Diario notturno, solo exhibition, Circoloquadro contemporary art gallery, Milan

The solo exhibition of the Turin-based painter is hosted by one of Milan’s most interesting emerging art observers. With an installation that is a diary of images.

On Wednesday, 6 th March, during the Milan Art Week, the Circoloquadro contemporary art gallery will present Diario notturno [Nocturnal diary], Elisa Filomena’s solo exhibition. Large canvases and medium-sized papers form a story, as in a sort of intimate and personal diary, written during the silent hours of the night, the chosen moment by the Turin-based artist to devote herself to the beloved painting.

Diario notturno, the project that Elisa Filomena presents for the first time in Milan, encompasses the pictorial research of recent years, divided into stories that define as many themes towards which the painting itself has led the artist.

On display large canvases into which a number of images are enclosed as if they were frames on a single canvas: the story has no chronological order but takes on meaning and poetry thanks to the artist’s pictorial sign reminiscent of the poetic language, for rhymes and combinations, points and voids filled with colours and small graphic signs. Alongside this works, a series of portraits, inspired by American photo booth pictures of the ’60s, done with mixed media, unique for their expressive and existential force embedded.

The Elisa Filomena’s artworks are therefore characterised by great poetry and by an expressionist pictorial gesture, but extremely delicate and couth at the same time.

Filomena’s research focuses on the reflection on human life and nature, both experienced as everlasting and tender forces in contrast and harmony with the transience of existence. The artworks are often made up of images that form dreams and tales of that which is hidden from the eye that take shape thanks to the “alla prima” painting. The sign is unique and unrepeatable, focused on an expressive research in which the pictorial fault is not contemplated, where the sign and the brushstroke are given by an expressiveness gained from daily work and entrusted to the sensorial mediation of painting used without afterthoughts or stratifications.

This exhibition is the outcome of the last two intense and frantic years of work. At night, when all is silent, the Turin-born artist draws and paints relentlessly and in a rush. This nocturnal “pages” are on show at Circoloquadro, displayed one by one under the viewer’s gaze who can thus grasp bits and pieces of life and various tales. What underlies this project is Filomena’s curiosity and willingness to inquire more and more the drawing that becomes a means of mediation between reality and art.

«The hand is connected to my head without any filter in between; the gesture is swift and determined, the hindrance determined by the technique or by the pictorial matter has disappeared».

Moreover, this path of revaluating the drawing leads Elisa Filomena to shorten the gap between her drawing and her painting, which becomes essential and synthetic, in line with the works on display, and with an extreme and surprising coherence. By means of a particular set-up, by “filling up”, Diario notturno recounts not only two full years of work and therefore her the artistic and personal path, but also the tales and lives of the characters that dwell within Elisa Filomena‘s canvases and papers.

Goya painted in darkness, with his palette of whites, blacks and ochres; van Gogh wearing a hat topped with burning candles; Séraphine de Senlis, handmaid by day and painter by night inside a miserable room. It is in the dark that Elisa Filomena’s visual diary sees the light: «By day she works away from home while the night is dedicated to art. From 22 pm until 3 am in the morning, Elisa draws and paints. Always, every single day. She tales me that it’s a necessity, she cannot do without», says the curator Arianna Beretta.

For Circoloquadro Elisa Filomena composes an intimate, mystical and imaginative Nocturnal diary, with 75 papers, 3 large billowing canvases nailed to the walls and 30 prints with direct intervention. Feminine portraits inspired by antique pictures, figures that emerge by subtraction and rarefaction, like poetry, from the untainted white of the canvas and of the paper. An anti-chronological, manifold and solitary mémoire, which ascends from darkness and transcends the artist in order to release the invisible and the unaccountable.

During the exhibition, a limited edition of numbered and signed prints with the artist’s direct intervention will be on sale.


Curated by Arianna Beretta
From 6th March until 7th April 2019
Opening times: From Wednesday to Friday, from 3 pm to 7 pm and on request
Vernissage on Wednesday, 6th March 2019, at 6.30 pm
Circoloquadro contemporary art gallery
18, via Gian Battista Passerini, Milan
Phone: +39 324.8392144


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