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…
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.
‘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.
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.
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.
First Version of the artwork commissioned by CAMPARI. N100 Exhibition is a showcase of pieces created in collaboration with Central Saint Martins, inspired by the world-famous Negroni cocktail. The work has been showcased at the Estorick Collection, London.
Like in Tarkovsky’s “Zone” the landscapes here are taking the shape of a psychological site, every place is real and fantastic at the same time. This is the point at which psychology and geography collide, psychogeography, a mirror of our subconscious thoughts on the emotional landscape.