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Conceptual Photography

December 22th 2017 - February 17th 2018 | Extended till February 24th 2018 | Osart Gallery, Milano

Osart Gallery is pleased to present the anthological exhibition Light is always the first light dedicated to the artist Claudio Olivieri (Roma, 1934).

The solo show, curated by Giorgio Verzotti, scheduled from the 22nd of December 2017 to the 17th of February 2018, at Osart Gallery venue in Corso Plebisciti 12, aims to enhance the work of the artist through an accurate selection of historical artworks.


The title, based on an aphorism of the painter, introduces one of the fundamental elements in the course of the research that Olivieri engaged with starting from the 70s.


The exhibition opens with five oil paintings displayed in the main room, all in the shades of blue and light blue.

The dark dyes he employs in the first works, in the following years are replaced by much brighter and delicate nuances such as blue - green, violet, lilac, light blue and yellow.

The artworks on view, Knossos (1981), Aegeus (1982- 83), Metempsicosi (1984), Aphrodysia (1986) and Hyperione (1986), are intended to be illustrative of the chromatic evolution that he experiences starting from the 80s.


As a matter of fact, the title of one of the exhibited artworks, Hyperione, from the Greek “moving above” - epithet of the sun - suggests that the experimentation with light and colour constitutes an essential part of Olivieri's work and of the poetic vision he has of painting.

The artist identifies colour as an independent entity being able to reveal the truth, and he dignifies it by comparing it to a fifth element from which every substance is originated, together with earth, water, air and fire.

In Olivieri' s artworks, the attempt to paint light on canvas takes on a simbolic value. Indeed, one of the objectives of the artist is to enable the viewer to live a physical and mental experience.


Claudio Olivieri' s painting technique is characterised by the denial of the sign and the purification of the artwork from the “brush stroke”, to which the artist prefers the “spray”, a breath of paint lending smoothness to shapes and colours.

It is precisely with this gesture that Olivieri chases his personal idea of freedom, seizing something intangible and bringing luminescent and ethereal chromatic bodies to life.


The solo show aims to emphasize one of the main elements of his artistic production: light; a light that reveals, and does not only enlighten.

As Claudio Olivieri claims: “Many years have passed since that day in Olimpia, when Praxiteles taught me that light does not clothe the world, but reveals and creates it at the same time. Since then my life has been sustained by that revelation. Often, I fear its glow might vanish from the horizon and I rushed towards it. Sometimes all traces of it disappear from me. But I always start again, groping at first in the darkness of its invitation.”


Claudio Olivieri. Biographical notes

Claudio Olivieri was born in Rome in 1934.

In 1953 he attends Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan, where he spends most of his life.

He has taken part in Documenta6 in Kassel (1977) and in several editions of the Venice Biennale (1966, 1980, 1986, 1990).

From 1933 to 2011 he is a Visual Arts and Painting Professor at Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti (NABA) in Milan.

Today, Claudio Olivieri works and lives in Milan.

The exhibition is accompanied by a bilingual catalogue with a critical essay by Giorgio Verzotti.




Milan, Osart Gallery

Corso Plebisciti, 12

22nd December 2017 – 17th February 2018 

Extended till 24th February 2018

Opening: thursday 21st December, 6.30 p.m

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