ABSTRACT NOW! ITALY

MAGMA gallery is glad to present “Abstract Now! Italy”, from February 22 to April 24, 2020, involving some of the most important names in Italian urban art and among the most interesting on the international scene. Through a selection of works by the artists 2501, Alberonero, Aris, Ciredz, Martina Merlini, Sten Lex, Tellas, MAGMA gallery wants to offer a precious snapshot of contemporary Urban Abstractionism, focusing the attention on an increasingly popular current worldwide. Thanks to the big names involved, this exhibition aims to be a sort of fixed point, a chance to observe how non-figurative art has evolved by collecting and experimenting with different declinations.

Tellas (Cagliari, 1985) artistic research begins right from his homeland, Sardinia: his works are an intimate and personal vision of the natural landscapes that surround him, using them in a meditative and pictorial process. The ways in which his style is expressed are the most varied, a confirmation of the will to experiment and the different linguistic changes. In 2015 he completed a huge public work in Cagliari, the capital city of Italian culture for that year. Also important are the collaborations with some historical Italian fashion brands, including Ferragamo and Marni. With the latter, Tellas creates videos and projects in two different periods, also presented on the occasion of the 56th Venice Biennale. In 2018 his works were exhibited at the Gagliardi Museum in Noto for the exhibition "ABSTRACTA - from Balla to Street Art", which traces a century of Italian abstract painting from Futurist precursors to the most recent contemporary artists present from street art.

Sten (Rome) and Lex (Taranto), both born in 1982, are considered the main Italian masters of the stencil technique. Their common artistic path began in Rome in 2001 and their works are all extremely graphic, characterized by their use and black and white. Since Roman times, Sten Lex's works have become part of the urban landscape of cities such as London, Paris, Barcelona and New York.In 2008, they took part in the Cans Festival: Banksy invited thirty-nine street artists from around the world. In 2008 and 2010, they took part in the "Nuart" Festival in Stavanger, Norway, with important artists like Blek le Rat, D-Face, Vhils and Roa. In 2013, they entered the contemporary art world with large-scale pieces in museums, such as the Contemporary Art di Oaxaca (Messico). In 2017, they also presented their work at the “Cross the Streets” in MACRO Roma and “Brighter days are coming” in the Street Art Museum in San Pietroburgo. In 2018 their works were exhibited at the Gagliardi Museum of Noto on the occasion of the exhibition "ABSTRACTA - from Balla to Street Art", also the MUCA Museum of Urban and Contemporary Art of Berlin.

Martina Merlini (Bologna, 1986) lives and works in Milan. From illustration to geometric abstraction; a path that leads the artist to experiment and learn about herself through different expressive contexts such as, among others, street art and installations. She took part in numerous exhibitions in Europe, America and Australia. Among the various international events and festivals in which she takes part are Living Walls, the first female street art festival held in Atlanta (USA) in 2012, and the prestigious Le Mur in Paris, in 2015. In 2017 she exhibited at the Archaeological Museum of Grosseto in a group show with important names including Alighiero Boetti, Michael Johansson, Pennacchio Argentato, Luca Pozzi and many others. In 2018 she took part in exhibitions in Mexico, Hong Kong, San Francisco, Madrid.

2501 works in a wide variety of mediums, including painting, installation, sculpture, photography, and film. The lines of 2501 symbolize an incessant weaving and writing on the material, whether it be ceramic, metal, canvas or paper, exalted for example by the superposition of layers of different materials and permeated by a timeless light that filters between the traces, between a sign and the other. A flow that becomes itself a supporting structure, rewriting new compositional architectures. Through both installations and murals, the research of 2501 has always focused on the relationship between art and the environment, looking for new expressive ways, paying great attention to performance, not just to the result. This is how parallel projects are created, such as "Nomadic Experiment" and "Glimpse of America", where acting, doing, becomes the creative hub itself. 2501’s site specific and socially committed works are created to dialogue with urban topography, like beautiful examples in Los Angeles, Miami, Sao Paulo, Milan, Roma, Detroit, Chicago, Ulan Bator, New York, Atlanta, Kiev.  2501 exhibited in prestigious institutions such as the Triennale di Milano, the MACRO of Rome, the Center for Contemporary Art Luigi Pecci in Prato, the Royal Palace of Caserta, the MAC of Lissone and the Museum for Urban Contemporary Art of Berlin. In 2013, he participated in "Back 2 Back to Biennale", an official satellite event of the 55th Venice Biennale. In 2009 he won the Street Art Award at the Metropolis Art Prize 2009 with the video "Mask", screened in Times Square, New York.

Alberonero (Lodi, 1991) emerging talent already capable of achieving important results, in 2018 took part in the important collective exhibition "Abstracta" at the Museo Gagliardi in Noto, with works by great Italian masters such as Turcato, Perilli, Tancredi and the young generation of Italian urban artists, like Tellas, 2501 and others. In 2017 he carried out a major installation project in Favara, Sicily, for Farm Cultural Park. Important, among others, is the participation in "Roma Arte Aperta", a collective show at the Ex Dogana in Rome, with works also by art masters such as Alighiero Boetti, Sol LeWitt, Jannis Kounellis and others. His three-dimensional works testify the steps of a stylistic journey that started from visual perception, residual images and the interaction of these elements towards the viewer. Natural elements such as small collected branches are compared with steel and cement, and the spatial yield in other works is dilated or exalted deceptively by mirrors. The use of colored pastes deliberately applied in an instinctive, brutal manner, expresses the emotional, unstructured, free side of his research. These materials, belonging to our everyday life and therefore usually ignored, are mixed, opposed to a poetic level perhaps unprecedented for the artist himself, stripping away the two-dimensional rigor of the pictorial works and appropriating the physical space.

Aris (Viareggio, 1978) started his activity in the 2000s. The walls of railway wagons offered him the opportunity to create and experiment, using iron or other poor materials as background to his works. He immediately developed a personal style of lettering from which he gradually moved, by looking at his figure which later turned into an accumulation of shapes and forms, creating surreal and complex optical effects. Travelling and the need to explore are fundamental parts of his life and work, leading him to paint in various countries, Spain, Germany, Poland, Russia and to realize several public works in spaces not traditionally voted to art. Aris has been among the protagonists of the exhibition held at PAC in Milan, “Street Art, Sweet Art” in  2007, the first in Italy to officially legitimize, in a public museum institution, the street artists of Milanese and Bolognese scene.

Ciredz (Cagliari, 1981) belongs to a generation of the innovative interpreters of Italian urban movement. Moving through the minimalistic approach, his pieces are the direct result of the topographical studies on terrestrial maps and diagrams, by the ripples, waves, from the graphs of revelation merged with his creative expression and ability to simultaneously exploit the natural and artificial forms. His works on paper, on wall, his sculptures and his enigmatic and amazing installations have been appreciated in numerous national and international exhibitions and events, such as the Katowice Street Art Festival in Poland, the Muu Festival in Croatia, the Asalto Festival and the US Barcelona in Spain, and the famous Village Underground Wall in London. He participated in the "Becoming Marni" project, developed in the north east of Brazil in the Sergipe region, presented at the 56th Venice Biennale. He recently took part in various festivals and exhibition projects like the Fuorisalone of Milan, Campidarte of Cagliari, Upeart Festival in Finland and Walk & Talk Azores Islands.