two-dimensional, three-dimensional, and extra-dimensional, the exhibition takes the form of a journey in a temple, an ancient place of worship, but also of culture in an eternal reference to knowledge and commitment to understanding. Barbieri focuses on the representation of divine subjects and ancestral presences that unfold, through colors, on various planes and levels, somersaulting with bold moves on orders and styles belonging to the classical themes of tradition. Mazzone elevates geometry as the primary principle of the creative act, an original and all-encompassing system for the creation of an architecture of emotional and pulsational sphere and the construction of a spatiality of the soul without memory and without time. Leaving space for the primal substance, the essence of the absolute is unraveled. More - The artists speak: The entrance to the exhibition is a journey into a temple, an ancient place of worship, but also of culture in an eternal reference to knowledge or, at least, commitment to understanding. A wall dense with works of modest dimensions, intended as objects offered as a gift to the divinity for a received grace or in fulfillment of a promise, greets visitors with pictorial ironies, constructive absurdities, and seductive chromatisms. From gratitude to the universal, the exhibition moves to the objectified representation of shared feelings: deconstructed totems and archaic faces manifest themselves on the ground in a terrestrial contact that seeks to transcend the human. Towards the vertical from the horizontal, as the linguistic palindrome of the title brings its citation: two artists, two points of view seeking balance in harmony dedicated to absolute love, the necessity of expressing one's feelings, the stories of everyday life to elevate together into a unique, dispersed portion of the supernatural - the SUPER. Two large canvases await the epiphanic moment together with the viewer. The rarefaction of the atmosphere makes room for the nucleus, for the super-substantial, literally translated as "above ousìa" essence - the transcendent idea of serving Art with the beauty of Art, the explicit expression of a firm and determined request in favor of the absolute. Not a shared project but rather a common feeling, a vocation, a sublime and totalitarian sentiment that expands from the viscera to dreams.

PRESS

PRESS RELEASE

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
CRITICALTEXT

CRITICAL TEXT 
By Pierluca Nardoni

The possibilities of spiritual elevation through art appear today to be challenging to achieve. The uninterrupted flow of images and stories from our digital devices has a leveling effect on all genres of culture, blunting their peaks and making it almost impossible (and perhaps pointless) to distinguish between what was once referred to as 'high' culture and popular culture. In the current absence of hierarchies, it seems inevitable that every aesthetic product translates into a continuous emission of data whose content, thanks to this fluid mediocrity, neither elevates nor vulgarizes, not even intentionally, like much of the art from the past. Therefore, the choice of Mattia Barbieri (1985) and Monica Mazzone (1984) to dedicate their joint exhibition to the concept of 'supersubstantial,' known to many philosophies and religions as something that goes 'beyond material substance,' beyond the things of the world, appears courageous – and perfectly in tune with the programming of La Linea Verticale. The project is bold already in the desire to exhibit together because their two poetics seem extremely distant: Barbieri is figurative, suspended between expressionisms and surreal metamorphoses; Mazzone is clear in her abstract geometries. Yet, their journey presents deep analogies that emerge decisively in the Bolognese exhibition. It is not just the common relationship with the early 20th-century avant-gardes and, in particular, with the irrationalistic components of those movements, often imbued with mystical and theosophical tensions. The affinities between Barbieri and Mazzone are above all in their intentions. From the first room, the visitor's eye is led to discover the threads of the dialogue, which begins in a corner of the room. Like small ex-votos, Barbieri and Mazzone's works crowd together seemingly randomly, alternating their characteristic languages. Barbieri exhibits oil paintings on copper embedded in pieces of stone, appearing as if cut together with the section of the wall from which they emerge. What animates these scenes of monstrous characters and desolate landscapes, particularly, is the relationship with their frame: in some cases, it seems that the painting's particular mounting, brutally scratched and pierced, is a kind of matrix for it, in others, even the double, extending the faces and physiognomic traces of the protagonists. The figures recall iconographies of saints and deities but deform in the memory of an Ernst or sometimes a Depero. In the liquid effect of the copper background, the scenes emerge from the stones like curious screens, but in reality, they are executed with great painterly finesse. Here is the first important element of 'supersubstantiality': Barbieri's images are light dimensional passages, offered in layers, framed and simultaneously commented on by the stony thresholds. Mazzone's images also dance on a threshold. Her geometric solids, calculated with apparent coldness but actually starting from the data of her own body, recall certain impossible meanders of Josef Albers, and they also allude to him in terms of color treatment. It is precisely in the faint colors applied to the boards, almost blown, that the maximum divergence from digital elaborations, which these works may initially resemble, lies. Approaching them reveals the entirely human grain, transitions that deceive the volumes or slowly slide them into each other. If, instead, one adopts a panoramic view, Mazzone's works engage in a dialogue with the anodized aluminum frames: also geometric, they extend the discourse of the images, continuing their subtle enchantment, appearing, in the play of their metallic transparencies, even as impossible cast shadows. Like Barbieri, for Mazzone, the spectacle that unfolds within the frames is then transmitted to them in an uninterrupted play of emergences, small dimensional portals. The exhibition narrative continues with a perfect alternation, as in the case of the four portraits. The juxtaposition of Barbieri's deformed faces with Mazzone's mathematical contortions will not surprise us now: there is a similar atmosphere of distant worlds, one inhabited by humanoids, the other not, but both breathe similar visual rhythms, as if the geometries comment on the faces and vice versa. The dialogue between the two artists is also a dialogue between what they understand as substance and what they would like to surpass it, just as in the exhibition's title that, in 'supersubstantial,' anticipates and always accompanies the 'substantial.' The harder substances of the works in the first room materialize in the objects of the second, namely, in the sculptures that occupy part of the floor as if they had suddenly emerged from something. In this case too, Barbieri and Mazzone show an affinity, always playing on the threshold between the artificiality of an automatic work and the finely calibrated human intervention: Barbieri's heads seem to have been worked on by a 3D printer that extends and streaks the objects by mistake until it produces faces, while now it is up to Mazzone to recover the playful mechanics of a Depero, assembling aluminum pieces as if forming small automatons. The second room is also the stage for the confrontation between two large tables whose spiritual content is more than ever in the threshold games encountered so far. Mazzone's Cosmic Serpent is a form that emerges forcefully from the white void of the background but lets us enter it, into the sliders drawn by pastel tones that sometimes construct volumes, other times crush them on the plane, yet others seem to sink into themselves. Barbieri's is indeed a door in which one can immerse oneself, whose threshold function is assured not only by the fluid and changing painting but also by its relationship with the frame, which surrounds it with the tale of a grotesque and unsettling Olympus. If ascension through art is still possible, the two artists seem to say, it must happen by training our perception to dimensional thresholds. It is necessary to grasp the stratification of these images, which continuously transports the eye from the center of the works to their edges to discover their many levels, and, more generally, it is necessary to recognize the richness of their techniques: the painting and sculpture of Barbieri and Mazzone assume rhythms of today's digital visuality but then complicate them in a manual labor that guides our gaze inside their dimensional journeys. And the awareness of these precious oscillations between the human and the artificial is already an exercise of the spirit.

EXHIBITED WORKS

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
EXHIBITED WORKS
INSTALLATIN VIEV

INSTALLATION VIEW

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn