Milano, 9 maggio (VAGO.MAG) – Galleria Monica De Cardenas reopening in Zouz with Alex Kats  and Francesca Gabbani’s exhibitions. (Thuesday -Saturday 3pm – 5 pm). Alex Kats feature portraits from the last ten years, that belong to different cycles, depicting women of character in his essential style and thus transforming them into icons of our time. Amongst these is a recent portrait of Ada, his wife and muse for sixty years, whom he has painted more than two hundred times. In the large canvases that Alex Katz calls Splits, a single subject is painted from different angles and repeated in sequence. The images are cut or “split”, as if taken by a camera. They are inspired by the new possibilities that the smartphone offers to take pictures easily, and thus sum up the paradigms of a contemporary world influenced by photography, cinema and the mass media. Alongside the paintings we will show four preparatory cartoons: large drawings made by the artist to enlarge the images and transfer them onto canvas with the same technique that Raphael and the Renaissance artists used to transfer the outlines of their frescos to the walls. We will also present a number of drawings from the 1960s to the present, made in pencil or charcoal, and individual oil sketches on panel. The entire creative process will thus be visible, from the drawing through an oil study and a cartoon until the final oil painting.

Francesca Gabbiani’s working methods are complex as layers of paper are intricately cut out and collaged on top of one another. The process is a breaking down of an image through color and then reconstructing that same image through stratifications. These layers create a depth and perspective that is both painterly and sculptural. Gabbiani directs the material, colored paper, to have dramatic effects. The show in Zuoz presents her most recent body of work and research. The artist has been strongly moved by the sudden and persistent blazing of fires that have hit California during the last few years – impressed by the degree of danger as well as by a sort of apocalyptic beauty: “I moved to Silver Lake from Echo Park around 2000 and Griffith Park caught fire when I was living across from it. I started to paint these fires. It seemed like a good time to start making landscape paintings because the landscape was completely changing and I was trying to make sense of these changes and to make it more abstract almost as a coping mechanism. The fires are so intense that I find the need to transform them so I can live with them. I became interested, and still am, in forgotten or transforming urbanism, those spaces that are part of the idea of a forgotten city inside the city. Spaces where things aren’t taken care of or neglected. I mix all of these contradictions in the drawings, which I make with colored ink, airbrush and intricately cut paper. Some of this paper appears to float or fall off the piece, which references the context of fires and destruction and fragility of the landscape and also draws attention to the technique. It’s a very precarious urbanist equilibrium in this city, one wind in one direction or another can burn everything down.”


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