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Minna Kantonen, Untitled [HEL1001], from the serie Urban Vistas, 2010. Courtesy Matèria gallery and the artist

Suggests something tangible and evokes organic sensations; actually Matèria is the name of the new gallery, which opened the 17 of April in Rome, directed by Niccolò Fano.
The project, in our view, starts very well, with an exhibition entitled On Landscape #2, entirely dedicated to the subject of landscape. The three arists involved are: Dafna Talmor, Emma Wieslander and Minna Kantonen, founders of On Landscape Project, thematic project that has in its DNA the purpose to investigate the aesthetic declinations, the formal aspects, the conceptual and relational implications related to the contemporary landscape dimension.
On Landscape #2, second step which is part of a more elaborate and complex project, allows to investigate in a deep way a research that begun on the occasion of the first edition of On Landscape #1, which was held at the Guest Projects of Yinka Shonibare in London, in March 2014. In this sense, the project promotes the development of further reflections on the representation of the landscape in relation to preconceived ideas, traditions and iconographic conventions frequently associated to this theme.
The three artists are joined by guest artist Marco Strappato, whose work is a thematically adjacent addition to their work.

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Minna Kantonen   Urban Vistas

In order: Emma Wieslander, Untitled #4, from the serie Wish You Were Here, 2010; Marco Strappato, Untitled, "Three empty frames", glass, found images, spray paint, 2013; Minna Kantonen, Untitled, from the serie Urban Viastas, 2009. Courtesy Matèria gallery and the artist

"Rooted in reality, Constructed Landscapes by Dafna Talmor focuses specifically on creating imaginary spaces in a representational and meta-linguistical manner that makes photography itself the subject of her investigation. The work of the London-based Israeli artist is a craft that sees her produce landscapes with strong Pictorialist references, created by combining cut out negatives, resulting in a purposed image printed in the darkroom. [...] Creating seemingly imaginary scenarios, embedded in a decomposed reality, the images are unhinged and rearranged to become something 'other'.
Swedish artist Emma Wieslander's Wish You Were Here constructs her 'landscape' through a perceptive and evocative game. What is more romantic than a sunset? How many of us have not stopped to admire the reddening sky and the sun disappearing below the horizon line?
In this project Wieslander's images leverage the duality between fiction and reality feeding on their contradictory values coexisting within a single evocative image.
In contrast, the series Urban Vistas by Minna Kantonen proposes a more traditional landscape aesthetic, one that is decidely less abstract than Talmor and Wieslander's approach. The London-based Finnish photographer's practice investigates nature within urban environments, whereby green sites coexist with bricks and concrete. In Urban Vistas, trees find their home on paved hills instead of soil, marked by the incessant signs of urbanisation.
Working with installation, Marco Strappato makes use of photographs, collages and digital techniques to delve deeper into the subject matter by using images belonging to consumer culture as his starting point. Driven by the process of manipulation and re-elaboration that places the final results within the panorama of contemporary aesthetics, Strappato draws inspiration from the cauldron of images that - through magazines, television and newspapers - bombard our daily view. These images are then reused to engage in a silent yet critical discussion with the viewer about his perception of the world, potentially buffered from the texts imposed by society." *

*The text is a an excerpt from an essay by Francesca Orsi

Dafna Talmor    Constructed Landscapes

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Dafna Talmor, UntitledUntitled (BR-1414-1); Untitled (EA-131313-4), from the serie Constructed Landscapes II, 2014. Courtesy Matèria gallery and the artist

A central element of On Landscape Project consists of a library of self-published, hand-made or short run artists books, relating to the project ethos. The 44 publications included in On Landscape #2 were sourced from an open call and selected by a judging panel formed by Chiara Capodici and Fiorenza Pinna of 3/3, Gianpaolo Arena of Landscape Stories, Matèria's gallery director Niccolò Fano and the On Landscape Project team. The book display aims to provide a platform for wider debates around landscape through a diverse range of practitioners' work.

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Matèria gallery / Rome
Until the 16 May 2015