contemporary art / history of art

Donatella Lombardo

Born in 1980 in Erice, Italy, Donatella studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti (Academy of Fine Arts) in Bologna, Italy and continued her post-graduate studies at the Facoltà di Lettere e Beni Culturali di Bologna (Faculty of Cultural Heritage of the University of Bologna). Since her first degree in Fine Arts in 2006, she participated in many group exhibitions and had as well personal shows all over Italy. After her Master’s Degree in Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage in 2011, she cooperated for several exhibitions as curator.

Donatella’s oeuvre varies in subjects and techniques, even though similarities exist. In her early works, embroidery was more dominant. Nevertheless, even today stitches appear in unexpected contexts. In doing so, she refers to this ancient cultural technique applying it to other subjects, for example the new media. Here is an encounter between “technology” and “craftsmanship”, since they mostly show the digital language on natural materials like linen framed by wood. Often the texts are embroidered with red threads. Languages are also on focus; this might be the source code of an html-website or ancient musical notations. Often, her creations are a journey into time, like her “Narrative seismographies”, based on conversations with the inhabitants of the island Ustica, where she was artist in residence in 2018.

Another form of time travel is “Analogue Remediation”, our artwork of the month February 2020. A source code written by an historic typewriter reveals not only the story of written language, there are also connotations to handicraft, music and with that, different forms of communication.

Donatella’s work as co-curator influences her creations, too. For example the two exhibitions “Autoritratti I. Nuove Gen(d)erazioni” (Self-portraits I. Gen(d)erations) and “Autoritratti. Iscrizioni del femminile nell’arte italiana Contemporanea” (Self-portraits. Inscriptions of the feminine in Italian contemporary art) in 2013, coordinated by Uliana Zanetti, lead her once again to question about gender. One result was the series “Partiture mute” (mute scores), where she reproduced 20 compositions of female composers form the middle ages up to the early 20th century. Unfortunately, many of these female creations are forgotten nowadays, but the series brought them into focus. Our artwork of the month February 2017, “Partitura n.1”, is part of this series.

Currently, the mute scores are once again on view in the solo exhibition “Donatella Lombardo. Partiture Mute. Note a margine.” (Mute scores. Side notes.) at the Bolognese Museo internazionale e biblioteca della musica. It is a nice coincidence, since some of the templates are preserved in this institution. Additionally to the musical notations, Donatella created two new works. The show is visible until 23rd February 2020.

Donatella lives and works in Salò, Italy.

Artwork of the month / February 2020

Artwork of the month / February 2017