March 5 – May 16, 2020
Thursday, March 5, 2020
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
ClampArt is pleased to announce “Fabio Torre: Camera Work”—the artist’s second solo show in the United States and his second solo show at the gallery. The exhibition coincides with a corresponding show at Galleria Studio G7 is Bologna, Italy, and is accompanied by a catalogue with essays by Marco Antonio Bazzocchi and Fabio Casadei Turroni.
“Camera Work” is comprised of the artist’s highly detailed, black-and-white, oil painting “portraits” of classic, analogue cameras. The show’s centerpiece is a triptych on canvas depicting three views of a twin lens Rolleiflex camera. Then, four oil paintings on paper depict the same (but possibly different?) Mamiya RB67 camera bodies in profile. Lastly, Torre has painted twelve head-on views of a single Hasselblad medium format camera with background shades of bright to very dark ambient light.
Scholar Bazzocchi writes of these paintings: “What can the Hasselblad, the Mamiya, or the Rollei tell? To the ears of those who know them, those of an expert in the history of photography, they could talk about their history, the history that made them famous in the hands of celebrated photographers. Each of these cameras is a tutelary deity in the history of photography.” Nonetheless, he concludes that Torre’s depictions of these mechanical instruments enmesh the human viewer in a “network of gazes”—we regard the camera eyes as they simultaneously regard us. “But who observes whom? Can we really establish whether there is a subject of observation offset by an object or should we be thinking that the lines of the gaze form networks in which we are always both caught, subjects and objects together?”
Torre’s choice of subject matter highlights his interest in the complicated, contested relationship between painting and photography; but also of his high regard for the objects in and of themselves and their modern design; in addition to the cultural significance of the camera and its revolutionary reconstruction of contemporary visual representation. “After all, the power of these machines is huge: they can fix every aspect of the world and make it eternal. They can make our present a past.”
Fabio Torre was born in 1955 in Bologna, Italy, and now lives and works in Bagnarola di Budrio (Bologna). He has been exhibiting his paintings and photographs in Europe for twenty years. The catalogue Camera Work (Editrice Quinlan, 2020) is the fourth publication on the artist and his work.