I am she by Davide Coltro: in Milan the New Medial Artist's Medial Paintings.

From Oct. 21 to Nov. 28, 2021, the Francesco Messina Studio Museum in Milan will host Davide Coltro's "Io sono lei": the great protagonist of new media art revisits Messina's Dancers by transforming them into media paintings.

Entitled Io sono lei, the solo exhibition of Davide Maria Coltro (Verona, 1967), one of the main protagonists of new media art, opened Oct. 21 at the Studio Museo Francesco Messina in Milan and will remain open until Nov. 28. Curated by Alberto Fiz, the exhibition features 25 previously unseen works created for the occasion, including three Media Paintings of more than two meters that interact with sculptures by Francesco Messina. Coltro was in 2001 the inventor of Medial Paintings, a system that radically changes the fruition of the work of art as it allows for the production of a constantly changing flow of information. No longer, then, a fixed or aprioristically determined device, but in progress, capable of creating a renewed relationship with the viewer by enhancing the perceptual component.

In this circumstance, Quadro Mediale intends to make itself an interpreter of the plastic work of Messina and his muse Aida Accolla, étoile at La Scala and in the 1970s prima ballerina. From 1967 to 1982, in fact, Aida was the Sicilian sculptor’s favorite model (Carla Fracci and Luciana Savignano also posed for him), so much so that it was through her that Messina discovered dance. There are more than 20 dancers in the custody of the Messina Museum whose reference is the sinuosity, grace and beauty of Aida, and Coltro appropriated some of them, including the 1982 Dancer, a 90-centimeter bronze sculpture. Following a process of acquisition, he made them the creators of his Medial Paintings in a regenerative logic where the digital works develop a virtual dance involving spatial and temporal dimensions. After all, it is the very title of the exhibition that suggests a continuous cross-reference between sculpture, dance and Aida Accolla. What the artist poses, in fact, is a linguistic hypothesis that could have as its reference the viewer, ready to enter the scene to identify with one of the many female figures proposed at the Francesco Messina Studio Museum.

“Coltro,” explains Alberto Fiz, “does not betray Messina’s lesson but captures its most authentic spirit by bringing the work back to its bare essentiality. Technology becomes the means to acquire the artist’s primary sign according to a logic where the verification of the present occurs through the awareness of the past.” Museum director Maria Fratelli says how “Davide Coltro’s exhibition is a tribute to Aida Accolla. Modeled by Francesco Messina, the étoile is a source of inspiration for numerous ballerinas, who in turn were chosen by Coltro as subjects for his digital representations. The real-life encounter with the woman ignites the work of both artists, and her testimony unites them in a virtual dialogue with three voices, so heated and intense is her memory of the maestro.”

The exhibition addresses the theme of the multiple and the idea of seriality with renewed paradigms with respect to twentieth-century modernity, including the new strategies of the digital art market, proposing different planes of interpretation and causing a series of digital icons produced as a single specimen to derive from each Medial Picture that seem to fix the instant by shattering the temporal flow: “They are Filiazioni, that is, works generated by the Medial Framework but of independent reading, which become memories of continuous becoming,” Coltro says. “It is the phase in which the gaze settles on the image and captures its contents.” Along with the Medial Paintings, the exhibition presents another group of unpublished works that evoke a lesser-known but not secondary aspect of Messina’s investigation, that relating to his production of medals where the sculptor testifies to his great qualities as a portraitist. Coltro makes his own virtual “medals” with a diameter of 15 centimeters that are set like gems within the museum space. Each contains a hypothetical pocket-sized archive of liquid images that aggregate and disaggregate, as if we were leafing through an album of memories. An extensive catalog edited by Alberto Fiz with texts by Maria Fratelli, Davide Maria Coltro and Aida Accolla will then be published on the occasion of the exhibition. The exhibition was realized in collaboration with FerrarinArte. The artist thanks Kromya Art Gallery Lugano and Verona. The artist’s technological partners for this project are Space Farm, Mondo Nuc, Evoluendo and Albed.

Davide Maria Coltro, born in Verona in 1967, lives in Milan. His artistic research is directed to the use of mass technologies with unprecedented architectures that modify the criteria of creation, diffusion and fruition of art. The result of this study is the Quadro Mediale or System of which he is the inventor: it is a device in continuous design development that elaborates and constructs by initiating a new perception of the work of art. The digital painting not only responds to a current historical and cultural vision, but also unleashes the evocative power of the traditional painting. In recent years, Coltro has embarked on a path of theological studies with the desire to nurture his artistic research through an in-depth reflection on man’s relationship with faith and the fundamental themes of human existence. He has participated in prestigious solo and group exhibitions in Italy and abroad. In 2011 he was invited to the Venice Biennale curated by Bice Curiger and on that occasion was presented Res_publica I, a monumental installation of 96 media paintings, concluding one of the most impressive and comprehensive researches on the contemporary landscape. His works have been exhibited in museums and public institutions including: Museum of Modern Art in Moscow, Etagi Loft Project in St. Petersburg, ZKM in Karlsruhe, Urban Planning Center in Shanghai, Museo Pecci in Prato, Collezione Farnesina in Rome, MART in Rovereto, Galleria Civica in Trento, Marca in Catanzaro. Media paintings are in the permanent collections of prestigious public and private collections including: Achille Forte Gallery of Modern Art in Verona, VAF Stiftung Collection in Frankfurt, Panza di Biumo Collection in Varese, Ezio Mariani Civic Gallery in Seregno, Unicredit Collection in Milan, GASC, Gallery of Contemporary Sacred Art in Milan. Coltro is currently working on a volume on Modal Syntony.

I am she by Davide Coltro: in Milan the New Medial Artist's Medial Paintings.
I am she by Davide Coltro: in Milan the New Medial Artist's Medial Paintings.

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