Mazzoleni, London – Torino presents four female artists at the new edition of the Armory Show in New York. The display spans from the 1970s works by Carla Accardi until the contemporary production of McGill, Moccia and Senatore.
In 1946 Carla Accardi (1924-2014) moved to Rome, in a climate of artistic turmoil between supporters of pictorial realism and the new avant-gardes. As the only woman in the group, Accardi signed the manifesto of the Forma1 group in 1947, supporting the possibility of a structured but not realistic artistic research, which focuses on form and sign in their essential meaning.
Carla AccardiI have always used painting as an inspiration for anti-painting, it is a desire for contradiction.
The works featured in the display cover the entire span of the artist’s life, from Cobaltorosso (Cobalt Red), 1970, to Riflessi condizionati (Conditional Reflections), 2013, and illustrate Accardi’s research on non-representation and the expression of a strong vital impetus through pictorial signs and colours.
In 1970, Carla Accardi founded the feminist group Rivolta Femminile (Female Revolt) with writer and activist Carla Lonzi and journalist Elvira Banotti.
Among the themes addressed by the group are relational subjectivity, radical joy, and manifestation of potential in the relationship with others. Such themes are also found in the research of Marinella Senatore (b. 1977). From the most recent Autoritratto (Self Portrait) series, in which the artist’s hands reach out into space, transcending the material limit to seek contact, other hands and bodies animate the series of paintings Un Corpo Unico, 2021, and Make it Shine, 2021.
The Make it Shine series features fragments of the real bodies of the participants in the ‘collective actions’ of the School of Narrative Dance, a project by Senatore which in 2022 marks its 10th year, with over 7 million participants in 23 countries. The dancing silhouettes bring “the participatory and collective dimension to even the most intimate work of the artist, in her studio and pictorial practice“, and find a collective voice in the feminist and empowering quotes included in the light sculptures, such as the acclaimed Dance First Think Later, a quote by Samuel Beckett.
Melissa McGill (b. 1969) is a New York-based interdisciplinary artist known for ambitious, collaborative, site specific public art projects. They take the form of site-specific, immersive experiences that explore nuanced conversations between land, water, sustainable traditions, and the symbiosis between all living things.
At the heart of her work is a focus on community, meaningful shared experiences and lasting impact. Featuring a variety of media including performance, photography, painting, drawing, sculpture, sound, light, video and immersive installation, McGill has presented both independent public art projects and solo exhibitions nationally and internationally since 1991.
The new body of works presented continues her artistic conversation with water: in observation and reflection, McGill’s works “are translations in the language of the waves“.
Intricate and shimmering, These Waters reflects on the dialogues between wind, light, reflection, transparency, and ephemeral, while a new series of paintings made with organic indigo pigment on kaolin clay emanate vitality, spirit and energy with intricate brush techniques that draw on ancient calligraphic gestures.
The works invite contemplation about the preciousness of water, our vital life-force, a reminder of humanity’s belonging to the interconnected sphere of the natural world, from the ripples of the waves to the cosmic light of the stars.
Winner in 2021 of the international research grant promoted by the General Direction for Contemporary Creativity of the Ministry of Culture as part of the Italian Council program, Rebecca Moccia (b. 1992) completes the presentation with her project Ministry of Loneliness, created in collaboration with Outset England, Jupiter Woods, Magazzino Italian Art, Italian Embassy in Tokyo, and ICA Milan.
The work starts from a practical and symbolic point of view on the Ministry of Loneliness, a governmental department responsible for dealing with social and health problems related to loneliness, initially established in Great Britain in 2018 and then replicated in Canada and Japan in 2021. According to Moccia, Loneliness is a political matter, a collective feeling that relates to a community’s emotional and behavioural health rather than being an individual’s issue. This is the artist’s starting assumption: “Especially within the current post-pandemic state of mind“, she says, it is necessary to “transform pain into a tool for endurance.“
The thermo-photographic series How Cold as You Are will be presented as part of Moccia’s research on loneliness. The series has been shot by the artist with a thermal camera in different locations, such as Sigmund Freud’s studio, Karl Marx’s grave in Highgate Cemetery, and the brutalist Alexandra Road Estate residential complex: these are places that refer to the material and symbolic relationship between the social and intimate dimensions of emotional health, with the addition of unpublished works specially produced in the United States during the 2022 summer.