Culture / Art Republik

Focus: Artist Oliviero Rainaldi

Oliviero Rainaldi had a successful return visit to Singapore recently. Art Republik has the story.

Jun 08, 2016 | By Tyen Fong

Following his successful show in Kuala Lumpur last year, Italian artist Oliviero Rainaldi returned to Singapore at Partners & Mucciaccia Gallery with an exhibition that is currently (until September 30, 2016) presenting works from the past two events dedicated to him in 2015. Titled ‘White on Black’, the exhibition comprises some of his drawings, paintings and sculptures featuring different techniques and material such as bronze, plaster, gold, marble and glass. The exhibition is sponsored by Maserati in celebration of its 100th anniversary. Last year, the luxury car company commissioned Rainaldi to create a large retro illuminated marble work entitled ‘Neptune in the Wind’, where the trident held by the God represents their logo.

Rainaldi’s artistic explorations began in the 1980s where he started researching on the human figure – its metaphysical nature and its relationship with the spiritual world. The exhibition at Partners & Mucciaccia Gallery paid tribute to his personal research and his extensive experimentation with different media, such as drawings, paintings, and sculptures. Amongst his collection of works are two particularly remarkable artworks: the enigmatic ‘Gisant’ (1993), inspired by Manet’s ‘Bullfighter’, a solitary male figure, which seems like he’s floating in the atmosphere that highlights his most perfect forms; and ‘The Argonaut’ (2011). These two sculptures resemble that of ancient Greek sculptures.

His works have been showcased in Shanghai and Malaysia, and has received significant recognition from the public and critics. The success of his ‘ECHOS’ series convinced the museum director of Shanghai MOCA Samuel Kung to extend the exhibition for one more month. Some of the most important Chinese newspapers recommended ‘ECHOS’ among the most interesting events of the year together with David Hockney, Mark Bradford and Markus Lupers exhibitions. During his exhibition titled ‘TWINS’ at the Petronas Gallery in Kuala Lumpur, the artist received the prize ‘Personality of the Year’ by the Branding Association of Malaysia for his outstanding work.

Rainaldi, who also received the ‘Academic’ title of the Pontifical Academy of Fine Arts and Letters of the Virtuosi of Pantheon by Pope John Paul II in 2000, has exhibited his works in both national and international public institutions, including Battesimi Umani, seat of the Nobel prize, Municipality Palace, Stockholm (1995); Battesimi Umani, Palace of ONU, Geneva (1998); Engagement, MACRO, Rome (2000); La déjeuner sur le blanc, MAMbo, Bologna (2003); The Collection of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rome; Conversazioni, Piazza del Cinquecento, Rome (2011-2012); and Santo, The Pontifical Council for Culture, Vatican City (2012).

Overall, each work possesses opposing elements juxtaposed against one another to create complex forms. Works from his ‘TWIN’ exhibition exhibit a variety of dichotomies – horizontal and vertical, plenty and void, immersion and appearance, existence and non-existence.

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This story was first published in Art Republik. 

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