press release

Galleria Christian Stein
Milan, Corso Monforte 23

Stefano Arienti
16.05.2019 - 12.10.2019

curated by Chiara Bertola

For the first time the GalleriaStein presents the workof Stefano Arienti, one of the most established and best known artists of his generation. From the beginning his research has concerned itself with the processes of analysis and manipulation of images and materials taken from the real everyday world: through a wholly personal and ever newprocess, the author transfigures them,offering them thepossibility of gaining unprecedented and surprising meanings.

Arienti’s workis therefore driven by pre-existing objects and figures-including the tradition of ancient art and the forms of popular culture-but creates alterations and translations of these that modify their meaning, in a striking creative process. The artist tackles keythemes suchas the relationship with natural reality, the role of the imagination and the concept of originality; in more recent years he has tested his skills on the realisation and installation of monumental works, yet theseare always the outcome of a cognitive process from below, inspired by a precise cultural context. Reworking “poor”,commonlyused materials -frequently includingpaper, books and images from postcards, postersor photocopies, as well aspolystyrene, plastic, plasticineandcloth-Arienti creates works that surprise spectators, inviting them to reflect on the theme of “wonder”and urging their participation.Arienti’s work inherits the sense of fun of many Italian conceptual artists, a playful attitudethat is revealed in the obsessive pleasure indoing things manually, handling them, starting with a close personal relationship with the everyday; a relationship so intimate that you wantto redo it, traceit, copyit.

In the historic gallery inCorsoMonforte, Stefano Arienti presents previously unpublished works conceived specially for this occasion.These are photographs takenby the artisthimself, images that anyone can take with mobile phones and cameras, printed on chenille or on large format poster-typepaper that may lead to a further manipulation,such as crumpling, gilding or silvering.Once again Arienti proposes a cognitive processthat starts with common objects, to arrive at transformingthem and convertingthem,renewing the reflectionson their painterlyvalue. The printing on chenille, for example, gives the figuresan unusual depth, and through the richnessof the materialsincreases the texture of the colour. Likewise, the crumpling of the paper creates unexpected reliefs on the surface, enlivening it and rendering it more vibrant and alive. Theseare techniques that add tactile values and a texture to the image, which is grasped through new perceptive paradigms acquiring expressive capacity.

A text by Chiara Bertola on the work of Stefano Arientiis availableat the gallery.

Stefano Arienti lives and works in Milan.
Born in Asolain the province ofMantua in 1961, he graduated in agriculture and was drawn to art by being around key figures of Milanese culturesuch as CorradoLevi. He made his debut in the mid-1980s atthe Brown Boveri (aformer factory used as a place formeeting and experimentation by many young artists) inMilan, obtaining important acknowledgements from the critics.

Among the numerous group exhibitionsin which he has participated, mention must be made of: Aperto, VeniceBiennale, Venice 1990; IstanbulBiennial, Istanbul 1992; Mystery and Myth, Fukuyama Museum of Art, Japan 1994;Cocido y Crudo, MuseoReina Sofia, Madrid 1994; Fatto in Italia, Centre d'Art Contemporain, Geneva1994; XII Quadriennale, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome1996 (first prize); IX TriennialIndia, Lalit Kala Akademy, NewDelhi 1997; Città/Natura, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome1997; Pittura italiana da collezioni italiane, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Castello di Rivoli 1997; Italics, Palazzo Grassi, Venice andMuseum of Contemporary Art, Chicago 2008; GwangjuBiennial, Gwangju 2008; MART, Rovereto 2010; Terre Vulnerabili, HangarBicocca, Milan 2010; Decorum, Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris2013 -Shanghai 2014; New Art on the Silk Road, 2ndInternational Art Biennale, Xinjiang 2014; Ennesima,MilanTriennale2015; Wall to Wall: Carpets by Artists, MOCA Cleveland, Cleveland 2016.

Among his solo exhibitions: MAXXI, Rome2004; Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin 2005; Artpace, San Antonio (Texas) 2007; Disegni Dismessi, Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice 2008; Regali e Regole, (withCesare Pietroiusti), MAMbo, Bologna 2008; Arteimpercettibile, Palazzo Ducale, Mantua 2009; Museion, Bolzano 2011; Isabella Stewart Gardner, Boston 2012; Fenix -Custodie vuote, Teatro La Fenice, Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, Venice 2012; Finestre Meridiane,Villa Croce, Genoa 2017; Antipolvere, Galleria Civica di Modena, Modena 2017.

In Milano a one-man show by him, Fiori,is in progress in the “Chiostri di Sant’Eustorgio” Museum Complex until July2019