Oil Paintings


3 April – 31 May 2023


This series of small oils on canvas and panels are a combination of observation and imagination that are reflecting my sense of wonder and a lack of artifice that can be discovered only from life. To penetrate the secrets of nature it is necessary to give free rein to the abstract processes of the mind and to find expression for direct emotional responses. To capture the essential elements, we need a probe to pull out the mysterious and profound nucleus.

This body of work has been generated in a residence held in west Sicily around the Nature Reserve “Saline di Trapani and Paceco” during the summer of 2022.

“In the frame of the vast natural park, it is possible to move only on foot in order not to scare the wild animals and these constraints led me to choose a fast and easily transportable way with which to work outside: small-format panels and canvases and techniques that predispose to synthesis, a poetic of the essential.

Lost in the pinks, browns and blues of the salty marshes, my journey took me to many different places around the natural reservoir working along the banks of the marshes under different shades of light and in the hinterland, where the golden fields are drawing sunburned dry hills and valleys. In this “painted journey,” I am following in the footsteps of painters such as Thomas Jones, Turner, Whistler and many others that started to build a new visual imaginary that has always inspired me. Thomas Jones is the first painter that inspired in me the idea of “discrepancy” in the landscape. If we cease to look at the landscape as a product of the human activity, we see an impressive amount of undecided spaces, like he has done in Naples in the years 1778-1779. It was then that he developed his landscape painting, not as a mimetic picture of reality, but as a structural and geometrical projection of forgotten pieces of the city, neglected fragments which he framed on paper.

My love for art history and the tradition of painting led me to investigate and study also the modern and contemporary art and artist such as Giorgio Morandi, Richard Diebenkorn, Etel Adnan and Llse d’Hollander among many others are bearers of a new and contemporary vision of the landscape.

My purpose was to give back the immediacy of the real. I used to work tirelessly from life, outdoors, quickly and intensely, constantly moving from place to place and looking for different lights and sights.

This body of works draws attention to the immediacy of the plein air, of the image achieved in a flash, quickly grabbed and then revised at the studio.

The procedure starts with painting from nature. Paint and draw, because drawing becomes a complementary experience to painting, permitting one to collect a series of notes, and a plot to work on.

Back in the studio, I had the chance to develop and rethink at the first glimpses and add layers and intensity to the paint surface to obtain a more elaborate picture. In my pictorial work, I am finding an ever greater dialogue between oils and watercolours that allows me to move between the two techniques while maintaining the same freshness, transparency and fluency. One technique enhance the other and gave me signals on the way through. The more time I spend listening to my paintings, the more I understand and create a dialogue around their becoming. They suggest the path to take that for everyone is different and unpredictable.

Each technique has its characteristics, mood and character that must be understood. Paint has a life of its own if you allow it to express itself, it will surprise you by showing its character. Oil painting can be used in many ways, from the technical point of view is the most complete and versatile of all painting mediums because it allows fluidity but also higher materiality and intensity of colour. In addition, it allows you to work spontaneously on any type of surface. On paper, panel and canvas the drying changes but remains the same spontaneity and colour vibration that makes the surface appear as just painted. Watercolour is very gentle, delicate and emotional, and has all the potential of oil painting but the big difference is that it is full of light. That’s the life of the painting…”

New Monotypes!

from the serie ‘Terra di Dio’ printed by @stamperia_arte_albicocco

Every unique piece is printed with 2/3 layers of colour. As usual with monotypes, I’ve used a roller to apply the colour and some brushes and rags to remove and add paint from the surface. The thin layer of wet ink is incredibly sensible and every mark and good accident of the process remains present in the print. In this series I’m going to experiment with different ways of suggesting temperature, movement and contrast, masking out and pulling out the light from the paper.

‘Recent Work’

18 August – 10 September

Messums London


Francesco Poiana’s diaphanous and dream-like renditions of Italy are like memories, both contemporary and rooted in history. Working en plein air in the Italian landscape, these recent paintings are spontaneous, visual notes that speak to the past as well as something of our contemporary concerns…

online exhibition

Italian Journey

8 January – 7 February 2021

During the spring and summer of 2020 Francesco travelled back to Italy to record his time there, capturing the light and the passing days of lockdown, these notes on the landscape are en plein air diary entries of an immutable countryside during a very particular time.

Drawing on the paintings of Jean-François Millet, these studies on the landscape and the people who inhabit it refer back to Francesco’s own roots. They look at the narratives of people within these rural enclaves, the elemental nature of the enduring landscape and Francesco’s own life within it.

I landed in Venice at the beginning of May. The airport was a desert. Only a few passengers and some soldier standing at the gate. I started to draw from the first day of my Italian quarantine. The village on the hill side where I live was silent and full of sunlight, not many viruses case up there just an echo of fear.

The Art of Monoprinting

‘Making Introductions’ is produced in partnership with Messums London and focuses on the techniques that stand at the core of their respective studio processes. We begin this series with a focus on the technique of printmaking with Francesco Poiana who we began working with in 2019 with his debut show following a residency at Messums Wiltshire as part of our emerging talents programme.

Visual Notes

What lies behind an artwork? A painting, a sculpture or any piece of art entails a study, an observation and a conceptual elaboration. The eye is the organ with the most rooted connection in the central nervous system, responsible for the reception of the light stimuli that are generating the visual experience .

The observation and the study of the phenomenal reality is the first feeling that we perceive of the surrounding world: the first impression of an object absorbed by the eye is deposited in the mind, thus generating a thought. The creative process develops from the notes, from the idea recorded on the support; the intimate connection between abstract idea and actual picture takes place at this moment.

Many artists and designers are taking notes before they start to work on the real opus. Many of these artists have left a great legacy of precious and significant sketchbooks, which are often the key to understanding the complexity of their work.

In my case, the sketchbooks are the biographical diary of my life. They are a constant of my journey, essential company and a means of understanding nature of my work. I draw my perception in order to understand it and arrange it in the library of experience. They are often also a repository of fears and chimeras that can only survive only on the paper; in this never- ending research I get an ephemeral satisfaction and an urgent desire to find a solution. In accordance with this method, my approach is to start with small open-air studies and photographs, immersed in the actual situation as a protagonist / observer of the contemporary world where shapes and colour are creating the nature of perception.

Dipingere al volo / Flying Sketches

La prassi è quella di dipingere dalla natura. Dipingere e disegnare, perché il disegno rimane sempre esperienza complementare, consente una serie di appunti, una trama su cui lavorare. Mi perdo nei paesi, nel verde dei campi, dipingo spostandomi a piccole tappe. L’obbiettivo è restituire l’immediatezza del vero, cercando corrispondenze fra paesaggio e stato d’animo, calibrato sul vero ed eseguito in fretta per cogliere la natura sul fatto. Il soggetto è ogni volta un luogo qualunque, un non-luogo rivisitato nella sua misteriosa bellezza.