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#Farnesina – Artists in times of crisis

The contemporary landscape becomes an intimate interior carefully and meticulously depicted by Andrea Chiesi in his oil-on-canvas paintings. The artist, along with the collective “ZimmerFrei”, is the winner of the 2013 Gotham Prize awarded by the Italian Cultural Institute of New York.

3rd edition of the ‘Gotham Prize’

Now in its 3rd edition, the competition offers artists the opportunity to have a one-month exhibition at the Institute’s Park Avenue headquarters. Just back from the United States, the Modena-born painter spoke of “an important opportunity, in a beautiful space”, that gave him “international visibility”. However, this was not the Italian artist’s first time in New York, where he has been working for several years now with the Nohra Haime Gallery and has participated in group shows and even lived for several months in an artists community in Brooklyn. Chiesi brought a selection of 15 recent paintings to The US for the Institute show, all of which are pictorial interpretations of real places he has visited.

Industrial archaeology and the contemporary landscape

“Everything comes out of my explorations and travels, which I then reinvent as interior mental spaces”, the artist explained, stressing his perception of “the contemporary landscape as if it were a body”. Three colours dominate – black, white and gray with some bluish tones. He began with industrial architecture, drawing inspiration from areas of his own home city as well as parts of Turin, Genoa, Naples and Rome, later extending his gaze to Brooklyn and Berlin, where he lived for some months. His latest works include a series called “Uconie”, which “are located in a suspended physical and temporal space”.

Competing on the international scenario

Throughout his artistic career, Chiesi has always felt the need to go abroad, “you have to compete on the international scenario if you want to grow”, the artist underscored, “and competing in New York, the crossroads of the world, is difficult but also quite a challenge”. The economic crisis is a minor concern for the Modenese artist, who instead views it as “an incentive, a stimulus” that “forces you to find solutions, to grow”.

“There have always been crises, painters of the past went through wars and pestilence and still produced masterpieces”, Chiese added, stressing “the centrality of the work, the rest takes on much less importance; artists must not allow themselves to be influenced by crises”. The importance of being promoted abroad must not be underestimated, and the Gotham Prize “a praiseworthy operation” gives artists “a showcase, which is a way to support not only the creativity but also the economy” of Italy.

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