Arte Fiera 2023

Is it possible to narrate an artistic path from a work’s dimension?
“XL xs” is a tribute to “XL + XS”, a personal exhibition by Donald Baechler which was held in 2009 at the MACI Museum of Isernia, taking up its concept and extending it to a greater number of
artists. The exhibition highlights a comparison not only between artists, but also between their production in XL format and smaller works, identifying divergences and points of contact that are
often made explicit also in the use of different techniques.
The selection of the works was therefore mainly guided by the dimensions, but not only by that. For all the XL works, the most iconic and representative subjects of the production of these artists have been chosen: a red rose by Donald Baechler, a “Work Against Nature” by James Brown, a mixed technique by Ronnie Cutrone whose protagonist is Woody Woodpecker, a canvas that contains all the dense symbology of Jan Knap, young women dancing on the canvas by Gian Marco Montesano, a woman’s body in neo-surrealist style on Ray Smith’s panel, and an abstract work by Philip Taaffe that it incorporates oriental decorative elements. It can be said that these works, of museum importance, are already sufficient by themselves to offer an exhaustive cross-section of the artists’ production; but some of the best known series have also been proposed for the xs
works, suffice it to mention the iconic black and white smileys by Donald Baechler, or the series of works by James Brown dedicated to Morocco. “XL xs” also proposes some approaches between artists in their points of contact. Both Donald Baechler and Ronnie Cutrone were inspired by the work of Andy Warhol; James Brown and Philip Taaffe are distinguished by an innate formal elegance often accompanied by anthropological studies and cultured references; as well as the art of Ray Smith, capable of evoking anthropological horizons of Mexican culture and the avant-garde of the twentieth century. More linked to the western pictorial tradition Jan Knap and Gian Marco Montesano, whose oils on canvas take up the ancient knowledge of classic Italian painting revisited in a contemporary key. With “XL xs” the Raffaelli Art Studio draws a line in the wake of its exhibition choices, in continuous evolution in the selection of new talents, but always linked to its history.