RADICA CORTA, ALBERO BRULLO
January 28, 2021 - March 12, 2021
ALMA ZEVI Venice
ALMA ZEVI Venice is proud to present Simone Carraro’s first solo exhibition, Radica corta, albero brullo. Carraro (b. 1995) graduated from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia and currently lives and works in Venice. Carraro’s idiosyncratic paintings and works on paper depict ancient bestiaries, botanical observations, scientific findings and more. He reinterprets traditional Italian folkloric imagery, often focusing on the Veneto region and its distinctive lagoon. For this exhibition, the artist has made a new body of work which varies in size and techniques. Together, these paintings and drawings offer a kaleidoscopic vision of the natural elements and daily customs which make up the evolving Venetian world.
The exhibition’s title, Radica corta, albero brullo (Short root, barren tree), is a rephrased Italian proverb. It refers to the importance of knowledge and how it must be shared and handed down to younger generations. Preserving the roots of a community is the key for it to flourish and to keep a stable sense of identity. Carraro’s impressively detailed diptych Il gesto, la cruna, i denti di cane (2020) fuses imagery of the algae in the Venetian lagoon with the famous handmade lace from the island of Burano. The repeated act of the growing, layered algae can be formally compared with the skilful movements of the women intertwining the lace.
The centrepiece of the exhibition is Geografia Allegorica (2021), a large painting on raw cotton that serves as a symbolic map of the Venetian lagoon and its islands. Its complex composition reveals different objects, landscapes and narrative vignettes. Together, the individual elements and scenes can be read as a metaphor for both the history of Venice and the now precarious situation of its ecosystem. Another part of the exhibition is a series of drawings by Carraro which engage in various themes: popular songbooks, children’s games, animals and botany. All of these playful elements evoke experiences shared between different generations. These scenes appear both archaic and anachronistic; reflecting the rhythms of our daily life.
In this exhibition, Carraro sheds new light on the folklore and oral histories which make up the identity of the lagoon. Tracing the passing of time, but also time’s cyclical nature, Carraro sees knowledge and shared memory between generations as the basis of his singular and lyrical practice.Read More