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Placeholder Image

Place Holder

Leonardo Meoni

313 Bowery, New york, NY
September 29, 2022 – October 30, 2022

Leonardo Meoni, MOVE MEMORY, 2022, Mixed Media on Velvet, 118 1/8 x 98 3/8 in 300 x 250 cm
Leonardo Meoni, MOSUL I, 2022, Mixed Media on Velvet, 118 1/8 x 78 3/4 in 300 x 200 cm
Leonardo Meoni, MOSUL II, 2022, Mixed Media on Velvet, 118 1/8 x 78 3/4 in 300 x 200 cm
Leonardo Meoni, MOSUL III, 2022, Mixed Media on Velvet, 118 1/8 x 78 3/4 in 300 x 200 cm
Leonardo Meoni, DECEPTIVE STEP, 2022, Mixed Media on Velvet, 98 3/8 x 86 5/8 in 250 x 220 cm
Leonardo Meoni, WHERE ARE YOU BASED, 2022, Mixed Media on Velvet, 78 3/4 x 78 3/4 in 200 x 20


Amanita is pleased to present Place Holder, Leonardo Meoni’s first solo exhibition in New York and his second solo exhibition with the gallery. Leonardo Meoni (b.1994, Florence) studied at the institute of Art in Siena, the Accademia di Belle Arti of Florence, and Accademia di Belle Arti of Brera and has participated in various solo and group exhibitions and projects in Europe, Asia, and South America.

The works in the exhibition are all on velvet. The marked surfaces result not from any kind of additive or subtractive process, but from something in between. This liminal state, in which pigment is not added nor are the fibers of the velvet removed, represents a mode of mark-making that is as immediate as it is indirect. Through this technique, Meoni has devised a refreshing approach to image-making that is the result of active, performative gestures of rubbing, brushing, pressing, and imprinting forms into the responsive velvet surface. Leo uses his fingers, unloaded paint brushes, gardening equipment, cooking utensils and construction tools to create impressions in the medium.

Meoni moves about the surface, manipulating the hairs of the velvet to shape his composite forms. Motion becomes the mark. The artist’s physical movement, in turn, is then reciprocated by the viewer. To get a complete sense of an individual work, the viewer must walk around the velvet. Embedded within the works are multiple compositions, each one illuminated by differing perspectives.

Previously drawn forms interweave through ones rendered above. Marks are never fully erased. The scarred velvet serves as witness to the marks that support and build the composition. The process of removal and erasure becomes complicated – mistakes can’t be fixed and past forms become pronounced. The artist’s process becomes well documented as no blemish can be fully concealed.

Meoni’s meditations on erasure and removal extend beyond the medium itself. The content of the works concerns a range of statues and artifacts that have been willfully destroyed or damaged in an attempt to rid the objects of their symbolic function. Meoni repeats large, obscured images of a Hatrene statue of King Uthal that was destroyed during a 2015 ISIS raid of The Mosul Museum in in Mosul, Iraq. A Robert E Lee statue that became the focus of the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in 2017 is depicted suspended in air during its subsequent removal. Elsewhere, Meoni renders bas reliefs from the ancient walls of Babylon that have been withered away by time and war.

In the midst of these acts of destruction and removal is a confrontation with history in which values of the past become questioned by those living today. The urge to remove and destroy these objects evince the operative power of form. However, within this physical destruction something remains: a story, a history, a heritage, and most importantly moments from which to learn. Nothing is ever fully erased.

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