27 February – 24 March 2016
Via Vinazzetti 4/b Bologna
Photos which don’t look like photos at first glance, abstract elements which are concrete signs: those are the constitutive characteristics of the actual exhibition at the Galleria B4 in Bologna. The Italian artist Gianni Montavani makes art pieces out of the everyday essentials.
Entering the gallery there are two frames with 12 rectangular black and white fields. The surface is matt, so the material evokes more ceramics than a photo paper. On the first one there are white flashes and triangles on black ground. With a closer look the observer might identify a sign that means ATTENTION! If so, he/she could get an idea of what is on view.
The next two single images are showing white and blue lines on black ground. Here the technique is easier to identify: these are photos, but what are they showing? The title written below, the name of a city is not helping so much. Only the next frame with black and white fields gives a better hint about the subject, because here one might recognise the bicycle sign.
Continuing the way through the exhibition there is a wall with 16 single photos. And once again the images are reminding more abstract paintings. Finally the turn to the following side reveals the origin of the photos: the pictures in red, white and black in the two frames are showing street signs, painted on the asphalt. Looking back to the first photos one can discover that they are all showing cut-outs from familiar signal symbols. By the way of choosing the section Gianni Montavani transfers them into a new context which disguises their cause. In addition the assemblage of these abstracted photos effects confusion. The results are capturing artworks, where it is possible to identify new details at every view. At the same time it is possible to perceive the pictures as abstract representations and enjoy the interaction of forms and colours.
The pieces in the following rooms reveal a real concert of colours. There are compositions in blue-white-back, yellow-black, yellow-green-black and finally multicolour. Besides there are more single photos with astonishing colour combinations, born by the gradually paint over. So the images are carrying another element in them: the course of time. It is striking how our ordinary environment can inspire, if someone only takes attention.
By Astrid Gallinat