Ileana Tounta Contemporary Art Center presents the work of the Sicilian artist Alfredo Romano. This particular solo exhibition showcases two large installations from the 1990s, when the artist’s collaboration with ITCAC began, sculptures from 2017 and more recent works from 2023.
“There is a theme running through Alfredo Romano’s production: that of layering. It is the attention to this dynamic, to reality, that unites the two groups of works presented in Athens, at the Ileana Tounta Gallery and the Italian Cultural Institute, and in Turin, at the Giorgio Persano Gallery. The first includes installations from the 1990s, the second the most recent images and artworks with tar from 2023. And, layered in Romano’s work, is first and foremost time. It is his constant unfolding and repetition that settles in his works and makes them very special archives. Examples of these works are the archaic scrolls of books, repositories of an ancient knowledge, or the sound chairs that, in conversation, weave and scan a story incessantly. But, the recent works also fit into this framework, although the layering of time shifts in them from anthropological to material dimension. If in the works of the 1990s the passage of time is in fact recorded through the mnemonic techniques of different cultures, in the new works time is released from its human reference to become ontological. It is the things themselves, in their appearance, that accumulate, regardless of a glance that testifies to their passing. Thus, the layer is no longer something recorded in memory, but gold, tar, wood and aluminum falling on top of each other.” (Excerpt from the curatorial text by Francesca Perotto)
Alfredo Romano, Senza Titolo, 2023, enamel and tar on aluminium, 150 x 150 cm
Romano’s works communicate the artist’s place in a society overwhelmed by conflict. The themes he deals with are mainly linked to the impermanence of things and loneliness.
“In my work complexity and profundity coexist; it is not a procedure towards reduction or simplification, but towards complexity, with its connections and correlations, as an existential occurrence questioning content. A critical approach to today’s culture. In a sense I have always hoped to distance my work from issues of aesthetic nature, trying to bring it closer to issues related to its presence in the world and the human condition.”
These exact words by Alfredo Romano himself encapsulate better than anything the essence of his artistic philosophy. His works are not merely artistic endeavours but, on the contrary, they explore the intricate web of human existence, culture, and all those elements that shape our world, as curator Galini Lazani notes.