In the 21er Raum at the 21er Haus, Rita Vitorelli has installed paintings and projections confronting painting’s role in the ever broadening expanded cinema plus its embedded romantic constitutions. Hanging her paintings one after another with sides attached to the wall, Vitorelli activates space and effects change structurally. Likewise with projectors placed on the floor beaming onto the walls, Vitorelli reduces her interaction with the room to the bare minimum relying on the raw room as the hanging device for her pictures.
Canvases sequentially installed perpendicular to one wall are visible from the front and back sides. On the former are graphite drawings, painted black lines and brush marks depicting compositions based on 19th century paintings by Thomas Cole. The latter provides hand written titles each of the referenced Hudson River School paintings by name. The series, both from Cole and now by Vitorelli illustrate a vision of the maturation of civilization. Though Vitorelli reproduces the titles and the compositions, she limits shading and depth using only black line and smudges of paint on a white ground. The irony of her gesture points to ideological questions of romanticism and toward uncertain political mistrust.
The line, which recurs in Vitorelli’s physical paintings, projected digital paintings and exhibition placards allude to yet more historical genres. Loopy gestures describing animals, landscapes and figures alongside non-descriptive marks can be likened to a union of art brut and graphic fauvist renderings.
Exhibition view, Rita Vitorelli, Volatile Color Rushes through Time, Photo: (c) Belvedere, Vienna
Vitorelli is using painting to mark the medium’s history as a means of ideology and to broadly comment on a current climate of questioned government confidence, societal guilt, general uncertainty and a yearn for hope. Vitorelli merges references and dialogues: multimedia environments, support surface, structuralism, American romanticism and the European outsider. Cognizant, she assumes and mixes this sundry of historical positions but emotes her own way of explanation albeit it is sometimes more a peaceful road out and sometimes one leading deeper into more inquiry or pointing to turmoil.
Volatile Color Rushes through Time
Schweizergarten, Arsenalstraße 1
13. März bis 21. April 2014