Thursday, December 10, 2009

Arianna Caroli at Murakami Gallery

invitation card design by Rosa Phoenix

Arianna Caroli brings "Celebration" to the Murakami Gallery

(press release written for Murakami Gallery in 1996)

NEW YORK – “Celebration” is the theme of the Murakami Gallery’s holiday show, featuring paintings and works on paper by Italian artist Arianna Caroli. The exhibit will take place from November 13th to December 21st, 1996 at the gallery, located at 17 East 71st Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10021.

Arianna Caroli has always been enchanted with the past. An archaeologist, she is also versed in ancient literatures, Egyptology and Etruscology.

Ms. Caroli’s paintings, etchings and prints of mythological subjects are created using the same techniques as the Medieval and Renaissance masters. Paintings are prepared with rabbit-skin glue and white lead oil and glazed with oils or hand-mixed egg tempera pigment. The deep azure in her Byzantine-style icons is precious ground lapis lazuli. Ms. Caroli apprenticed under Russian icon master Vladislav Andrejev.

Classical subjects are made more potent through Expressionistic brushwork and aggressively playful lines. Ms. Caroli’s paintings of angels are particularly noteworthy. At once celebratory and ecstatic, their bodies are weightless, with only the illusion of real form. The viewer has the impression of seeing only a fleeting, golden glimpse of these rare figures. Ms. Caroli’s mastery of the brush is such that her angels seem full of movement and life, as if they are about to lift themselves off the canvas and rise into the heavens.

Arianna Caroli views the past as generative, a continual source of inspiration. Her approach to it is akin to the archaeological excavation—literally unearthing the past and looking at it with new eyes. The archaeologist is rewarded with tangible evidence—fragile dusty artifacts, gem-like fragments, that link us to ancestral cultures. Ms. Caroli’s art, steeped in these traditions, is richly, exuberantly alive, and impresses upon the viewer all that is mysterious and awe-inspiring in the world.

The Murakami Gallery is located in an elegant and historic townhouse on the Upper East Side in New York City. It was founded in 1993 by Hiroko Murakami, who has assembled an eclectic salon of international artists linked by classic taste and Japanese sensibility.