Exhibition by Claudio Viscardi
Arabian Nights – Eastern Lights
at the Funoon Gallery, The Arts Centre, Dubai Ladies Club, Jumeirah, Dubai
Swiss – Irish painter Claudio Viscardi’s exhibition at the Dubai Ladies Club this coming October Arabian Nights, Eastern Lights comprises of twenty mostly large scale canvases which engross the observer in the artist’s poetic and individualistic world. His multi-layered compositions of infinite depth, combine complex architectural and geometric structures with elements of textured landscape which draw the viewer into an interpretive journey , rich with mythological reference and multi-faceted pathways of contemplation. The narrative structure of the paintings engages at all times with the sensibilities of the observer and thus the artist’s journey becomes a personalised dialogue with the viewer. The subtle juxtapositioning of colour fields reveals the landscape in gradual detail, which creates a momentum towards the centre of the work, enhancing the three dimensional quality of the artist’s perspective. His re-occurring themes of day and night revolve around the monumental status of nature itself and the clear night skies reveal a vast and contemplative space. The artist explores the concept of renewal and infinity through an intimate analysis of landscape, architecture, geometry, classical reference and narrative motifs.
Born in Switzerland in 1955, Claudio, a dual Irish – Swiss citizen, lives and works on the Beara Peninsula in the south – west of Ireland. Clearly inspired by its breathtaking landscape, his works universalize nature and interpret its effects as a microcosm of all nature. Claudio can trace his artistic heritage back to before the 1700s and an ancestry steeped in art and architecture, many with prominent representation at the courts of Europe. A period of fresco restoration early in his development greatly influenced his work, in particular in relation to technique and to working on large-scale wall paintings and murals, of which he has many to his credit. He has previously lived in Rome, Amsterdam, Dublin and Zurich and continues to exhibit his works internationally. His style is instantly recognisable and he has, irrelevant of trends, remained true to the pursuit of personal artistic ideals.
Claudio Viscardi’s palette reflects his life-long research of the techniques used by the Old Masters and by the Italian Renaissance painters in particular. He has developed a semi-fresco technique adapted for his canvas work, yet similarly versatile for his large scale mural work. The purity of the colours is retained as he mixes his own paints using rare and natural pigments, interspersed with diamond dust and crystals. 24 – carat gold leaf appears throughout the collection, applied in fascinating contexts to fantasy architectural structures or to naturalistic swathes of expression, where nature’s shimmer or night-time glow are captured in deft and knowing technique. Lapis Lazuli, Carrara marble, Malachite, Pompei Red, Chinese Vermillion, to name but a few, infuse the works with an originality of palette indicative of the artist. Viscardi’s canvas works capture the large-scale dynamic of his wall paintings and murals, while these in turn enjoy the minutia and attention to detail of his paintings on canvas.
The artist’s early works of the late 1970s and early 1980s evoke what was a childhood fascination with the tales of the Thousand and One Nights, with the intricate inner life of these early paintings clearly resonating with the imaginative scope of the tales themselves. The game of skill as exercised by Shahrazad, while it could capture a boyhood imagination, perhaps shows how imagination itself is a limitless resource, none more so than the gifted imagination of artist Claudio Viscardi. His current collection of paintings draws on these early influences, transcending the passage of time and unites the timeless realms of the imagination with the artistic desire to depict it. In this way, a life – long narrative comes full circle, its language enriched with experience and time itself. Viscardi’s poetic, visionary and powerful works draw the observer into a truly extraordinary world and his paintings are sought after by collectors worldwide. Exhibiting for the first time in Dubai, his exhibition Arabian Nights, Eastern Lights at the Dubai Ladies Club will continue until the end of October. Look out for the artist’s talks, the dates of which will be announced nearer the time.