Federico Luger (FL GALLERY) is pleased to present Blue Braque, solo-show by Gabriele Di Matteo (Torre del Greco, 1957), text by Giorgio Verzotti.

To host his solo-show at FL Gallery, Gabriele Di Matteo has worked on space, splitting it: the exhibition space now has two staircases leading to the upstairs office. The new ladder is identical to the first, apart from the material is made from, wood. A ghost ladder double the real one, empowering the impression of entering in a parallel dimension. This structural, but precarious and “virtual” addition transform the space in the ideal scenario for a narrative made up of thematic ideas, allusions, all related to a real event, which concerns Georges Braque. On show a reproduction of one of his paintings dated 1938, one of his guéridons, still-life with a skull instead of the usual guitar, and, to allude to the historical context, a reproduction of a masterpiece by Pablo Picasso. The exhibition path includes a large self-portrait made from a photograph and a canvas that incorporates the studio, realized with the same procedure. The works are characterized by a utter black and white, except for the detail of a colour tube’s label, in blue. The entire exhibition is dedicated to Braque’s blue, as indicated in the text printed on the canvas placed where the second door - the twin of the existing one - should be. Always attracted by the possibilities of copying, Di Matteo has reproduced an article found by chance in a magazine of the Sixties, about the last hours of life of the great French master. It seems that before he died he asked for his blue to be brought to him. What will have been among the many possible blues in painting is not known, and it is precisely this not-knowing that Di Matteo articulates his narration, unlikely as perhaps the source is, a journalistic article that could be a fragmentary invention, uncertain as a news that spreads from voice to voice, without certainties, and for this very reason open to the possible, and fascinating.

After studying painting at the Fine Arts Academy of Naples, in 1985 Gabriele Di Matteo (Torre del Greco, 1957) showed his work at the exhibition Evacuare Napoli held at the Istituto Grenoble of Naples. The paintings he showed there echoed the language of the Neo-Expressionists, but in an ironically theatrical key. On that occasion, for the first time ever, the artist’s fictitious alter ego also intervened, named Armando Della Vittoria, a combination of his father’s and his mother’s names. In 1989 Di Matteo and Armando Della Vittoria participated with two different works in the Premio Saatchi, which was awarded, in spite of the latter artist’s victory, to the work Cassa Contante by Di Matteo. With the founding of the magazine E il topo in 1991, Armando Della Vittoria took on the role of director, and addressed his research especially toward the theme of identity. While from 2012 Armando Della Vittoria dedicated himself exclusively to the running of the magazine, Di Matteo continued to reflect on the theme of the copy and the function of pre-existing images.