12th October 2009 – 15th January 2010
opening: Monday 11th October 2009, 9pm.
The alternation of historical and modern exhibitions alternates now Mark Tobey with Federico Guida, an important figure of the Italian art of the past ten years. A 40-year-old man, Guida has been attracting critics and collectors’ attention for at least ten years and all the awards he received – in 1996, the San Carlo Borromeo award; in 1998, the Premio Marche; in 2002, the Premio Cairo and Premio Durini awards; in 2003, the Premio Maretti and in 2007 the Premio Michetti – are an unquestionable witnessing of it.
The exhibition at Galleria Blu, in Milan, takes stock of the artist’s most recent production by welcoming 20 works where portraits (and self-portraits) with a wig and the “baths” stand out.
“Guida – writes Vittoria Coen in the catalogue’s introduction -.alternates drama and mercy, grotesque and sweetness and distance, separation and emphasis. The actor’s shocked eye looks at an imaginary rival and, certainly, at the observer by adding an upset expression. The mouth is wide open in a grimace, the traumatic tension of wrist and of fingers which go hiding among the waves of the wig. All around him, the world is softly shaded: it seems to hear a melodramatic sigh... In adult men’s faces malice reappears. And so do cracks, superstructures of life, some intentional theatricality, a bit more than a basic mime, modest scenographic resources … In his recent works, the particular insistence on the wig introduces us to an uninhibited indication. There is no aura to impose, nothing famous to display. Still there are some shades that might remind us of some portrait of Lucien Freud, some pale pinks, but no idealization of the subject … as there is in the traces of the German tradition of New Objectivity… Guida’s choice stopped especially on light. He bent his pinks, his oranges, his reds, his browns out of colours … For example, this happens in those delicate female nudes where a sweet care for the chromatic shades of a skin not touched by time’s wear and aggressiveness prevails. Everything expresses the happiness of innocence. The frame of such water games is not the sea but a well-built bath that welcomes them: it is just a home shower, but happiness is there for sure…”