October – December 2012
Carlotta Pesce is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Massimo Kaufmann (Milan 1963. He lives and works in Milan and New York).
This show documents the most recent results of Massimo Kaufmann’s research, which over the last decade has focused on abstract painting, as illustrated by the exhibition of New York paintings which has just closed at the Museum of Modern Art of Bologna (MAMbo) and has reinforced the artist’s presence in MAMbo’s permanent collection through the acquisition of a second work from the New York series (The Golden Age , 2008 e (Cecità , 2009).
The abstract rereading of urban and natural landscape which is deployed in the large New York canvases was inspired by observation from the large windows of the artist’s studio, The creative process and temporal element play a central role in Kaufmann’s pictorial works, which are characterised by a particularly rich chromatism and a dense dotted texture. Colour is spread on slowly, patiently, creating veils, transparent films and layers on the horizontally set canvas, in a kind of meditative mantra and with thesame spirit a musician plays an instrument. A long time is also required in order to perceive the full complexity of this research.
If in the New York works Kaufmann appears to explicitly reference Monet and his Nimphéas , in the two works painted expressly for the Carlotta Pesce Studio exhibition he references one of the great masterpieces in the history of European art: Las Meninas by Diego Veláquez. These works begin a series of paintings in keeping with the innumerable pictorial and philosophical interpretations which originated from the complex mechanism of the image, which today we would call cinematographic. The Spanish Infanta Margarita, daughter of Philip IV, is shown beside other members of the court and the artist, who portrays himself painting the portrait of the royal couple, who in turn are reflected in a mirror in the background.
Massimo Kaufmann is an outstanding exponent of the generation of artists who affirmed themselves in Milan at the beginning of the Nineties, establishing themselves on the Italian scene after Arte Povera and the Transavanguardia, using the most disparate means of expression, from installation to painting, photography to video and eluding classification and manifestos.
In addition to MAMbo Kaufmann’s work is included in the collections of important International Museums: Paris (Cartier Foundation), Berlin (Martin Gropius Bau, Metropolis), Amsterdam (De Appel), Vienna (Palais Liechtenstein, Ludwig Foundation), New York (Sperone-Westwater, Bronx Musem), Phoenix, Nice (Musee d’Art Contemporaine), Rome (National Gallery of Modern Art 1996 and 2005 Quadriennial), Milan (PAC, Triennial, Royal Palace Collection) and in the museums of Graz, Sarajevo, and Tel Aviv.
He has published numerous articles and essays on contemporary art (Rediscover the Silence, Baldini Castoldi Dalai Ed.2004).
He was also a lecturer at the Academies of Bergamo and Brescia during 2006-2007. He has worked with the Brera Academy of Milan since 2010, where he holds seminars on contemporary art.