SEPTEMBER 29 – NOVEMBER 3, 2018
Paolo Colombo is an artist living in Athens, working exclusively with watercolors and pencil drawings. This exhibition presents a body of his recent and new work, including word-based and image-focused works. Each is a tracing of an interior space, an experienced event or sensation, illuminated through fundamental forms such as the dot, the line, and the square.
Two early works from the 1970s depict Colombo’s poetry from that time, in which each letter is comprised of thousands of dots, as if gathered from sand or fog. The poetic images, concentrated and lyrical, are at once poignant and without fixed meaning. Colombo balances his simple language with a highly technical visual method, making this leap to the visual at a time when mainstream art made little room for lyric expression. In his later watercolors, often comprised of two or more sheets butting against each other, the lettering and the painted stars and diamonds appear as embroidery, and in consistency with this, the texture of the paper resembles that of cloth.
Paolo Colombo’s passion for texture together with an appreciation for Byzantine and folk arts is also alive in the works that are not based on text. These depict simple images that evoke nuanced associations and feelings: stars, an eye, a pair of arms crossing. Colombo offers us a visual poetics that is particular while allowing for the experiences of others, opening spaciously into emotions and states of being.
Andrea Applebee, Athens, Greece.
Born 1949 in Torino, Italy, Paolo Colombo lives and works in Athens, Greece, and is the Art Advisor for the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art (2008 to present). Between 2001 – 2007, Colombo was the curator of the Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo in Rome, and the director of the Centre d’art Contemporain in Geneva between 1989 – 2000. Colombo studied at the University of Rome between 1967 – 1975, at Yale University between 1975 – 1976, and at Columbia University between 1976 – 1977