Gabriele Di Matteo
Toute une vie, tous les éléments, tous les documents
Curated by Elisabetta Longari and Marco Bazzini
Museo Pecci, Milan. Italy
In 1982 Centre Pompidou in Paris dedicated a memorable retrospective to Jackson Pollock, the legendary American abstract-expressionist painter. The catalogue created for the show has been used by Gabriele Di Matteo in 2008 as a starting point for a conceptual idea: he submitted what can be described as a process of “different reproduction”, creating more than eighty illustrations that form iconographic inventory of the biographical section entitled “Une vie, éléments et documents”. A title preciselyevoked by the Italian artist to nominate his own set of replicas and variations. Most of the photographs are black and white, portraying Pollock at work and in different stages of his life. Playing with inversions and overturning continuously the context the artist proposes ”copies” of all images or fragments of this book. Dismissing Pollock’s famous drippings his new pictures show only white space. The series dedicated to Pollock is shown here, for the first time entirely. This series of 81 paintings and 31 documents are fundamental in Di Matteo’s work, which for more than 20 years has been characterized as accurate research on key concept of contemporary aesthetics. In this work Gabriele Di Matteo has been mainly attracted by the ”legend” of the great American painter, even though this is not the first time he engages in biographical themes. Di Matteo created a book for the current exhibition, which is similar, but yet different from the one published by the Centre Pompidou.
Next to the book, the video “My time, ma peinture ne vien pas du chevalet” will be presented. The video, eighteen hours long, shot by the artist with a fixed camera, describes the complete creation of a great painting displaying Pollock sitting in front of his car with which later he lost his life. In this movie Di Matteo is painting assisted by the copyist painter Salvatore Russo. In addition, the exhibition also features a new work made of printing plates used for the artist book, a further variant of this story.
The exhibition is realized together with Federico Luger, FL Gallery, Milano and the Contemporary art Centre Luigi Pecci, Prato.