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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Foreign Eyes, Local Lights

The exhibit of foreign plein air painters opened at the Forte di Sangallo in Civita Castellana last evening. The organizers—Maddine Insalaco, Joe Vinson, Emanuele Rossini, Alison Kurke—did a great job of gathering the artists and their work, and shepherding the exhibit through the regional bureaucracy to the impressive venue in the spectacular fortezza, which houses the local museum of Faliscan culture, in particular terracotta work (some of it on display in the exhibit space). A welcome catalogue includes Maddine’s fine introductory essay, which highlights the precarious nature of the local landscape, so beloved of painters for centuries and so vulnerable to short-sighted economic blight. She reiterated those thoughts in brief in her brief speech that helped open the exhibit, and I would distill two essential ideas from the exhibit that have wider implications:
1. that artists are often the most alert, and active, advocates of beautiful environments, and could be more widely engaged to defend threatened landscapes
2. that the plein air movement, a branch of the wider Anglophone world’s renaissance of realist and figurative art, is producing exceptional work that stands up to comparisons with its predecessors

The show is up until 11 November.

Some photos from the evening follow…
frescoes for the patron, piano nobile
the cortile, looking toward the exhibition

Maddine Insalaco and Joe Vinson listening to introductory remarks

Emanuele Rossini delivers his remarks

the venue; to the right, Alison Kurke with a catalogue

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