Stefano Arienti. Antipolvere @GalCivModena

On Saturday 25 March at 6pm at the Galleria Civica di Modena, the solo show Antipolvere by Stefano Arienti will open. In the main hall of Palazzo Santa Margherita, around 30 works will be on display, tracing 25 years of work of one of the best known and most widely recognised Italian artists on an international level.

His works on paper as well as on less conventional supports – such as the major drawings produced on tarpaulin – commissioned by public institutions and private foundations, testify to his ceaseless research in which images are subjected to infinite processes of study and variation: photocopied, traced, outlined with perforations, woven or redrawn in gold. The works selected include a major canvas produced in 2012 for the Isabella Stewart Garden Museum of Boston, never shown before in Italy, and two previously unseen works created in 2017, inspired by a masterpiece of Romanino belonging to the church of Asola, the artist’s home town, and the altarpiece by El Greco, to be found in the Galleria Estense in Modena: a work produced especially for this exhibition.

Stefano Arienti (Asola, Mantua, 1961, lives and works in Milan) is one of the most important Italian artists of his generation and one of the best known on the international scene. After studying sciences, he began his artistic career in the 1980s frequenting leading figures of Milanese culture such as Corrado Levi, quickly gaining major recognition from critics.

His work starts out from pre-existing materials, objects and images – from the great artists of the past right through to those of popular culture – via formal alternations and translations which modify the meaning in a horizontal and anti-linear creative process. Arienti thus deals with the key themes of contemporary art such as the nature and role of the image, as well as the concept of originality.

In more recent years he has often gone about the creation and installation of large-scale works in monumental spaces, yet always as the outcome of a grassroots cognitive process examining the historical and cultural context. Among the numerous institutions that have dedicated solo exhibitions to his work, we might recall the Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa of Venice, the Isabella Stewart Garden Museum di Boston, the MAXXI in Rome, the Museion in Bolzano, the MAMbo in Bologna, and the Foundations Spinola Banna and Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin. On several occasions he has taken part in the Venice Biennale, the Rome Quadriennale as well as at the Istanbul Biennale, and in prestigious group shows at the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, Rivoli Castle, the ICA in London, the Musée d’Art Moderne of Saint-Etienne, Villa Manin, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Palazzo Grassi, the MART, Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris and the MoCA in Chicago.