Teresa Iannone is an Italian-based abstract painter and founder of the Art Space Urban Dripping Mind (UDM). Born in Mercato San Severino (Salerno, IT), she graduated from the prestigious Naples Academy of Fine Arts in 1978 where she specialized in Scenography. During her career she has committed to various areas of artistic-cultural relevance that go from Scenography to Decoration, from Direction to Stage Costume, and from Interior Design to Stage Design. Teresa’s artwork has been exposed in many must-see exhibitions in important cradles of Italian art such as Rome, Salerno, and Benevento. From ‘78 to ‘83 she carried out numerous interior design projects at design and furniture firms, in the field of design and planning. From ‘79 to ‘84 she was an Expert Member of the Commission of Cultural and Artistic heritage in the municipality of Mercato San Severino. From ‘84 to today she is a Professor of Art at the Ministry of Education, University and Research in Rome (IT). In 2015 she participated in the group exhibition of the Vinarte Festival, Guardia Sanframondi, Benevento. From 2016 to 2018 she was the Curator of the Mondrian Project, an academic contest held at the Giovanni Palombini IC in Rome (IT). In 2015 she presented a solo exhibition at Palazzo Vanvitelli in Mercato San Severino, Salerno. In 2011 she founds the Art Space Urban Dripping Mind and she brings her art for the first time in January 2020 in New York City exhibiting in Montserrat Contemporary Art Gallery in Chelsea.

THE WORK OF TERESA IANNONE

Living in an artwork is possible, you can live in it by looking at it, by imaging its audacious architectures and discovering the exemplary places it builds. Dwelling an artwork is possible with Teresa Iannone’s pictorial production, which transforms, armed with a spatula and a strong sensitivity toward color, the two-dimensional space into a complex juxtaposition of overlapping and inclined planes, almost as if she was going after the verticality of New York City’s skyline. By decomposing the urban landscape and then recomposing it Iannone seems, to use Ludwig Wittgenstein’s words, “to destroy clarity with clarity”. Practically she boycotts the clarity of reality (or of its figurative representation), first letting it succumb and then regenerating it in the form of the image-thought. Moving away from the figurative art, where the artist was initially settled, becomes not only a stylistic choice, but also a way to release a different perspective of things and of the world, less likely in terms of forms, but more accurate in its content’s substance. Therefore, clarity is intended as an allegorical and rational approach to painting, while leaving room to the multiple influences that Teresa received from the different field of experiences, spanning between sculpture to direction, scenography and stage design. Consequently, this continuous action of blurring to refocus, similar to a brain teaser or a mental game, opens up to a whole series of different interpretations of the artwork, enabling the viewer to give a personal interpretation. The painting, in such a way, becomes a magnetic surface not only for the eyes but also for the mind, captured in the continuous attempt to interpret what it sees. As a result, there is an action on a double level: the visual-organ and the mind-organ. The thought, in the work of Iannone, is free to migrate, to get lost, and to find itself again using as a guide the polychrome grids to which the artist has arrived by freeing herself from the form until reaching a purely abstract dialogue with the matter. Each one of her work is defined by the corners of the canvas, an absolutely closed space, finished, but at the same time moving: germinates of a concise and at the same time endless universe. Although Teresa’s buildings and skyscrapers exist in the rigor of a reasoned formal structure - perhaps due to the combination of colors, which act violently on each other acid and saturated as they are, perhaps due to the use of the spatula which gives to the whole a series of strongly materic and tactile vibrations - to emerge is a metropolitan organism pulsating with life. The artworks composed in this way appear to us infused in a particular vigor that guides the eye of the observer, accompanying it step by step along the chromatic traits from which a transfigured image of an abstract city emerges. And by abstraction, returning to the etymological purity of the word and moving away for a moment from the cultural superstructures that dominate the concept of “abstractionism”, it is intended precisely to substitute the figure with a newly created visual language. Here Iannone seems to flow easily among the great lessons imparted by the German Expressionism, she does not paint what is objectively seen, but revises it through a private and absolutely personal perception, consequently capturing not only the bone structure of the urban landscape but also the vibrant flesh that surrounds it. Its soul. Its vital breath. That energy, as we said before, that Gilles Deleuze would just define Rhythm. A rhythm that when manifested through the listening is music, but when it does through sight it is painting. Indeed, each canvas resembles a score where notes and chords find worthy substitutes in lines and strokes and where the melody seems to resonate strongly in the choice of sharp colors: pungent yellows, passionate magenta, intense malachite greens and rhapsodic blue. It almost seems that the artist winks at the jazz and bebop of a nostalgic and lyrical New York with its rainy streets and its smoking manholes. It is a color that becomes a metaphor, which brings together an atmosphere. The city that has influenced so much the production of Teresa Iannone is not the place where reality is revealed, but an architectural ideal that finds its impetus in the common vision that perhaps we all have, of a metropolis that, constrained between its coasts, rises feverishly to the sky. The architecture, that idea of architecture, it is indeed predominant, by training and aesthetic inclinations, in the artist’s modus operandi who seems to present us the City’s plan first from above, then from the bottom, then again through games of geometric and axonometric projections. What is offered to the viewer is an all-around vision, a vision that because of its complexity and wholeness, it would be impossible, if not in the dimension, which we could dare to say “magical”, of the painting. The painter makes available to the observer that gift that is given only to artists, that possibility to “not reproduce the visible but to make it visible”, as in one of Paul Klee’s most brilliant motto.

Angela Cerritello


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