contemporary art / history of art

Ester Grossi

Born in 1981 in Avezzano, Italy, Ester Grossi first made a diploma in Fashion, Design and Decoration at the art institute “Vincenzo Bellisario” in her hometown. Afterwards, she studied at the DAMS Bologna (Discipline delle Arti, della Musica e dello Spettacolo – Institute for Drama, Art and Music Studies) and graduated with a bachelor in Television, Cinema and Multimedia Production in 2008.

According to her education, Ester works in various fields of the arts. In cooperation with other creatives, she designed clothing and accessories, an exhibition stand, many promotional posters for film and music festivals and album covers. Her last film project was a video for the Finnish musician Lau Nau. Together with Sara Bonaventura she conceived the visual background for the album “Poseidon”.

Nevertheless, painting is her primary interest. Ester researches signs, symbols and information in our complex society to reduce and simplify them in her pictorial work. In consequence, popular culture and mass communication are in her focus. For her series “Token” (2014) she reorganised symbols as a new system of signs. Translated into graphical language, the original symbols are no longer decipherable. Moreover, she is interested in local history, folklore and archaeology. An example is her series “Lumen” from 2015, where she painted details of sky disks, found in her Abruzzo home region, but in her typical minimalistic abstracting manner.

In 2016, she created wall paintings for the gallery Spazio Testoni, Bologna in cooperation with the Werkstattgalerie, Berlin. For the exhibition “Deep Down Inside the Colour”, the artist visited Ingeborg zu Schleswig-Holstein in her studio to create her own compositions to dialogue with the pre-existing oeuvres of the German painter. At the venue in Bologna, Ester painted geometric forms directly on the wall. They corresponded with Ingeborg’s panel paintings regarding the colours and the abstraction.

For her series “Red Hook Lines” from 2018, the artist once again approached the minimalistic figurative direction. It is a reflexion about her memories of the New York urban and architectural experience, made during her residency in December 2017. Even though simplified, buildings and loading cranes of a harbour are recognisable.

With her, since 2015 ongoing series of masks, Ester continuous her way between figurative and abstraction. A representative example is “Black Out 2”, our Artwork of the Month September 2019. Nevertheless, the state of simplification is much more advanced as in her earlier series “Written on the Hays” (2012), “The Line below” (2012) and “Fucinus Lacus” (2013).

Most of Ester’s series were presented in solo shows, mostly in Italy. A retrospective of her latest works was held in spring 2019 at her long-standing gallery Spazio Testoni. Moreover, single works joined numerous group exhibitions in Italy, but also in several European countries, the Ivory Coast and Cuba. She was finalist for the Arteam Cup and the Premio Cairo Prize and honoured by the Italian Factory Prize in 2010.

Ester lives and works in Bologna.


Artwork of the month / September 2019