Lino Mannocci: Sea, Sky, Smoke
August 28, 2009- January 3, 2010
North Fairchild Gallery
The first North American museum presentation of art by Lino Mannocci, the exhibition features more than thirty recent paintings, prints, and manipulated postcards by the Tuscan-born, London-educated artist, who lives and works in England and Italy. Highlights of the exhibition include an important series of paintings depicting walls of waves; mediations on memory and the passage of time featuring plumes of smoke; and examples of the over-painted vintage postcards with which Mannocci first broke onto the London art scene, after previously exhibiting in Italy as a member of ‘La Metacosa’ group of painters.
Mannocci’s exquisite, poetic images reward contemplation. Whether painted in subtle shades of oil, printed in monotype with elements of collage, or made by over-painting postcards, these quiet scenes teem with contained emotion, diffused through veils of memory, imagination, and art. Dreams of the Tuscan coast permeate views of piers and waves, while memories of Renaissance altarpieces inspire stacked formats and allusions to traditional religious imagery. Figures adapted from earlier masters—Bernini, Titian, Artemisia Gentileschi , and others—reappear, transformed by fresh surroundings. While Mannocci seems almost to naturalize such sophisticated allusions, his art is far from simple. Indeed, numerous elements—a figure of Venus juxtaposed with a fish; a figure oblivious to a looming wave; an inscription impossible to read—remain enigmatic. The compositions and components of such works refer to earlier traditions of visual narration, but expand exponentially the images’ possible readings.
In conjunction with the exhibition, Lino Mannocci will speak about his work in a free public presentation to be held at the Mead at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 22. A brief catalogue written by David Cohen is available to museum visitors without charge.
The exhibition is supported at Amherst College by the David W. Mesker (Class of 1953) Fund, the Hall and Kate Peterson Fund, and the Collins Print Fund. Following its presentation at Amherst, which concludes on January 3, 2010, the exhibition will travel to the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture in Manhattan.