Banca di Bologna is pleased to present Le realtà ordinarie (Ordinary Realities), curated by Davide Ferri, as one of the Main projects in ART CITY Bologna 2020 on the occasion of Arte Fiera. The exhibition will open to the public on January 21 at 6:30 pm and will be up until February 23 (free admission).

Le realtà ordinarie, which features paintings by 13 artists, has been conceived for the Banca di Bologna Hall in Palazzo De’ Toschi. It marks the fifth exhibition in the Banca di Bologna program, after La camera (2016) and solo shows by Peter Buggenhout (2017), Erin Shirreff (2018) and Geert Goiris (2019).

Le realtà ordinarie investigates various aspects of painting in our time, unfolding around an idea of representation of “the ordinary”, and posing a series of simple questions: is there still an urge to explore traditional genres? How do painters follow or struggle against this impulse? What lies at the root of this seemingly endless fascination with ordinary subjects such as still lifes, flowers, landscapes, domestic interiors…? And why do we tend to consider their depiction an arena where no holds are barred, a space for pure visual pleasure, unfettered by the game of cultural allusions and citations? The territory that this project attempts to map is therefore a permeable one, and potentially quite vast: it includes genre paintings (or ambiguous, fragmentary attempts to work within genres) as well as more hybrid or even abstract pictures inspired by little epiphanies, by the observation of minor everyday events or phenomena.

Le realtà ordinarie is also an exhibition about time, and how it flows in a seemingly unrippled stream around subjects and forms connected to the real world—whether they are varied and repeated, unfold in a series, or stand out as atypical within the featured artists’ oeuvre.

The show also examines a tradition grounded in the twentieth-century “return to order,” a trend that can be seen throughout Italian painting after World War I and the most feverish years of the avantgarde. It tries to reflect on the ambiguous meaning of the word “ordinary” (etymologically: obeying the usual order), bearing in mind how the current state of painting relates to the upheavals of its historical juncture.

Lastly, there is a light that seems to move through Le realtà ordinarie: a direct, noonday light that evenly illuminates things or transfigures them with its glare, pushing them towards abstraction—an abstraction of “light-colors” that suggests the memory of a figure, or alludes to the ordinary world through hints, echoes and vague presences.

Artists: Helene Appel (1976), Riccardo Baruzzi (1976), Luca Bertolo (1968), Maureen Gallace (1960), Andrew Grassie (1966), Clive Hodgson (1953), Maria Morganti (1965), Carol Rhodes (1959 - 2018), Salvo (1947 - 2015), Michele Tocca (1983), Patricia Treib (1979), Phoebe Unwin (1979), Rezi van Lankveld (1973).