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Richness & Restraint

  • BBA Gallery Köpenicker Str. 96 D-10179 Berlin Germany (map)



  • Alessandro Marogna


  • Nele Ouwens

Alessandro Marogna (born in Sardinia in 1958) only started painting at the age of 40. An encounter with the painter Petr Hrbek (1955-2012) was the trigger that led to him learning the techniques of painting in Hrbek’s Berlin studio. Before that the allegiance to a religious group, which discredited artistic practice as “worldly”, had stifled his natural creativity. Decades of suppression and the denial of his own creative urges combined with the life-experience Marogna gathered, as well as personal and intellectual maturing over the years, have generated a very unique undertone in his works. In Marogna’s mainly abstract paintings the eruptive moment of a finally liberated creative urge is paired with the tapping into a reservoir of elements and symbols gathered over the span of many years.

This reservoir is characterized by a rich diversity of colours, forms and materials. Within his painting practice Marogna is on a quest. His approach is eclectical and keenly experimental; some of his paintings are quickly done, others take him years to finish. And yet for all their diversity, all of his older works are characterized by a high denseness of material, a succession of layers that capture time, until the painting can assert itself.

With his new works, Marogna has unequivocally opened a new chapter; they are painted on raw cotton material without a primer, mainly on the reverse. In this way the oil paint only seeps partly through the canvas to the front side, which lends the painting a restrained, soft aura. What’s more, and this represents a radical break with his previous approach, the raw cotton on the front remains for the most part unpainted, so that the materiality of the cotton becomes a haptic artistic element in itself.

Marogna now contrasts the denseness of earlier works with transparence, the swirling all-over brush applications and the closed surface with a diaphanous open-porosity. And suddenly it seems as if Alessandro Marogna, the constant explorer on a quest, has finally found a place to stay: an aesthetic place, a place where reconciliation and integration are actually possible, and where everything is allowed to co-exist: the delicate and strong elements, the impulsive as well as the thoughtful and slow approach, denseness and transparency, richness and restraint.

Earlier Event: July 20
BBA Emerging Artists 2016
Later Event: October 28
Contemporary Art Ruhr Art Fair