Sean Scully, LONG LIGHT
Villa e Collezione Panza, Varese, Italy
18 April 2019 - 6 January 2020
A new element is added to the complex path of enhancement of the multi-faceted permanent collection of Villa and Panza Collection and of the figure of Giuseppe Panza di Biumo with the Long Light exhibition dedicated to the American master Sean Scully. Curated by Anna Bernardini, director of the Villa, the exhibition will open to the public from Thursday 18 April 2019 to Monday 6 January 2020.
The exhibition brings together 60 works from the early seventies to the present day, retracing for the most part the production of the American artist of Irish origin, offering a profound and robust vision of his research and reconfirming it among the protagonists of the contemporary pictorial scene.
His poetic, expressive and minimalist at the same time , and his research on color, gesture, balances, geometries and light perfectly match the ethical and aesthetic sensibility of Giuseppe Panza creating an elective affinity that is reflected in the exhibition design project where Scully's works dialogue with those of artists such as David Simpson, Phil Simps, Max Cole, John McCracken, reiterating once again the Foundation's willingness to propose exhibitions intrinsically linked to the place that hosts them.
The visit itinerary winds through the halls of the villa on the first floor up to the large Scuderia on the ground floor where the works retrace the production of the artist in a tight meeting - clash between abstract and figurative , starting from the first works on paper up to the most recent (the Eleuthera series), where the shapes of matissian memory resurface on the canvas. The visit itinerary then ends in the park with an unpublished site specific that will become part of the permanent collection : playing with precious glass Landlines , specially made for the occasion, Scully transforms the greenhouse of the garden , from the Portaluppi era, in a refined and reflective light and color environment .
The works on display, papers, photographs, installations and paintings with a vibrant surface, create a current that pulsates through the rooms of the villa generating a feeling of hypnotic seduction. From the first acrylics on canvas of the seventies - such as Backcloth or East Coast Light 2 - that Scully defines as " supergriglia ", intricate textures of often richly colored lines that create spatial illusions, followed by black monochromes - like Upright Horizontals Red Black - where for artist the black is not a void or a shadow, but a color and where the balance between sensuality and austerity is altered in favor of the former, up to the Doric architectural compositions distributed through vertical and horizontal planes made evanescent by a bold tonalism that through the overlapping of chromatic planes, they convey the material intensity of color. We then reach the Passenger series which, describing paintings in the painting and landscapes inside landscapes as open windows on the outside world, lead the viewer back to the work of the work as a "window" that connects interiority and exteriority that attracts so much Panza during his collecting research.
Another impressive series of Landlines , expressive and daring color scores in horizontal lines, activate a poetic movement that goes beyond the abstraction and where the contours of the landscapes relax and fade to reveal the emotional, physical and personal dimension of experiences, traumas and memory. The spirits of Scully's years in Ireland, the works refer mainly to those moments when the artist stopped to look at the sea , an intensified inspiration during his Venetian stay where water flows through the canals leaving indelible marks in the stone of the architecture. At Villa Panza finally comes a triptych from the Eleuthera series that describes his son Oisin on the beach in the Bahamas where the human figure is told in the heart of a previously abstract syntax. Then turning his gaze from the paintings to the photographs, complex works are discovered that remain on the margin of a pictorial research and that nevertheless nourish the suggestions.
An artistic production that certainly cannot be exhausted in the uniqueness of an image or a story, but which is completed in the relationship of its contrasts, in the dynamism of its parts, constantly wavering between abstraction and representation in a disturbing balance of disharmonies that leads to observer in a profound intellectual and emotional journey.
The Villa Panza exhibition project is made possible thanks to the invaluable support of JTI (Japan Tobacco International), institutional partner of the Bene , which since 2012 has supported the Foundation in the realization of major exhibitions aimed at enhancing and promoting the cultural heritage of Villa and Collection Panza.