Het portreit van de ziel

“De animatie van het doek is een van de moeilijkste problemen van de schilderkunst.”

(Alfred Sisley)

De evolutie van het portret in de kunstgeschiedenis kan worden gelijkgesteld met de evolutie van de weergave van de beeltenis van de kindertijd naar de volwassenheid. De impuls om portretten te schilderen is een spontane en primordiale noodzaak: vertrekkend van een opzettelijk portret komen we, dankzij de persoonlijke groei van de kunstenaar, tot het fysionomische portret dat niet alleen concrete somatische kenmerken heeft, maar ook het psychologische karakter, de spiritualiteit en het morele oordeel van de geportretteerde analyseert. Ook al werd het in de oudheid beschouwd als een genre dat inferieur is aan het historische tafereel, voor sommige historici is het portret het oudste en meest verbreide artistieke genre dat de ontwikkeling van de cultuur van de samenleving tastbaar volgt: er zijn maar weinig historische tijdperken en beschavingen waarin het portret niet aan bod komt.

De tentoonstelling Het portreit van de ziel wil dus de hedendaagse situatie documenteren van dit genre dat altijd een grote aantrekkingskracht heeft gehad. De zes aanwezige kunstenaars hebben het doel van Alfred Sisley (1839-1899) bereikt: zij hebben een ontwikkelingsstadium bereikt waarin zij in staat zijn het onderwerp van het werk te animeren, dat wil zeggen dat zij ziel en geest in het materiaal brengen door er hun persoonlijke artistieke en creatieve toets aan toe te voegen. Laten we ze beter leren kennen.

Sinds 2015 concentreert de Milanese kunstenares Susanna Maccari zich op de analyse van de vrouwelijke figuur in aquarellen: haar vitale en waterige toetsen zijn elegant en delicaat, en tonen de innerlijke kracht, schoonheid en intelligentie van de vrouw met pasteltinten van uiterste verfijning.

Met een heel andere techniek onderzoekt de kunstenaar Leonardo Vecchiarino uit Foggia ook de schoonheid van de hedendaagse vrouw: fascinerende moderne nimfen met een prerafaëlitische inslag (19e eeuw), geschilderd in olieverf met bleke, koude kleuren, worden geplaatst in volkomen surrealistische symbolische contexten die bestaan uit collages met fragmenten uit het dagelijks leven.

Een andere belangrijke exponent van de hedendaagse Lombardische portretkunst is ongetwijfeld de kunstenaar Giorgio Riva, die ons met zijn werken op hout ertoe aanzet de vrouwenfiguur te interpreteren in een dromerige, symbolische en transcendente versie die doet denken aan de Art Nouveau (1890-1910): de ruimten worden in de tijd opgeschort en stralen rust en harmonie uit dankzij de kleur en de grafische oogjes die het beeld creëren.

De jonge Bresciaanse kunstenares Laura Zani, een nieuwkomer in het project Hedendaagse Italiaanse Kunst in Nederland dat door Manzoni Kunst Galerie wordt gesteund, is bij verzamelaars ook bekend om haar inktwerken en fine art prints met kinderportretten. Dankzij het spel van het licht en de transparantie van de gebruikte media creëert de kunstenares een zuiver universum waarin gratie natuurlijk is en, zoals ze zelf zegt, “waar je nog kunt hopen dat alles mogelijk is en waar je toevallig zeemeerminnen ontmoet”.

De enige Nederlandse portrettiste in de tentoonstelling is de Brabantse Marieke Samuels, die dankzij haar artistieke poëtica de geportretteerde vrouw uit het abstracte doek laat oprijzen als ware het een visioen uit een droom: de toeschouwer krijgt zo de gedachte en de essentie van de protagoniste te pakken.

Wat de beeldhouwkunst betreft, is de enige beeldhouwer in de galerie Claudio Caporaso uit Ligurië, die zich concentreert op de diepgaande en voortdurend veranderende identiteiten van de onderwerpen in brons. De geportretteerde lijdende zielen zijn geïdealiseerd en schetsen met grote gevoeligheid de hedendaagse geest van de mens.

De tentoonstelling Het portreit va de ziel geeft zo een volledig beeld van de hedendaagse maatschappij, realistisch in haar fenomenale kant, voortdurend op zoek naar een ontsnapping uit de dagelijkse angsten door middel van symboliek, dromen, emoties en illusies.

29 april – 26 juni 2022

Manzoni Kunst Galerie (Snellingerdijk 122, Oosterwolde)

English version

The portrait of the soul

“The animation of the canvas is one of the most difficult problems of painting.”

(Alfred Sisley)

The evolution of the portrait in the history of art can be equated with the evolution of the reproduction of the image from childhood to adulthood. The impulse to paint portraits is a spontaneous and primordial necessity: starting from an intentional portrait we arrive, thanks to the personal growth of the artist, at the physiognomic portrait that not only has concrete somatic features but also analyses the psychological character, spirituality and moral judgement of the subject. Even though in ancient times it was considered an inferior genre to the historical scene, for some historians the portrait is the oldest and most widespread artistic genre that tangibly follows the development of society’s culture: there are very few historical epochs and civilisations in which the portrait is not taken into consideration.

The exhibition Het portreit van de ziel thus aims to document the contemporary situation of this genre that has always had great appeal. The six artists present have achieved Alfred Sisley’s (1839-1899) goal: they have reached a stage of evolution where they are able to animate the subject of the work, that is to say, they infuse soul and spirit into the material by adding their personal artistic and creative touch. Let’s get to know them better.

Since 2015, Milanese artist Susanna Maccari has been concentrating on analysing the female figure in watercolours: her vital and watery touches are elegant and delicate, and show the inner strength, beauty and intelligence of women with pastel tones of extreme refinement.

With an extremely different technique, the artist Leonardo Vecchiarino from Foggia also investigates the Beauty of contemporary women: fascinating modern nymphs with a Pre-Raphaelite flavour (19th century), painted in oils with pale, cold colours, are set in completely surreal symbolic contexts made of collages showing fragments of everyday life.

Another important exponent of contemporary Lombard portraiture is certainly the artist Giorgio Riva who, with his works on wood, encourages us to interpret the female figure in a dreamlike, symbolic and transcendental version reminiscent of Art Nouveau (1890-1910): the spaces are suspended in time and convey calm and harmony thanks to the colour and graphic eyelets that create the image.

The young Brescian artist Laura Zani, a newcomer to the Contemporary Italian Art in the Netherlands project supported by Manzoni Kunst Galerie, is also well known to collectors for her ink works and fine art prints featuring portraits of children. Thanks to the play of light and the transparency of the media used, the artist creates a pure universe in which grace is natural and, as she herself says, “where you can still hope that anything is possible and where you happen to meet mermaids”.

The only Dutch portraitist in the exhibition is Marieke Samuels from Brabant who, thanks to her artistic poetics, makes the portrayed female subject emerge from the abstract canvas as if it were a vision from a dream: the spectator thus grasps the thought and essence of the protagonist.

As far as sculpture is concerned, the only sculptor in the gallery is Claudio Caporaso from Liguria, who concentrates on the profound and constantly changing identities of his bronze subjects. The suffering souls portrayed are idealised and sketch the contemporary spirit of the human being with great sensitivity.

The exhibition Het portreit va de ziel thus fully captures today’s contemporary society, realistic in its phenomenal side, constantly searching for an escape from everyday anxieties through symbolism, dreams, emotions and illusions.

Il ritratto dell’anima

“L’animazione della tela è uno dei più difficili problemi della pittura.”

(Alfred Sisley)

L’evoluzione del ritratto nella storia dell’arte può essere equiparata all’evoluzione della riproduzione dell’immagine dall’età infantile all’età adulta. L’impulso al ritratto è una necessità spontanea e primordiale: partendo da un ritratto intenzionale si arriva, grazie alla crescita personale dell’artista, al ritratto fisiognomico che oltre ad avere tratti somatici concreti analizza anche il carattere psicologico, la spiritualità e il giudizio morale del soggetto. Anche se anticamente è stato considerato un genere inferiore alla scena storica, per alcuni storici il ritratto è il genere artistico più antico e diffuso che segue tangibilmente lo sviluppo della cultura della società: sono davvero rare le epoche storiche e le civiltà in cui il ritratto non viene preso in considerazione.

La mostra Het portreit van de ziel vuole così documentare la situazione contemporanea di questo genere che ha sempre avuto grande fascino. I sei artisti presenti hanno raggiunto l’obiettivo che si prefiggeva Alfred Sisley (1839-1899): sono giunti a uno stadio evolutivo in cui riescono ad animare il soggetto dell’opera, ossia, infondono anima e spirito alla materia aggiungendo il loro personale tocco artistico-creativo. Andiamo a conoscerli meglio.

L’artista milanese Susanna Maccari dal 2015 si sta concentrando nell’analisi della figura femminile ad acquarello: i suoi tocchi vitali ed acquosi sono eleganti e delicati, e mostrano la forza interiore, la bellezza, l’intelligenza della donna con toni pastello di un’estrema raffinatezza.

Con una tecnica estremamente diversa, anche l’artista foggiano Leonardo Vecchiarino indaga la Bellezza della donna contemporanea: affascinanti ninfe moderne dal sapore Preraffaelitico (XIX secolo), dipinte ad olio con colori pallidi e freddi, sono inserite in contesti simbolici completamente surreali realizzati a collage che mostrano frammenti di quotidianità.

Un altro esponente importante per la ritrattistica lombarda contemporanea è certamente l’artista Giorgio Riva che, con le sue opere su legno, stimola ad interpretare la figura femminile in una versione onirica, simbolica e trascendentale che ricorda l’Art Nouveau (1890-1910): gli spazi sono sospesi nel tempo e trasmettono calma e armonia grazie al colore e agli occhielli grafici che creano l’immagine.

Anche la giovane artista bresciana Laura Zani, new entry del progetto Arte italiana contemporanea in Olanda sostenuto dalla Manzoni Kunst Galerie, è ormai conosciuta ai collezionisti per le sue opere ad inchiostro e per le stampe fine art che hanno per soggetto i ritratti di bambini. Grazie ai giochi di luce e alla trasparenza del media usato, l’artista crea un universo puro in un cui la grazia è naturale e, come dice lei stessa “dove si può ancora sperare che tutto sia possibile e dove capita di incontrare le sirene”.

Unica ritrattista olandese in mostra è Marieke Samuels dal Brabante che, grazie alla sua poetica artistica fa fuoriuscire dalla tela astratta il soggetto femminile ritratto come se fosse una visione di un sogno: lo spettatore coglie così il pensiero e l’essenza della protagonista.

Per quanto riguarda la scultura, l’unico scultore presente in galleria è il ligure Claudio Caporaso che si concentra sulle identità profonde in continuo mutamento dei soggetti realizzati in bronzo. Le anime sofferenti ritratte vengono idealizzate e tratteggiano con grande sensibilità lo spirito contemporaneo dell’essere umano.

La mostra Het portreit va de ziel coglie quindi in pieno la società contemporanea odierna, realista nella sua parte fenomenica, alla constante ricerca di una via di fuga dalle inquietudini quotidiane tramite le simbologie, i sogni, le emozioni e le illusioni.

29 aprile – 26 giugno 2022

Manzoni Kunst Galerie (Snellingerdijk 122, Oosterwolde)

English version

The portrait of the soul

“The animation of the canvas is one of the most difficult problems of painting.”

(Alfred Sisley)

The evolution of the portrait in the history of art can be equated with the evolution of the reproduction of the image from childhood to adulthood. The impulse to paint portraits is a spontaneous and primordial necessity: starting from an intentional portrait we arrive, thanks to the personal growth of the artist, at the physiognomic portrait that not only has concrete somatic features but also analyses the psychological character, spirituality and moral judgement of the subject. Even though in ancient times it was considered an inferior genre to the historical scene, for some historians the portrait is the oldest and most widespread artistic genre that tangibly follows the development of society’s culture: there are very few historical epochs and civilisations in which the portrait is not taken into consideration.

The exhibition Het portreit van de ziel thus aims to document the contemporary situation of this genre that has always had great appeal. The six artists present have achieved Alfred Sisley’s (1839-1899) goal: they have reached a stage of evolution where they are able to animate the subject of the work, that is to say, they infuse soul and spirit into the material by adding their personal artistic and creative touch. Let’s get to know them better.

Since 2015, Milanese artist Susanna Maccari has been concentrating on analysing the female figure in watercolours: her vital and watery touches are elegant and delicate, and show the inner strength, beauty and intelligence of women with pastel tones of extreme refinement.

With an extremely different technique, the artist Leonardo Vecchiarino from Foggia also investigates the Beauty of contemporary women: fascinating modern nymphs with a Pre-Raphaelite flavour (19th century), painted in oils with pale, cold colours, are set in completely surreal symbolic contexts made of collages showing fragments of everyday life.

Another important exponent of contemporary Lombard portraiture is certainly the artist Giorgio Riva who, with his works on wood, encourages us to interpret the female figure in a dreamlike, symbolic and transcendental version reminiscent of Art Nouveau (1890-1910): the spaces are suspended in time and convey calm and harmony thanks to the colour and graphic eyelets that create the image.

The young Brescian artist Laura Zani, a newcomer to the Contemporary Italian Art in the Netherlands project supported by Manzoni Kunst Galerie, is also well known to collectors for her ink works and fine art prints featuring portraits of children. Thanks to the play of light and the transparency of the media used, the artist creates a pure universe in which grace is natural and, as she herself says, “where you can still hope that anything is possible and where you happen to meet mermaids”.

The only Dutch portraitist in the exhibition is Marieke Samuels from Brabant who, thanks to her artistic poetics, makes the portrayed female subject emerge from the abstract canvas as if it were a vision from a dream: the spectator thus grasps the thought and essence of the protagonist.

As far as sculpture is concerned, the only sculptor in the gallery is Claudio Caporaso from Liguria, who concentrates on the profound and constantly changing identities of his bronze subjects. The suffering souls portrayed are idealised and sketch the contemporary spirit of the human being with great sensitivity.

The exhibition Het portreit va de ziel thus fully captures today’s contemporary society, realistic in its phenomenal side, constantly searching for an escape from everyday anxieties through symbolism, dreams, emotions and illusions.