Sara Birns, Rain Me Visions, 2021.


Cassina Projects
Via Mecenate, 76/45, 20138 Milano MI


09 Jun 2022 - 23 Jul 2022




Let’s not be fooled by appearances. Let us cross the surface of the figure, let us go beyond it. We are bombarded with figures and images. Not even the time to hit us and they are already forgotten. Let us rather focus on the movements, the gestures, the brushstrokes (sometimes exaggerated, sometimes microscopic) to fully appreciate this fluid mutant exhibition.

Sara Birns (1992, California, USA) takes us on a dreamlike trip. We walk over a thin thread, stretched between the mystical and the infamous, between Heaven and Hell. In Birns’ purgatory we find the artist surrounded by family, friends and people met by chance, whose remixed faces give birth to new individuals inhabiting a surreal world. The data used to identify themselves are distorted as conflicting emotions coexist on the same face. A paradox emerges: is it even possible to pin down individual character? Perhaps Birns succeeds in revealing ways of interpreting invisible forces that are just beyond what our human eyes can detect.

After Sara we move on to Delphine Hennelly (1979, Canada), flying from the heat of California to the cold of Montreal, although the journey mirrored in the works of the two painters seems to be inverted. We are overwhelmed with soft palettes, mountains of fragrant, three-dimensional oil, geometries that become filters applied to the composition. Mother and son, their relationship. They are here to stay, explored throughout the canvases. Hugs, caresses, play, intimacy, love. Paintings seemingly manifest, actually mysterious. After seeing them again and again, another study will bring another detail to the surface, now obvious even if so far concealed from sight. Drawing, pure and genuine, is a key element in Hennelly’s works, a useful tool to anchor the concept to the form, able to twist the very nature of the painting to meet a graphic need by imitating techniques of reproduction such as printing, ink, doodling.

From Montreal to Brussels. Common denominator: French. Léo Luccioni (1994, France) lives and works in Belgium. The artist adopts an interdisciplinary practice, eclectic but coherent at the same time. Profaning without desecrating, he rather makes the ordinary sacred. The names of famous brands are raised to Gods, decanted in Gregorian chants. Mastro Lindo is a Buddhist holy man, probably vegan. The proposed set-up for an exhibition (dreamed or desired) at the New York spaces of the Guggenheim or Marian Goodman gallery becomes itself a work in which minute graphite interventions animate the paper. Who knows whether osmosis contributed to give Luccioni a kind of Flemish vein? Common objects from daily life are reincarnated into relics. Luccioni charges them with new meanings, calling into question the status our society assigns to them.

Last but not least, Daria Dmytrenko (1993, Ukraine), with whom our journey turns towards east. “Preparatory drawings,” “rehearsals,” and “sketches” are words that do not exist in Daria’s vocabulary. The artist prioritizes improvisation, the subconscious and its visual expression, deep and ancient memories that take shape with agility, new mythologies about the future rooted in the past. Dmytrenko engages in a real struggle against painting: the canvas is often turned, the shapes are altered several times, the colors change… until, capitulating, the only thing left is surrender to the enemy force. From the final chromatic solution shines a well-defined atmosphere, at times calm, at others perturbed. From chaos emerges a still yet irresolute quiet, behind which the gazes of figures watching and judging us are harboured

The different stories hailing from these four corners of the world contribute -each in its own way- to make time elastic, fluid, veeeeery fluuuuuid.

Edoardo Monti