alfonso artiaco
alfonso artiaco
founded in 1986

mathelda balatresi
17.04.2014 - 31.05.2014

Alfonso Artiaco gallery is pleased to announce the opening of the solo exhibition by Mathelda Balatresi, Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 7 pm, in the artistís presence.

Mathelda Balatresi, Tuscan-born but Neapolitan by adoption, is one of the most important Neapolitan artists of the '80s, who gained ďthe unanimous acclaim of a deliberately discreet critic (Filiberto Menna, catalogue Letto nel Giardino, Villa Pignatelli - Naples, May 1983).
After her arrival in Naples in the early fifties, she turned her attention to the art world, first attending the art school and then the Academy of Fine Arts. From then on she took part to the cultural and artistic debate in the years to follow.

Mathelda Balatresi looks into the drama of the existential condition of women of any culture and the horror of any kind of ideology and violation. Her rich production of paintings, sculptures and writings has generated several exhibitions, as for example the one dedicated to Hypatia, (National Archaeological Museum of Naples, 2010) scientist and astronomer of the fourth century A.D. who got killed with potsherd. If one considers the countless stories of femicide that still are to be told or read as of today, the theme of her research proves to be more topical then ever.

The artistís focus on the surrounding reality and in particular on the events that disrupt the world, has culminated in the series of works On War and Peace, to which also the installation Mine in Fiore (blooming mines) here on show, belongs to.  Despite its subject matter, the visual language used by Balatresi aims to represent the drama through an apparent detachment.

Notes on minefield (Mine in Fiore)

Mine, noun: a weapon consisting of a strong explosive charge triggered by a specific ignition system. This system is meant to be activated by man, woman, child, any subject that, being unaware of being walking on a minefield, will cause their explosion. In order to facilitate this encounter, the mine producers, cynically thinking of the children, have sometimes put small dolls on the ignition systems which blow up in the moment they are touched.

Flower, noun: the part of the plant that is often brightly coloured, variably shaped and has mostly a pleasant smell, that normally bears reproductive organs.

"I opposed in a single object the flower that contains life, the beauty of shapes, colours and scents and the mine, symbol of death, deceit and pain. The flower instead of containing its vital organs of reproduction, bears the hiding mine which instead mutilates, destroys and kills.
I have often used contrast to search for images. I have been working on the war and peace theme for a very long time now, producing sets of artwork which include the Mine in Fiore drawings installed at the Materdei subway station in Naples, landscapes that show the bombsí smoke at any time of the day and the night, landscapes with lying figures that occupy earth and sky, portraits of the good and the bad. This last set of little sculptures of painted metal, set one next to the other as in a minefield, is also called Mine in fiore". (Mathelda Balatresi)

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