Where: museo d’arte contemporanea Villa Croce
When: May 3rd – August 8th 2016

Curated by Ilaria Bonacossa

I believe in technique, in its capacity to structure emotions on the painterly surface…Roberto Coda Zabetta

The Contemporary Art Museum of Villa Croce launches a new project, that questions the limits between the exhibition space, its aura and the intimate space of the artist’s studio.
For this reasons Roberto Coda Zabetta’s new project #FILMBOX01 occupies a corner room of the museum’s monumental first floor, transforming it temporarily into an artist studio. This new intimate space, constructed in dialogue with the museum’s architecture, offers an unexpected and personal form of encounter with art in a prolonged time frame. The nature of the project will thus not have an official opening but will instead be activated by talks, artist presentation and workshops.

Painting, has always been, for Roberto Coda Zabetta, a state of mind as much as a physical necessity, a personal method to give form to the magmatic chaos of matter. Usually large-scaled, his works show how to seize and ‘force’ pigments into a a transparent, airy impasto that violates the two-dimensionality of the canvas. In particular #FILMBOX01, the large box with 4 windows and a door, made of canvases, left rough on the outside and completely painted on the inside, allows the public to immerse themselves in a three dimensional painting experience, made of thin and impalpable ‘films’ of colour. The work evokes the analogue nature of film as opposed to the flatness of digital media, transforming the viewing experience into a surreal form of visual poetry. Pigments themselves undergo, thus, physical forms of stimulation through, air, forces and gravity, simulating the geological processes that bring to life marble, onyx, jade or alabaster. Roberto Coda Zabetta‘s new works seem to play with contemporary abstraction through a tactile and visceral relationship to the traditional materials of painting that are ‘forced’ into a site specific structure, that evokes sidereal spaces that are millions light years away from us, while their transparencies pay homage to traditional Chinese and Japanese watercolours.

Passing some time alone inside #FILMBOX01 shows how abstraction can take us inside an intimate place where “the mind” can be left behind, where our gaze glides fast along horizontal, vertical and concentric lines, rising to the surface and plunging into the depth; the painterly substance becomes fluid and transparent thanks to the use of air as a painterly tool. #FILMBOX01 questions the limits of contemporary abstraction by establishing a tactile and visceral relation with the classic materials of painting which are ‘forcefully’ turned into transparent wefts through the use of spatulas and compressed air.

Roberto Coda Zabetta (Biella, 1975) lives and works in Milan. He has presented his work in Italian and International venues such as: The Shit Museum, Piacenza; Cultural Centre Belgrade, Belgrade; MAC Museum of Contemporary Art, Rio de Janeiro, Antonio Ratti Foundation, Como; Palazzo Reale, Milano, The David Roberts Foundation, London; National Portrait Gallery, London; Foundation selection at the Centre International d’Accueil et d’Echanges des Récollets, Paris; XIV Quadriennale. Promotrice delle Belle Arti, Turin; Pistoletto Art Foundation, Biella. In 2016 he will present his work at Annette Gelink Gallery Amsterdam and will be artist in Residence at the American Academy in Rome