Handel Street Projects is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Italian artist Gabriele Di Matteo. This is the first in our oncoming series of exhibitions exploring the status of painting today.
Since the invention of photography in 1830’, painting has been proclaimed dead many times and Di Matteo’s work goes along these lines. Di Matteo’s paintings are an option for giving an idea a form and they are not stand-alone artworks, but elements of larger artistic procedures. What has interested him since the 80’s and what he explores through the painting is the relationship between the image and its creator, relationship between the copy and original and the problem of authenticity and authorship.
For the show at Handel Street Projects, Di Matteo has made the connection between the series of works by early 1800s’ landscape painters known as Posillipo School and work by American ‘Land Artist’ Robert Smithson. He deploys his usual techniques of coping, not the originals, but the reproductions of the chosen works, some of them including the captions, which accompany the reproductions. In the words of Gilda Williams who has written a text specially for this occasion and which you can read following this link: ‘Di Matteo combines his masterly painterly abilities (associated with the art - historical past) with Land Art – an utterly distant art movement both in history and in approach yet, as we realize, equally labour intensive and equally preoccupied with the sublime. Di Matteo’s work travels in time and space – to 18th century Capri, or a momentous site – visit to the Great Salt Lake with Robert Smithson and Richard Serra - from the comfort of his studio, browsing captioned images in a textbook, paradoxically overlapping the laboriousness of a realist painter with the laziness of an art - loving armchair traveller’.
Gabriele Di Matteo (born1957) has showed internationally in many museums and galleries including Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, FRAC Limoges, BPS 22, Charleroi, Belgium, Museo Pecci, Spacio Borgogno, Milan, Musee d’Art Modern and Contemporain MAMCO, Geneva, FRAC Languedoc-Rousillon, Montpellier, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art Melbourne, National Museum of Contemporary Art Seoul, Casino Luxembourg, Luxembourg and others.
Under the pseudonym, Armando Della Vitoria, Di Matteo founded in 1992 the magazine E il topo, addressing his research primarily to the theme of identity. In 2002, the work of Gabriele Di Matteo has been included in the anthology Vitamin P, New Perspectives in Painting (Phaidon Press, London) He lives and works in Milan.