Maria Calandra & claudia rega
21 SEPTEMBER – 28 OCTOBER 2023
The Gallery is pleased to announce our second presentation of NY based artist Maria Calandra’s work in a duo show with German artist Claudia Rega. The exhibition will open on September 21st, on occasion of the gallery’s fourth anniversary.
The topic of the show – as renamed here Selfscape – is a new form of landscape, where the realistic representation of a “land” has been replaced by the personal “self” experience of the artists.
For Maria Calandra, Nature and those landscapes where she goes hiking with her husband Erick are the very first inspirations for her paintings and also an important part in her personal life. She never paints en plain air though and she lives the unique moment of these places. Every spot is connected then to a memory, an emotion, a unique state of her own inner self. Once in her studio in Brooklyn, the artist recreates on canvas the paysages she visited, just shaped by all those feelings associated to them by her subconscious. The result is a still readable composition of rocks, fields or rivers, but abstracted in shapes and colors. Maria’s practice is the more and more fluid and cloudy in the brushstrokes, well representing the flow of emotions connected to the image. Technically, this is possible thanks to an obsessive repetition of layers: a first one similar to watercolor, made of overlapping shades. Over this base she adds many thinner brushstrokes of thicker colors, where the artists playful combine unrealistic and unexpected palettes. Her hallucinating paintings are meditative for the artist herself during the process, as well as a meditation for the viewer while connecting to the artist’s Self.
We see the opposite process instead in Claudia Rega’s practice. As a former therapist, she investigates the realm of the inner Self and she paints an abstract representation of these hidden places. We can say that the artist replaces the external reality with an internal landscape of thoughts and emotions, giving us access to her very personal world. As result, we instinctively catch the glimpse of a landscape in between her rough abstract fields of colors – as our brain automatically looks for a recognizable shape. But the only shape consciously drawn by the artist is a ghosty figure of a young girl, that you have to find hidden in the composition. We don’t know if this represents the artist’s inner child, or if it is the allusion to a generic female world. Technically, Claudia uses a mix of flat and rough textures working with oil and oilsticks to bring on canvas the empathic chaos of the human psyche. As the artist writes indeed: “When I think of the viewer looking at my paintings, I hope for a bit of unfamiliarity compared to ones own experience and the lust to discover something outside ones own body and mind. I want to construct different worlds, where on can spend time and discover something new.”
Selfscape is a place where to escape to find yourself.