The Missing da Vinci of the Battle of Anghiari. This exhibition concludes ten years of battles for the artist. Of virtual battles obviously, of strategies set on canvas in form, light and color. Her narrative ability, expressed and revealed in her previous pictorial cycles has its origins in film-making.
The Missing da Vinci of the Battle of Anghiari
Jennifer Bacon and Filippo Fossati are pleased to announce the opening of the first solo exhibition at Esso Gallery by Italian painter Vittoria Chierici, Saturday, April 30, 2005 from 6 to 8 p.m.
This New York exhibition concludes ten years of battles for Vittoria Chierici. Of virtual battles obviously, of strategies set on canvas in form, light and color. Vittoria Chierici, whose father and grandfather were soldiers on the Russian front, has always breathed discipline, diligence, rigour, determination plus a touch of sane madness. In an interview, she says about her work on this series of battles: It's about looking at something that I intimately know, about keeping a memory alive; after all I am the daughter of soldiers!
Her narrative ability, expressed and revealed in her previous pictorial cycles - the stars, the coca-cola, the black madonnas, the flowers - has its origins in film-making: an artistic-professional experience, loved, studied and practiced firsthand from behind the camera, that continues through the present day.
Anghiari is a small town in Tuscany, famous for a battle fought and won on its territory on June 29th, 1440 by the Florentine Republic against the Milanese army. When Machiavelli later wrote about it, he pointed out ironically, that twenty four hours of skirmishing only produced one death, that of a soldier who fell off his horse. None the less, the historical outcome of the battle was very important as it kept central Italy in the hands of the Florentines and, indeed, Machiavelli commented much more seriously on this aspect. However important the battle must have been at the time, it would have almost certainly been gradually forgotten, if the Magistrati of Florence hadn't decided to decorate the walls of the main hall of Palazzo Vecchio, the Chamber of the government building, with scenes celebrating the victories of the Florentine armies. Michelangelo Buonarroti was commissioned to paint the Battle of Cascina and Leonardo da Vinci the Battle of Anghiari. Leonardo drew up his project on cartoons and began to transfer the work from paper to wall in the Palazzo Vecchio. He painted the central section illustrating the Fight for the Standard. Unfortunately, Leonardo da Vinci's love of experimentation caused the painting to be damaged during the drying process and the uncompleted painting was destroyed.
Like Vittoria Chierici, perhaps also Leonardo da Vinci used Anghiari as the pretext for a concept of force - in Neoplatonic fashion - as well as energy. Each figure in her paintings, a combination of digital air-brush and real strokes, is a turbine spinning in fast motion. The images reflect the dynamism of the events on a battle-field without the most gruesome aspects related to war: there is fury, but no wound, force but not brutality.
Teresio Ottavio Camenzio
Vittoria Chierici earned her degree at DAMS in the University of Bologna. After graduation, she attended the University of California at Berkeley and then the Columbia University in New York. She took courses in photography and cinematography at the Parsons School of Design and at the School of Visual Arts in New York and received a diploma in filmmaking from the New York Film Academy. From 1984 she has been exhibiting intensively in Italy and abroad. In 1989 she took part in the Tokyo exhibition The Seven Artists and then held exhibitions in London, Buenos Aires and Madrid. In 1995 she shot two short films: Street Fight and One's Case. In the year 1997 she starts the body of works which will be completed in 2005; the series is called The Missing Leonardo and is a provocative reconstruction of Leonardo Da Vinci's lost fresco La Battaglia di Anghiari. Vittoria Chierici just exhibited one large painting of the Battle of Anghieri's series in asolo show in the beautiful Parte Guelfa's Palace in Florence and she has an upcoming solo show at the Italian Cultural Institute of Vancouver and at Villa Mangilli in Torino.
Opening Reception: Saturday, April, 30 2005 from 6 to 8 p.m.
ESSO Gallery, 531 West 26th Street - New York NY 10001
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, from 11 am to 6 pm