Christian Rosa, (b. Rio de Janeiro, 1982) is one of the most interesting young abstract painters to have emerged on the international contemporary scene. This exhibition at Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, is his first institutional solo show.
In his works, Rosa uses different techniques: oil painting, spray, pencil and collage – a combination of mixed techniques that evoke the styles of calligraphy, engraving and graffiti art, with signs layered on virtually monochrome backgrounds, grey or white. He has a very strong relationship with painting and works directly on the raw, unprepared canvas, condensing his sessions into tight physical gestures. His paintings, built on several planes, are thick with calligraphic signs, whose trajectories, impressed in primary colors, intersect on the neutral surface of the background. Rosa sees his work as a process of unveiling: he lets himself be guided by chaos, and by the energy condensed in the instinctive impulse of the gesture, going as far as deconstructing, and then reconfiguring, the painting’s surface. Error and failure are part of this process – they are the keys to a conceptual and operating model, which allows him to avoid the pre-organized unity of the traditional composition. His works reminds us of school blackboards – large surfaces where writings in italics, hatching, and erasures are layered upon each other. Just like maps, the paintings of Christian Rosa let the trajectories of the painter’s gesture come to the surface, revealing their memory and their intensity.
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