Press Release

From February 23 to July 30, 2023, Pirelli HangarBicocca presents NOw/here, the solo exhibition by Gian Maria Tosatti (Rome, 1980; lives and works in Naples), one of the most interesting Italian artists in recent years. Two impressive painting cycles: with these new textured, abstract, large-format works, the artist who represented Italy in 2022 at the 59th Venice Biennale, reveals his painting practice for the first time.



International exhibitions

International Archives 1st half of 2023

Gian Maria Tosatti, NOw/here

Pirelli HangarBiccoca, Milan (Italy)

23.02 - 30.07.2023




The exhibition NOw/here, curated by Vicente Todolí, consists of two cycles of paintings presented for the first time at Pirelli HangarBicocca, Portraits (2022) and NOw/here (2023). These large-scale works are set up in close relationship with the architecture of Pirelli HangarBicocca, creating moments of interaction and contrasting situations. Portraits comprises four gold and rust paintings on iron panels, assembled and installed on tube and clamp structures. The processes of corrosion and oxidation of metal, which physically restore a sense of the passing of time, become painterly “matter.” By using gold, the artist draws on the Western painting tradition, from Byzantine mosaics and the gold backgrounds of 13th- and 14th-century panel painting, to the more recent experimental practices of Italian artists of the 1970s, such as Jannis Kounellis, Gino De Dominicis, and Luciano Fabro. With Portraits, Tosatti dematerializes the two-dimensionality of the surface to create a symbolic elsewhere world, producing, as he explains, “a surface that separates the realm of things from that of the soul.” On the other hand, the NOw/here series takes the form of ten large fields of graphite and white charcoal on canvas suspended from the ceiling. Thanks to the nuances obtained with the material—used as a large-scale painting technique—, Tosatti moves from the real to the imaginative dimension. The result is a series of depictions of horizons studded with enigmatic white spheres that, like glowing dots, evoke the idea of light, a recurring metaphor in his practice.

This new body of work condenses several recurring concepts of Gian Maria Tosatti’s research over the past two decades and embodies a dialogue with the Zeitgeist (Spirit of the time), resonating with the feelings, characteristic of the artist’s generation. For Tosatti, the exhibition becomes an opportunity to address aspects of current events as well as the human condition at such a difficult moment in time, in a society poised between catastrophe and evolution. These works are also conceived as “mirrors,” open questions that directly confront the visitor. In the words of the artist: “Right from the title, whose pronunciation differs depending on the perspective chosen by the reader, the exhibition is an invitation to delve into an environment that seems to pose an open, simple, intimate question to those who cross its threshold: ‘how do you feel?”

Through their material qualities, the paintings reconnect with the very moment when reality reveals itself, as evoked by the exhibition title “NOw/here,” whose elements can be read individually, as “now” and “here,” or sequentially, as in “nowhere.” This project is a coherent continuation of the artist’s poetic journey, showing extensive references to many of his past works, from Testamento—devozioni X (2011), to the more recent Episode of Odesa (2020) and History of Night and Destiny of Comets (2022). In NOw/here Tosatti seems to confront History, interpreting it not as a chain of events, but as a feeling, while trying to capture the moment to which we belong.

The artist

Tosatti’s work focuses on the notions of collectivity and memory, in their historical, political, and spiritual significance. Carrying out in-depth, complex research, and freely drawing on the language of the visual arts, performance, and architecture, the artist creates sculptural works and large site-specific installations, often conceived for entire buildings or urban areas, intended to last for long periods of time. In addition, his practice engages communities connected to the places where his interventions take shape. This is true of Sette Stagioni dello Spirito (2013–2016), a titanic seven-stage project, which involved several highly symbolic buildings in the city of Naples that had previously been abandoned or, more recently, of My Heart is a Void, the Void is a Mirror, a work in progress that began in 2018 and has been developed in multiple countries.

Exhibition 23 February - 30 July 2023. Pirelli HangarBicocca, Via Chiese, 2 - 20126 Milan (Italy). T +39 02 6611 1573. Hours: Thursday–Sunday 10:30am–8:30pm






Gian Maria Tosatti, NOw/here, Pirelli HangarBiccoca, Milan, Italy

© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2023. All Rights Reserved

Vew of Gian Maria Tosatti: NOw/here, Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan, 2023. Courtesy of the artist and Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan. Photo: Ela Bialkowska, OKNOstudio.

Vew of Gian Maria Tosatti: NOw/here, Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan, 2023. Courtesy of the artist and Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan. Photo: Ela Bialkowska, OKNOstudio.