March- September 2022

Matteo De Nando


Personal exhibition of Matteo De Nando 

Curated by Marta Orsola Sironi

In collaboration with Artoday 

Sveva Angeletti | Michele Bazzoli | Nicole Colombo | Vieri Dalla Chiesa | Stefano De Paolis | Ludovico Orombelli | Marina Rota | Tetsuro Shimizu | Francesco Spallacci | Stef Veldhuis

Matteo De Nando’s practice is a relentless and inclement observation of contemporary reality, especially concerning the dynamics of the art system. A glittering and shiny reality that sweeps the dust under the carpet and makes the individual run like a hamster on its wheel, convincing him that at the end of the road there is a deserved prize, the perfect life, fame, success, happiness. A reality that lives off its glossy façade, making us believe that an image, an appearance on the scene is the only ticket to existence. And while we run to beat our FOMO we pretend to forget our ruins and the miseries of the world that flows under our feet.

It is in this sore point that Matteo De Nando’s research is applied, and in recent years he has devoted much of his activity to uncovering that rubble and the patina that covers it. Precisely it is the wrapping, the packaging, the plastic that covers and “protects” that the series of Plastiche, Autoritratti and Pluriball are referring to. The oil paint covers the canvases mimicking the folds of a vacuum, the texture of shopping bags, the bubbles of an ordinary bubble wrap. What should be protected, the painting, the work of art, the person himself who is self-protecting, pretends to mimesis its protector, the wrapping. Exteriority and interiority merge and play off each other to see what is the rightest. A similar contest between Zeuxis and Parrasius and their mutual deceptions come to mind. Yet our artist’s intention is certainly not to deceive or pretend. For him, painting is a conceptual means of denouncing without discounts or scruples an existential condition, a way of life projected outwards, towards exasperated proactivity and façade that has nothing authentic about it, not even the face. It is, however, also pharmakon, in both senses of the vox media: medicine and poison, specifically the care of artistic work, of the silence of the studio, and the poison of the work of art, which while denouncing a world of images and superficiality, does not renounce being part of it, but rather hopes one day to be noticed.

For his solo exhibition, Matteo has chosen to invite 10 other artists to show their work. Supporters is the second stage of a broader project he started on the occasion of Studi Festival 2021, which takes his investigation into the internal dynamics of the contemporary art system to a new level, with particular attention to the themes of support, sharing, the relationship between art and artwork, between exteriority and meaning, between concept and visual rendering, and ultimately between individuality and collectivity. Supporters is a statement, a strong statement, it is an act of active care, of taking charge, of welcoming and sharing. It is the practical will to enhance the individual by virtue of the collective and vice versa, to the detriment of any egocentric idea or individualism. Matteo De Nando subtracts himself, puts himself in the background, limiting his presence to supporting the works of others. They are grouped on the wall and supported by his wall painting, which is partly hidden from view. The wall painting thus becomes an instruction manual for setting up the works, which have now become inseparable from each other, just as the artist takes on the role of curator, set-up artist, art handler and, indeed, a supporter of personalities of the others.

For years Matteo De Nando has supported the artists exhibiting at Zazà Ramen as an assistant and art handler and continues to do so today, not only by physically supporting their works and placing them in the space but also by supporting their research and practices, sharing with them something more than an exhibition. He invites all of us, gallerists, collectors, users and experts in the field, to subscribe to this statement, to embrace and support this idea of community.

Matteo De Nando’s practice moves from continuous observation of contemporary reality and the dynamics of the art system. He goes through different phases in search of an alternative solution to their bulimic superficiality, to arrive today at the discovery of the creative and curative potential that arises from the abolition of all individualism in favor of an idea of mutual solidarity.

Marta Orsola Sironi

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