Stockholm 26.5 - 19.6 2011
The art of Chiara Albertoni galvanizes around the fine handicraft of her hyper-detailed oil paintings. As a young girl, nature was her steady playmate; she climbed in trees, examined spiderwebs, and studied the building materials of nature. As a modern Romantic, she exposes the complexity of nature by the use of extreme close-ups, where details are transformed into colossal landscapes, and the concrete becomes alien and abstract.
Albertoni’s process begins as long walks. Her gaze seeks out details within the landscape that she would transfer to the canvas; she photographs them, and from these photographic archives new motifs take form. She projects a photo onto the canvas, laying the foundation for a new work. From there, the image is slowly reworked, in order to enhance the experience of form and color, as with her black and white works, where the sensation of nature’s architectural dimensions are intensified. The oils are applied in thin, transparent, and time-consuming layers. Larger works may take up to two months to complete.
Chiara Albertoni uses nature as a mirror. Her work vibrates with expression, on the same breadth of scale as human emotion. Here, one finds a raw sincerity which is neither good nor evil. Of course, nature has a dark side as well, and the beautiful can also be deadly, as in the portrait Carnivorous Plant.
The stylized nature in Albertoni’s painting has a tangible integrity, although the artist herself is worried about the future of our environment, and the environmental politics in her homeland of Italy add fuel to her anxiety. Her engagement with the environment materializes on the canvas. There she portrays the nature which many take for granted, and she is aware that her paintings may in the future resemble a family album, glimpses of a world gone by. In this sense, Chiara Albertoni’s art may perhaps be best seen as a contemporary memento mori.
Chiara Albertoni was born in 1979 in Padova, Italy. She lives and works in the village of Montegaldella, outside of Vicenza in northern Italy. Albertoni studied arts and crafts at the art school in Padova, before receiving a diploma from the school of art in Venice. In 2003 she was awarded a ”European Chalcography Award” for Best Technique. The same year she also won the academic prize Premio Arte, and in 2010 the Italian art prize Como Contemporary. This is Chiara Albertoni’s second exhibition at Galleri Andersson/Sandström, and her first in Stockholm.