Friday, July 12, 2024

Mimmo Catania

Artist’s portrait photo: Jurgen Ostarhild, Berlin, 2013

Mimmo Catania is an Italian-born artist, living in Berlin since 1984. He studied painting at Accademia di Belle Arti Urbino (1980-84).

He has been working in the last three decades on a synthesis of Informal art (eighties), Environmental strategies (ninenties) and since the beginning of the 2000s introducing the figure to form what he denominates ‘Meta-Realistic paintings’.

The most recent series ‘Burning Cars’ has a particular story behind. The first interest in this issue dates back more than a decade ago. The artist has already started to work on it but something made him put it aside. When he recently moved to a new studio (2013), these first drafts popped up again.

It is the aesthetical fascination that takes him in ‘Burning Cars’: the fire with its resistance to technology, resulting always winner and disappearing after the attack. Fire is one of the elementary experiences of mankind. It has been accompanying us from the very beginning up to our days. It is still one of the mightiest powers, able to provoke outbreaks of preconscious sediments, buried fears, putting at risk our unstable construction of social and individual stability.

The artist has been the recipient of various awards including a grant from the Berlin Senate for New York (1995) and for Israel (1996) as well as the Katalogförderung (2012); a residency at the Casa di Goethe, Rome, supported by the Daimler-Chrysler Foundation (1998); Pollock-Krasner-Foundation, New York ( 2005 and 2016), Joan-Mitchell Foundation for Santa Fe Art Institute, Santa Fe. In 2008 he had been working for one month in Beijing.

His  work has been exhibited extensively in Europe, North America and Asia. His major exhibitions in museums and art centers include: Galleria Comunale Arte Moderna, Bologna (1982); Museum Waterland, Purmerend (1985); Kunst-Werke, Berlin (1992); Artists’ Museum, Lodz (1993); Brüder Grimm Museum, Kassel (1993); Center for Contemporary Art, Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw (1994); GAK, Bremen (1997); Casa di Goethe Museum, Rome (1999); Sharjah Arts Museum, Sharjah (2000); 49. Biennale di Venezia, Venice (2001 and 2013); Exit Art, New York (2002);  Pinacoteca di Bari, Bari (2003); Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rijeka (2003); RSUH Museum Center, Moscow (2006); Santa Fe Art Institute, Santa Fe (2007); Zendai Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai (2008); The Pickled Art Centre, Beijing (2008); Tallina Kunstihoone, Tallinn (2009); Stadtgalerie Mannheim, Mannheim (2012); Torrance Art Museum, Torrance (2015); Galleria Civica d’Arte Contemporanea, Montevergini, Siracusa (2016); Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery at John Jay College, New York (2016)

Overturn, 2015, oil on canvas, 140×200 cm. Photo credit: Eric Tschernow, Berlin. Courtesy: Irena Kos Artecontemporanea, Pietrasanta, Italy
Clot on Wrack, 2015, oil on canvas, 160×140 cm. Galleria Civica d’Arte Contemporanea, Siracusa, Italy, 2016. Photo courtesy: Mimmo Catania
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