The work by Mariella Bettineschi stands out due to its continuous search for new forms, new techniques and new languages.
The Next Era is the title that accompanies a faceted body of photographs. In the words of the artist: “The Next Era project was conceived in 2008 when the economic crisis overturned all of the parameters, our judgement yardsticks and terms of comparison, marking a both profound and definitive change with respect to the past”.
As in a stage setting, in this exhibition Bettineschi contrasts and compares images of woods, ponds and landscapes, made evanescent by ‘breaths’ of emptiness and gaseous mists, with portraits of women by Raphael, Palma il Vecchio, Leonardo, Titian, Caravaggio and Bronzino. Inspired by these Renaissance women the artist has brought them into
the contemporary sphere by means of a precise linguistic intervention: the configuring of the work, the ‘cooling’ of the image and the two-fold vision of the eye.
In the dialogue between nature and painting one has the inclusion of images of some precious libraries: the Casanatense in Rome, the Marciana in Venice and Trinity College in Dublin.
All are taken up within a gaseous dilation that extends
and ‘frustrates’ the architectural limits. An evident metaphor of the diffusion of knowledge, although also of the risk of its destruction.
As Francesca Pasini writes in the exhibition catalogue: “As in the woods, the ponds and in the libraries the ‘breath’ of emptiness indicates a gesture to be carried out within ourselves, thus in these doubled eyes there is the metaphor of an encounter between oneself and the other that has to do both with history and the present.
The ‘approach’ that doubles their eyes warns us that the integrity grasped by who painted them above all derives from the person who provides him or herself with a personal vision. An approach that has radically modified the relationships both between the living subjects and those subjects observed and painted”.