Valerio Adami

January 9 > March 6, 2010
Paris - Impasse Beaubourg

Selected works
Press release

Famed for his acid-toned paintings, Valerio Adami has chosen Impasse Beaubourg for the first exhibition of his drawing show, based on a completely new concept: every preparatory sketch he has made over the past three years. These forty-odd drawings combine to create what is, in effect, a drawn diary in which the artist's obsessional themes - travel, music, literature - are revealed in all their complexity.

Drawings are fundamental to Valerio Adami's work; created over several days, they form the matrix for every one of his paintings. The paper retains the traces of his revisions, the succession of sketches. Adami feels that the drawings are witness to, and the memory of, his paintings. As he puts it: "the essence of my self is found in the drawings. The painter's aim is to add shape and volume to the drawing. But even where the drawings are abstract, their syntax must remain perfectly concrete."

For Adami, lines and closed shapes are closely tied to word and language. A friend of both Italo Calvino and Jacques Derrida, Valerio Adami conceives his paintings as philosophical interrogations of the verb. He says that: "entire days spent on the drawings, erasing their every mundane trace. (Measuring up to Utopia is one way of knowing the truth.) All these drawings are but the seasonal fruits of the tree that we are, etc. Drawings without shadows and without anguish, where light and darkness lie together within the line. There are tiny keys in the closed form, that move the whole."

Born in Bologna in 1935, Valerio Adami's work is influenced by his time at Felice Carena's atelier, his Venice meeting with Oskar Kokoschka, then with Achille Funi at the Brera Academy. He showed his work in 1968 at the Jewish Museum of New York; in 1970 at the Paris Museum of Modern Art, then Mexico City and Jerusalem; in 1985 at the Centre Georges Pompidou, as well as in Tel Aviv and Buenos Aires. From 1970 to 1994, his work was shown at the Maeght gallery. Since 2004 he has seen his work exhibited at the Frissiras Museum in Athens (2004), as well as in Italy (2004), Finland (2005) and Spain (2005). Since 2007 he has been heavily involved in setting up a drawing foundation in Meina, Italy. He was included in the major recent exhibition of Figuration Narrative at the Grand Palais (2008) and had work shown at Stockholm's Moderna Museet (2008). An exhibition of works by Valerio Adami will be held in September 2010 at the Boca Raton Museum of Art in Palm Beach, Florida.
The exhibition catalogue, featuring around forty reproductions and new writing by the artist, will be available from January 9, 2010.


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