Andrea Kvas at Fondazione smART / Rome

Andrea Kvas - Blac Ilid
curated by Davide Ferri

From 16th October to 26th February 2021

Fondazione smART - polo per l’arte
Piazza Crati 6/7 
Rome

On Thursday 15th October Fondazione smART – polo per l’arte will present the new exhibition Blac Ilid, the first solo show in Rome of the artist Andrea Kvas, curated by Davide Ferri.
Painting will once more be the artistic medium exhibited in the spaces of the smART Foundation, although Kvas’s approach is quite different from that of other artists whose personal exhibitions have already been hosted by the Foundation, such as Federico Pietrella, Gabriele Picco and Valerio Nicolai.
Blac Ilid is an arbitrary and incomprehensible term written with the letters of an invented font, which appears in many of the artist’s more recent paintings, and which has therefore been chosen as the title of his solo show at smART.
The exhibition features a series of works that might seem to have been painted by several different artists, all of them realized by a process that has always been typical of Andrea Kvas’s work ever since his earliest creations. The solo show explores the vast territory of abstraction – in an unpredictable, involuntary and agile modality – focusing exclusively on paintings on canvas. This is a significant development, as the artist rarely chooses canvas as the only support for an entire cycle of works.
Kvas is inclined to adopt an approach characterized by carefree abandonment, which at times may even seem overexcited, to the material aspects of painting and its space. Thus, over the years, he has created works in which painting is combined with the varied materials of its supports: metal panels, wooden boards and strips painted on all sides, and unmounted canvases that can be rolled up, folded or stretched out, all of them freely and unstably arranged space. Somewhere between painting and sculpture, they pose intriguing questions to the observer about the limits and the conventions of painting, the idea of ​​the picture, and the potentialities of the picture as an object.
The works on display at the Foundation are also created by means of another kind of “procedural variability” since, according to his normal practice, Kvas paints his canvases horizontally but then, when they are finished, he frames and displays them vertically, as if the final containment of the image within the limits of the frame, entailing the definition of its limits and its dimensions, could reconfigure the whole process even after its completion.
The artist generally works on several canvases at once, using and experimenting with a range of gestures, tones and mixtures (acrylics and wall paints, enamels, resins, pigments, shellac, latex) which create unpredictable effects in each picture and unexpected associations between different images. This wide range of approaches and chemical compounds gives rise to lively and discontinuous surfaces, with uncontrolled dribbles, fields that either affirm or cancel, extensive well-defined zones of colour that collapse into each other, opaque and materially textured areas, or hazy effects and thin transparent glazes that reveal the underlying layers, energizing them by establishing a continual alternation between the planes of the image, which corresponds to an indefinite and unstable temporal process.
The tendency towards verticality and upright poise establishes some unexpected relationships within the image, with veiled references to the figure and the landscape. For example, the sense of transparency in many of Kvas’s paintings, combined with his penchant for the use of green and blue tones, conjures up an impression of aquatic landscapes populated by liquid forms that are in constant movement and transformation.

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