Italia - Infinito
Italia - Infinito
Art has the ability to build bridges and transcend barriers. A work of art whispers to the viewer in a language of its own, a language comprised of accents attune to form, colour and emotion. An articulate work of art draws upon a vocabulary of talent, discipline and passion. Italia Infinito is an exhibition celebrating the long established artistic bonds between Australasia and Italy.
One of the earliest such bonds dates back to the late 19th century when Sienna born painter Girolamo Nerli (1861-1926) travelled to Australia and New Zealand. Nerli had studied in Florence and was a member of the Italian Macchiaioli School, an Italian movement anticipating French Impressionism. In Australia he worked with Heidelberg School artists Arthur Streeton, Tom Roberts and Charles Conder and his influence on these Australian Impressionists is undeniable. Crossing the Tasman to Dunedin Nerli was the teacher of Frances Hodgkins and in 1884 established the Otago Art Academy .
Australian Impressionist Kasey Sealy continues this tradition. Paintings created in Venice and the medieval Tuscan hilltop town of Lucignano feature in Italia Infinito. The contemporary frescoes of Veneto based Franco Anselmi, who has enjoyed New Zealand representation for over 20 years, bring with them the vibrancy of Venetian painting. New works by Milan based Paolo Canetti and the finely painted panels and ceramics of Umbrian artist Carlo Mirabasso lift the spirits. Leading New Zealand landscapist Simon Williams travelled to Italy earlier this year and Italia Infinito proudly showcases the first works in an exciting new series of paintings. In a fitting tribute to Pietro Annigoni, Palmerston North based Philip Holmes creates a Madonna in the medium of oil and conté.
On behalf of International Art Centre I would like to thank the Italian Chamber of Commerce and the contributing artists. It is their commitment and talent which fosters the bridge of simpatico.
Frances Davies - Director