Critics’ Picks

Andrea Salvino, Too Soon, Too Late, 2015, oil on canvas, 90 1/2 x 118".

Andrea Salvino, Too Soon, Too Late, 2015, oil on canvas, 90 1/2 x 118".


Andrea Salvino

Studio SALES di Norberto Ruggeri
Piazza Dante 2
June 4–September 4, 2015

Andrea Salvino, a Roman artist who has lived in Berlin for years, practices what might be a new kind of history painting. Inspired by events that have actually occurred, he collects materials and cultural artifacts that, once cleansed of ideologies and attachment, are repositioned within a collective memory that is also strongly personal. For his first exhibition at this gallery, Salvino deploys different subjects that appear to have no point of contact with one another. From drawings on paper to oil on canvas, the artist expresses himself with a delicate but extremely incisive hand.

Honing in on themes extrapolated from sociopolitical and cinematic history, two large, central paintings, both titled Too Early, Too Late, 2015, depict, respectively, a girl abandoned in a clearing and a study of a mannequin in an interior. The former is in fact a scene taken from the science-fiction film Barbarella (1968). This image is echoed in seven drawings on the wall to the right, where more-or-less-legendary female figures such as Claretta Petacci—Mussolini’s mistress who was executed—are portrayed, along with nudes in graphite on an original telegram from the Third Reich. These images remain suspended in a funereal atmosphere. Three other works on the wall to the left portray male figures during moments of violent protest or meditation as a counterpoint. Like a form of Mephistophelean channel surfing that ricochets from violence to eroticism, from pop to high culture, these works invite us to interpret the artist’s view of a history that is also our own.

Translated from Italian by Marguerite Shore.