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Marianne Boesky Gallery is pleased to participate in the 2022 edition of the Independent Art Fair in New York City with a solo booth featuring a new body of work by seminal Italian artist Pier Paolo Calzolari (b. 1943). The presentation follows Calzolari’s fourth solo exhibition with the gallery, Painting as a Butterfly (March 18 – April 23, 2022), which was the first significant presentation of the artist’s work since his retrospective at Museo Madre in Napoli, Italy in 2019.
The new paintings on display are works from Calzolari’s latest “Shop Signs” series (2019-ongoing). These new works were created in a period of isolation and delicately channel a collective longing for human connection. The series continues his long-standing observation of modern urban life, in which the artist creates fictional encounters such as a stroll past a shoemaker, flower shop, or a hatter. Working in a scale reminiscent of merchant signage, Calzolari uses commonplace signifiers such as a teapot or a shoe to transcend language and allow viewers to sit with the often overlooked beauty and simplicity of everyday life. The artist said, “I’ve always asked people to listen to the murmuring of things, the voice of objects, their secrets.” Painting with blue, red, and yellow pastels à l’écu, a medium that combines the tradition of Old Masters with modern chemistry,, Calzolari collapses temporalities on salt-strewn canvas and creates moments for viewers to meditate on their personal emotions and memories.
“We are thrilled to premiere this new body of work by Pier Paolo Calzolari at Independent Art Fair, a thoughtfully curated platform envisioned by our colleagues Elizabeth Dee and Matthew Higgs,” said Marianne Boesky. “The fair offers a unique opportunity for cross generational and cultural dialogues, putting Calzolari’s recent innovations in conversation with a younger generation of artists and dealers, who may be examining similar concerns through their individual lens.”
A central figure in the postwar Arte Povera movement, Calzolari continues to be one of the most important contemporary Italian artists working today. This recent period of fervent creativity, from a new studio in Lisbon, Portugal, has notably impacted the artist’s use of light and color, in particular seen in his experimentation with a pastel color palette that has never before been seen in his works. Calzolari’s creations are simultaneously highly charged and contemplative, both for the viewer and the artist himself. Shedding a new light onto his painting practice, Calzolari is at once conductor and audience.