Art Basel

OVR: Portals

Carlo D’Anselmi


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Thierry Goldberg Gallery is pleased to present new paintings by Carlo D’Anselmi for Art Basel OVR:2021

Carlo D’Anselmi employs vivid colors, dramatic lighting, and warped perspectives to construct pictorial spaces of his own making. Working across painting and drawing, the artist’s practice has a dreamlike quality, whereby figures, flora, and fauna all coexist in the same illusory universe. Plants and wildlife take over the canvas, while D’Anselmi’s subjects appear somewhat statuesque, engrossed in their personal realities. Cityscapes encroach upon nature, and vice versa, highlighting the ongoing tension between humanity and the environments that surround us.

For OVR:2021 D’Anselmi’s series of new paintings consider the purpose or positioning of humans within their environments. While still building upon the pensive quality of his previous works, the artist makes a clear departure in terms of the intentionality of his subjects. His figures now begin to suggest a sense of self-awareness, their gaze often venturing into the plane of the viewer. In Madonna of the Stairs (2022), a woman looks imploringly toward the viewer as she is encountered by an over-excited dog. The woman looks at peace as the dog, jumping up, grabs her shirt by its’s teeth. There is a sense of uncertainty present in this moment that D’Anselmi has carefully crafted, the distinction deliberately blurred between great enthusiasm or agitation, play or attack, nature or nurture.

In this series, D’Anselmi often adorns his figures with reflective surfaces that grant the viewer a glimpse into their intimate worlds. In Dear Georgie (2022), the figure glances up from his drawing pad with sunglasses poised on the bridge of his nose. Through the reflective surface of the sunglasses, we catch sight of a bird whose likeness the figure is trying desperately to capture and a landscape of suburban-esque homes nostalgically looming in the distance. In Deja Vu (2022), this pensive moment is repeated as a woman stares through her sunglasses at a cat while gripping a pencil by the tips of her teeth. Her eyes radiate out through her sunglasses blending into the reflection of her environment. The addition of the reflective surfaces in these works serves as a looking glass, allowing the viewer the possibility to see the world through the eyes of D’Anselmi’s subjects.

D’Aselmi infuses his work with a whimsical essence while often bringing into question the confines of domesticity in relation to the natural world. The Magic Hour (2022) displays a woman in a vibrant wash of purple gently holding a curled-up orange cat. Both the woman and the cat stare lackadaisically into the distance as birds, freed from their cage, flutter joyously around them. The woman is placed between a portrait of an occupied birdcage and a mirror that reflects her internal environment in a golden hue. Through the reflection we are shown the birdcage that has been left open as an onlooker gazes through the window onto the scene, playfully hinting at the domestic environments that serve as our protective cages. There is an inherent tension between the cat, who is being held against the woman, and the birds who fly free. This pairing creates an enchanting environment where all species can co-exist while also compelling one to contemplate the principle of nurture versus nature.

Carlo D’Anselmi (b. 1991, New York, NY) lives and works in Ridgewood, Queens. He holds an MFA in Painting from The New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting & Sculpture, New York, NY and a BA from Saint Anselm College, Manchester, NH. The artist has had a solo exhibition at Thierry Goldberg Gallery following an online show of works on paper. D’Anselmi has also exhibited at Prior Art Space, Berlin; Monya Rowe Gallery, New York, NY; The Cabin, Los Angeles, CA; Pamela Salisbury Gallery, Hudson, NY; Auxier Kline, New York, NY; Danese/Corey, New York, NY; ROOM Artspace, Brooklyn, NY; and The Painting Center, New York, NY.