In the Marche region, Nicola Samorì's exhibition that dialogues with ten unpublished paintings by Sassoferrato

Running from October 28, 2022 to January 15, 2023 at Palazzo degli Scalzi in Sassoferrato is the exhibition 'Salvifica. Sassoferrato and Nicola Samorì, Between Ritual and Wound,' a monographic exhibition of contemporary artist Nicola Samorì in dialogue with ten unpublished paintings by Sassoferrato.

Friday, Oct. 28 at 5 p.m. at the Palazzo degli Scalzi in Sassoferrato (Ancona) opens the seventy-first edition of the International Art Review | G. B. Salvi Prize with the exhibition Salvifica. Il Sassoferrato and Nicola Samorì, tra rito e ferita, curated by Federica Facchini and Massimo Pulini, a monographic exhibition of contemporary artist Nicola Samorì (Forlì, 1977) in dialogue with ten unpublished paintings by Giovanni Battista Salvi (Sassoferrato, 1609 -R oma, 1685) known as “il Sassoferrato,” a painter of the 17th century.

The International Art Review | G. B. Salvi Prize is the longest-running Italian art review after the Venice Biennale and the Michetti Prize in Francavilla al Mare. Dedicated to Sentino’s most illustrious citizen, painter Giovanni Battista Salvi, it has represented for years a point of reference, not only regionally, in contemporary artistic research, allowing the Marche city to build up a rich collection that manages to document the most interesting expressive lines of the Italian 20th century. Today, the history of the review its heritage of works, are reconsidered thanks to a renewed impetus. The revitalization of the event does not disavow the history and memory of previous editions; on the contrary, “history” and “memory” are placed at the center of the review. Starting from a deep understanding of what Sassoferrato’s aesthetic position was at the height of the Baroque era, the curators have sought an ideal creative parallel in the contemporary scenario. Salvi’s role and choices were distinguished by a stubborn pictorial research oriented toward the recovery of Renaissance values, setting himself in the opposite direction to the trends of his time.

Starting from this assumption, and with a view to a revival of the exhibition capable of ideally linking past and present, curators Federica Facchini and Massimo Pulini, have singled out Nicola Samorì, an artist who in recent years has achieved museum and critical appreciation of international scope and whose work testifies to an unceasing grafting between past art history and present time. The two artists, Il Sassoferrato and Nicola Samorì, though distant in time, are brought together by various aspects, starting with the almost obsessive attitude to the “re-writing” of themes and models that translates into a continuous and swirling reworking of images, which offer themselves almost with fearless boldness to circulate time and visual memory. Also intervening to bring the two artists closer is a kind of dependence on forms and a strong desire to investigate the meanderings of painting.

Sassoferrato’s 10 previously unpublished works make it possible to trace a limpid constellation of the painter’s artistic activity. The historical section starts with two recent discoveries of early canvases (a Cupid with guitar and Three putti and a triton), executed when he was still in Domenichino’s Roman workshop, constitute a rare example of his classicist training. Previously unpublished and autographed drafts of the Addolorata, Annunziata and Salvator Mundi, iconographies that determined the artist’s success, driving him to obsessive repetition that did not undermine his admirable executive talent, will be on display. Also on view will be never-published variants of the famous Madonna and Child Sleeping and the rediscovered Madonna and Child with St. John, the best version among those known so far of a late invention. In this way, a coherent narrative of Sassoferrato’s entire professional arc is traced, and some works, such as the Virgin in Prayer in the poster, will be placed alongside the intense interpretations executed for the occasion by Nicola Samorì.

It is in the series The Mouth (2022) that Samorì’s closest dialogue with Salvi materializes, exemplifying that concept of “different repetition” expressed by both the one and the other artist. If for the sentinate the reiteration of a devotional, sacred, pious image corresponds to a spiritual and salvific mantra - precisely - for the artist from Ravenna it becomes an opportunity to show the slow and progressive consumption of matter, image, identity: the wound slowly invades the space and teaches us that art is no longer something comforting but also something destabilizing as long as it makes us reflect.

Lucia (2019) is one of the first works Samorì began to make around the geode. The offended saint in the gaze, Saint Lucia, here shows the obvious signs of her martyrdom. The trauma becomes more evident the closer one approaches the work, leading the viewer almost to an inner look, to the discovery of “what” caused that drama. Samorì manages to cross over from painting to sculpture and vice versa, showing us how inside the chasm, inside the darkness, inside the hole, there is possibility of redemption, of rebirth: the mystery of life.

Also in the sculpture with Artaud (2021) Samorì chooses to refer to an emblematic character of the twentieth century, the French playwright theorizer of the Theater of Cruelty, where again cruelty does not mean torture and pain, but on the contrary catharsis. Samorì makes all this visible through an arched, suffering, emaciated body that crumbles under the blows of physical and psychological distress, which is increasingly frequent and manifest in contemporary society. Another sculpture the Madonna del sasso (2022) again reveals its connection with the ancient, with formal suggestions derived from a 15th-century bas-relief attributed to Laurana. Here, too, the classical form falls apart, losing its ancient smoothness to become rough, bubbly. It appears as if it were made from the scraps of the works that preceded it. An anti-classical motherhood par excellence but one that suggests how even where there is no beauty there can be love and sweetness.

The exhibition, which enjoys the patronage and support of the Marche Region, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Fondazione Cr Fabriano and Cupramontana and has BCC Pergola and Corinaldo as sponsor, will be accompanied by a catalog with texts by curators Federica Facchini and Massimo Pulini and images of all the works on display.

Hours: Friday, 3:30-6:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. | 3:30-6:30 p.m. Exhibition closed Dec. 25, 2022 and Jan. 1, 2023.

Information: Point I.A.T. Sassoferrato Tel. +39 0732 956257 | 333 7301732 - 333 7300890 Facebook: rassegnasalvi Instagram: rassegnasalvi

In the Marche region, Nicola Samorì's exhibition that dialogues with ten unpublished paintings by Sassoferrato
In the Marche region, Nicola Samorì's exhibition that dialogues with ten unpublished paintings by Sassoferrato

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