The Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Foundation inaugurates, on April 4, Antipoem, the first solo exhibition in Italy of Ambera Wellmann (1982, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia). Antipoem presents a cycle of paintings specially created by the artist for this occasion, together with a small selection of already existing works.
The title of the exhibition is borrowed from Anne Carson's translation of the work of the Greek poet Sappho, which has come down to us only in fragments. The missing passages create what Carson describes as a kind of antipoem, a space where the visual intervenes in the absence of language.
Among the newly created paintings are a series of large format Minotaurs. Wellmann's work investigates the themes of fear, power and disorder through a critical confrontation with the art-historical motif of the Minotaur. Immersed in nocturnal landscapes, Wellmann's figures disintegrate in their environment; in this context, darkness is both a metaphor for vulnerability and a potentially limitless rarefied atmosphere, in which the confines of the body can disappear.
The uncertain space-time coordinates in which Wellmann sets his paintings constitute possible worlds within which past and present, human and animal bodies mingle and transmute. Welcoming chance, error and reworking, the works expose the processes of their own metamorphosis, in which the fragility of the individual is transposed into the sphere of the community.
The exhibition offers infinite and unpredictable imaginaries: Antipoem is permeated by an expectation of catastrophe that overlaps, until it coincides, with the desire for an alternative future.