BRESCIA.- Maurer Zilioli - Contemporary Arts
presents Silvia Beltrami, currently on display (January 29-March). Silvia Beltrami, born in Rome in 1974 and for quite some time now living in northern Italy, is regarded as the young, very promising representative of an unusual art form. She devotes herself to a refreshingly contemporary interpretation of collage. Holder of a diploma from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan, the artist works mainly with wallpaper and newsprint on used cardboard or rendered canvas to create her dynamic and vibrant compositions.
Deploying extraordinary dexterity and astonishing powers of visualisation, Beltrami transfers visual ideas developed in small formats to large surfaces. With a deft hand she designs complex picture spaces and figurative ensembles. Familiar with the fresco technique since her student days, she often returns to it as the starting-point and basis of pictures that unfold on compact supports to attest to lightness and a stunningly original imagination.
Silvia Beltrami concentrates on selected current phenomena and problems afflicting contemporary society. She examines, for instance, the defamiliarising effect of fashion and consumer pressures on young people, with the concomitant ego dissolution and loss of identity caused by superficiality and addiction to the contemporary me culture, along with the anonymity and pressure for success generated by the working environment.
The exhibition, however, focuses on a new group of works by the artist inspired by the lively rhythms of Limbo and Rave dancing, which the museum is, moreover, justified in interpreting as a metaphor for the accelerated derailment of the existential condition. Not only does Limbo stand for an exotic cult-inspired dance (associated with funerary rites) but it is also a reference to ancient and early Christian ideas of a temporary state between Heaven and Hell in which both guilt and atonement are suspended. This is how Beltrami views the disorientated behaviour of so many of her contemporaries, who act without any secure basis for what they are doing and take up no decisive stances.
Her previous works, which are invariably distinguished by clear, systematic plot organisation; now, by contrast, Beltrami explodes conventional visual patterns and the laws of composition. Her protagonists, composed of minute fragments, float in turbulent movement through a galaxy of sorts strewn with splinters of material condensing into nebulous webs to give the action a setting, albeit one that defies conventional classification.
She leaves it up to our imagination to share in our minds eye the euphoria of these dancers, and be at once attracted and disturbed by the wrenching trial of strength between material and dynamism, figure and space, full of the power and force of an eruption exploding from the void.
Beltrami is not so much concerned with critically reflecting on lifestyle trends as she is with neutrally, although occasionally partially observing what belongs to her generation. Seismographically registering the tension and its discharge, she hurls herself into her motifs with passion and empathy nonetheless underpinned by prudent neutrality.
Her inimitable mastery of technique has earned Beltrami worldwide recognition: in Italy, Switzerland, Spain and Israel. In 2010 her work was shown at the Italian Cultural Affairs Institute in Munich. Beltrami will be taking part in the International Paper Art Exhibition In between at the Wilfried Israel Museum of Asian Arts and Studies in 2011.