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Cancellare Senza Permesso

Leonardo Meoni

Via dei Sassetti 1, Florence, Italy
December 16, 2021 - February 8, 2022

Leonardo Meoni, Escape of the Lion I, 2021, Mixed Media on Velvet, 70 7/8 x 70 7/8 in, 180 x 180 cm
Leonardo Meoni, Fountain II, 2021, Mixed Media on Velvet, 59 1/8 x 59 1/8 in, 150 x 150 cm
Leonardo Meoni, The Skin, 2021, Mixed Media on Velvet, 70 7/8 x 70 7/8 in, 180 x 180 cm
Leonardo Meoni, One Night Above the River, 2021, Mixed Media on Velvet, 70 7/8 x 59 1/8 in, 180 x 150 cm


Amanita presents Leonardo Meoni’s first solo show Cancellare Senza Permesso (Erase without Consent), featuring thirteen velvet paintings. Leonardo Meoni is a young Italian emerging artist born in Florence in 1994, who studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti of Florence and Accademia di Belle Arti of Brera.

Not completely giving up on figuration represents a desire to withhold until the very end the opportunity to communicate and to cite traits of reality, even if they are filtered by the arbitrariness of memory. In the case of Leonardo Meoni, after the elaborations of perception and evocation, these traces of existence translate into remains, ephemeral entities, and reminiscences of buried events that turn into a fantastic tale.

The canvases, like story-tellers capable of making the viewer walk on the acrobatic thread of an imaginary poised between referential vision and granted subjective interpretation, generate disorientation precisely when they make themselves recognizable.

Meoni aspires to make a passing thought coincide with material reality, reducing the area of his research to a constant attempt of deciphering features that have no sound; in the same way we look atthe clouds and happen to recognize objects, animals and faces in them. They are figures that hide in subdued semiotics, perceptible only if you listen to the silence that hovers around, they are a call to archaism, and the suspensions that apply to it. The figures - palms, flames, medieval beasts, abandoned places and ruins, which are repeated until they look decorative - lick in a transgressive way the refined support on which they rest, catalyze the gaze and, at the same time, let the mind freely wander to where the story continues.

His painting is absolutely far from common pictorial expressiveness: what is not immediately discernible could be the technique. Meoni experiences the dialogue with his work as a real dispute that has the air of an unequal confrontation, with a happy ending: the bodies of severe tools such as saws, hammers, wire nets and knives caressing sweet silk drapes. In the systematic representation and syntax of the engraved velvets the artist declares soft uncertainties, awakens gestures of childhood and temporal places that curve and smooth the scan of events and emotions which, once fixed, are made to explode on the surface of the craft, and then collects them gently in a stream.

The artist therefore leverages on the gesture of scanning, erasing, extreme trajectory, and the emergence of impulse in its conscious state, where it meets the idea. In the peremptory and volatile act of erasing, Leonardo plays hide and seek, attributing metamorphic qualities to scenarios, where cancellations become an emblem of passage and of return, and of multiple interpretative possibilities, which at the end of the creative path, magically coagulate in a drawing.

Meoni makes us navigate the inalterability of possible universes, suspended in perennial expectations. In these velvets, we find a return to the elementary, a return to the origin. The choice of archetypal forms is elaborated in a new representation, in which the elementary nature is reconstructed and filtered through constant and sometimes analytical work.

He creates moments of respite and indecision, dimensions that rise in the space of consciousness, airy and flying moments: a space in which images, personal memories, desires, omens, and horizons, are condensed in the thin bristles of the velvet, dense but light like a breath.

— Edoardo Marabini