Galleria Alessandro Bagnai is pleased to present a new installation by Gianni Dessì.

The exhibition space in Palazzo Ricasoli at Piazza Goldoni 2 is being “shared,” as on previous occasions, with Galleria Antonella Villanova, which will open a simultaneous solo show by jewelry artist Giampaolo Babetto, an anthology comprising some of the artists’ works, drawings and objects from the 1970s to the present day.

The two artists, from their different disciplines, will “meet” in the first exhibition room. Here, with a wall-based work that partially occupies the floor as well, Gianni Dessì erases the physical space and re-draws it according to his own laws, taking us into another space through painting. With this work, Dessì builds a bridge to the other dimension of Babetto’s work: a series of jewels and little wearable sculptures.

Gianni Dessì sometimes uses color to design the space - often yellow, the color of light, but also the most volatile of colors. His installation for the last room at Galleria Alessandro Bagnai is awash in yellow; its central element is a bust in raku, a Japanese ceramic technique that generates contrasts of combustion and color, creating a breakdown of the material on the one hand (burnt blackness) and its revitalization on the other through a bursting forth of color, a metaphor of the life/death, darkness/light dichotomy. The bust, a self-portrait, is a fragment of a body which is often the object of “stripping” of flesh and merciless laceration in the artist’s work. The self-determination of the self-portrait here becomes an embodiment of a dramatic and brutal impact, which we can also interpret as the artist’s contemplation of his status as such.

From the end of the 1970s, Gianni Dessì was one of the main figures in the Nuova Scuola Romana (along with Ceccobelli, Gallo, Nunzio, Pizzi Cannella, Tirelli and Bianchi), and later developed a more installation-oriented dimension than other members of the group, increasingly involving space in a new dialogue between painting and sculpture. The artist continually tests the limits of three-dimensionality, creating grafts and overlayerings of monochromatic fields, sculptural forms and color manipulations.

Gianni Dessì was born in 1955 in Rome, where he lives and works. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts of Rome with Toti Scialoja, participated in numerous group shows, and had his first solo exhibition in 1979 at Galleria Ugo Ferranti. In 1984, Achille Bonito Olivo curated the exhibition Ateliers, with which Dessì and the artists of the Nuova Scuola Romana (Ceccobelli, Gallo, Nunzio, Pizzi Cannella, Tirelli and Bianchi) came to the fore in the contemporary art scene. He participated in the 1981 Sao Paolo Biennial and the 1982 Des Jeunes Artistes biennial in Paris, and was invited to the Venice Biennial twice, in 1984 and 1986, participating in the XI Quadriennale of Rome in the latter year as well. In 1995 Danilo Eccher presented a major retrospective at the Galleria Civica d’Arte Contemporanea of Trento. In 2006 he had a solo show at MACRO in Rome, and in 2009 Mart of Rovereto dedicated an extensive showcase to his work as part of the exhibition Italia Contemporanea Officina San Lorenzo. Dessì has also worked regularly with the theater, creating sets for Wagner’s Parsifal directed by Peter Stein and conducted by Claudio Abbado in Salzburg in 2002, and the Bela Bartok opera Il castello del duca Barbablù at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan in 2008, among others. He has had numerous solo shows at galleries including Ugo Ferranti in Rome, Folker Skulima in Berlin, Gian Enzo Sperone in Rome, Galleria dello Scudo in Verona, Sperone Westwater in New York, Triebold in Basel, L.A. Louver in Venice, Los Angeles, Volker Diehl in Berlin and Galerie di Meo in Paris. Since 1990, Galleria Alessandro Bagnai has built a privileged relationship with the artist that has resulted in five solo shows and numerous group ones, as well as contributions to the realization of exhibitions in important public spaces in Italy and abroad. One of the most recent museum exhibitions was in 2011 at the Musée d’Art Moderne de Saint- Étienne in France, curated by Lorand Hegyi.