Gabriella Porpora

Quest’artista viene indirizzata inizialmente in studi che non rispondono ai suoi desideri e decide rapidamente di seguire la sua inclinazione frequentando sia il Liceo Artistico, che l’Accademia di Belle Arti a Roma con Guttuso, Guccione e Montanarini.

Inizia la sua attività espositiva negli anni ’70, indagando nella memoria imponente della pittura e interrogandosi sul rapporto tra l’arte e l’essere, nella relazione tra l’uomo nella sua complessità ed il mondo circostante.

In seguito, durante la sua lunga permanenza negli anni ‘80 a Parigi, Studia Archeologia e Storia dell’Arte alla Sorbona, Paris IV, dove frequenta Artisti Italiani residenti in questa città come Licata, Del Drago, Silvestri, Pavanel.

Quest’artista colora con passioni gestuali, rende omaggio agli alberi, alla natura, non religiosamente ma concettualmente, contrastando chi vuol bruciare tutto e tutti, contro chi dimentica – emozioni-sentimenti-profumi-ragioni-speranze. Vuole “recuperare memoria”, eliminare gli errori, dipingere il futuro con “i suoni“ che solo la pittura può dare.

La pittura di Gabriella Porpora si è sviluppata e articolata negli anni dando vita a una serie di cicli pittorici e scultorei, dapprima figurativi – “Storie di manichini“, con citazioni ispirate alla metafisica di De Chirico – poi sempre più astratti , dilatando la tela in “trame metalliche“ fino ad arrivare alla “trasparenza”, dipinti su perspex, di “Geografie impossibili”, alla Galleria DI SARRO.

Partecipa a diverse iniziative di carattere culturale come Donna e Arte, Arte e Arte, Arte per… e continua ad esporre sia in Italia che all’estero, dopo il suo rientro a Roma dove attualmente risiede, guardando costantemente sia alle avanguardie artistiche che ai contemporanei.

Di ritorno dall’Africa del Sud, elabora dei lavori ispirati fortemente a queste radici, vedi “Ab Origin”, ed “Escissione” con una condanna dichiarata contro pratiche tribali ancora in uso.

Dopo una permanenza in Cina a Pechino, elabora “Derive linguistiche”, ispirandosi agli ideogrammi.

Elabora libri artistici, quadri e oggetti, usando materiali orientali come inchiostri, carte e ricordi di viaggio, che in una certa misura sono ancora in divenire.

Analogamente di ritorno dall’Africa del nord – Egitto e Marocco – si interessa alla scrittura araba, continuando ad elaborare la sua ricerca sulla trasparenza e sulle maschere.
E’ fondatrice, assieme ad altri artisti, del Gruppo Culturale POLISGRAMMA – Gruppo 12, che durerà 20 anni, con “Installazioni di grandi dimensioni“, agendo principalmente sulle recensioni delle città, per seguire un ideale di bellezza e rigore, in alternativa a spazi museali inadeguati.

Viene notata dal critico Giorgio Di Genova, che le propone l’inserimento nella Storia dell’Arte del XX secolo. Collabora inoltre con altre Associazioni Culturali come DONNA&ARTE, L’Isola che non c’è, ARX, etc.. allestendo esposizioni e illustrando anche visite guidate per la sua città di cui è innamorata.

Espone in Germania alla Galleria “ANNA FRANK”. Parteciperà successivamente ad un’altra personale invitata dalla Deutsche Bank di Wuppertal.

Alcuni suoi lavori sono ospitati ancora oggi nella “Collezione della Farnesina” al Ministero degli Esteri e presso musei come MUDITAC.

Continua ad esporre in personali e collettive in diverse città italiane Roma, Milano, Bologna, Genova, Trieste, Firenze, Tuscania, Viterbo e – all’estero – Parigi con cui intrattiene un legame stretto, Vienna, New York.

E stata invitata più volte a partecipare a delle personali presso le sedi di alcune banche italiane ed estere – BANCA NAZIONALE DEL LAVORO, BANCA SELLA.

Recentemente, erede di una tradizione familiare dedita alla musica, in cui la nonna, Elvira, è stata una soprano e la madre, Fausta, una pianista – ha inaugurato un nuovo ciclo di lavori ispirati a questo tema.

In questo “ Viaggio Musicale”, utilizza, come nel suo stile, materiali “antichi” armonizzandoli con quelli odierni in un percorso che dal passato arriva all’età contemporanea.

English version

She began her activity in the middle of the years 80 and starts to investigate in the imposing memory of the painting, wondering about the relation between art and human being and its relationship within the world.

Over the years, the artistic work of Gabriella Porpora has evolved in different pictorial plastic-arts and sculptural cycles summarized here.

During her stay in Paris(’76/84( a  ), she has been astonished by the omnipresence of the “ Art Nouveau” style.

Her work evolved initially  towards figurative themes : discovering  the charm of vintage mannequins that she found in the antiques markets and sometime  “ dumps” on the street ( a coincidence ?) .

Her first personal exhibition: “ Hors le Regard “was organised in the “Galerie de l’Arbalète” in 1984, on the Belle Epoque’s Theme, and Italian Novecento with winks to De Chirico’s metaphysical works.

Her  particular point of view aim is to put in evidence the depth of the twentieth century’s art development. Strongly rooted in our way of conceiving creativity as functional and central thought system in social cultural dimension!

Giving a new glance on it, painting a different history, wraps her mannequin bodies in a metaphysical atmosphere to suggest a new  way .

1985 back in Rome, turn on the Greco-Roman myths of the city,  and work out a series of wood and metal sculpture: il Minotauro, Il Giogo di Pasifae, Dioniso, Apollo e Daphne, Prometeo …The artist likes to play with metaphors letting everyone, extrapolate different meanings from her artworks! She has been strongly affected by the Ovidio Metamorfosi’s and the lectures of Roberto Galasso, a contemporary writer known internationally!

Later on, the art themes become more abstract, expanding the canvas in a new art cycle using “Metal Frame”. Finally the frames become more and more ethereal, ending up in a search for Transparency,  prelude for a new series of artworks.

The transparency theme has been heading through her mind, since the reverse glass painting on icons she had seen during her stay in Bucharest four-year (1972 – 1976). The Romanian reverse glass-icon painting artists, covered the glass with religious themes in an imitation of the more traditional wooden icons, trying to obtain the same golden and coloured results.

Gabriella, instead of the “ divine” gilding (medieval symbolic evocation of the paradise), focuses  in the importance of the translucent weave of the glass.

Leaving aside the metal frames, she decide to work on a new transparent support, the Poly Methyl Methacrylate ( PMMA) “or “Plexiglass” or “Perspex”,  less fragile of the glass and handier.

Discovering its ductility she will work on it, deforming it, painting on it, proposing to call this artwork “ Picto-Sculpture”.

Gabriella gives a new glance on this transparent surfaces, she will cover Plexiglas with mixing colours, with a special texture and different densities of matter, letting the light come across, adding other symbolic materials to develop the idea.

The results are amazing:   “the light”, across the PMMA is shimmering and reflects on the other surfaces, it is a boundary and crossing space! The colours reflect themselves, expanded their influence around the surface moving all the time the perspective and suggesting the same effects of a magic lantern!

“ Città Piramide “ is a imitation of a theatrical and metaphysical space that will expose in Vienna with the “ WUK-Offner projectarum “ and “ Italian Cultural Institute “; than “ Codice Miniato” is an Art book  that has been exposed at the Biblioteca  Nazionale Centrale in Rome and to the Castello Sforzesco in Milan. Each plexiglass pages,  describe a different historical period, starting of the Middle Age to the Futurism Period, (1910-20), where the last page is referred to the Futurist Depero with his landscape of New York in the middle of ten years !

The purpose of the artist  is to underline the preciousness of the signs, of the  calligraphy, as in the “ Enluminures”.  She esteems that Illuminated manuscripts are the witness of our roofs and  preserve the importance of our past – in fact this artist  sometime add also a original ancient parchment to realise her art works!

More art books are carved : “ Carnet de Voyage”, where the gaze flows the pages, inserting a prospected space, while the colour suggests paths on making  showing a mix of new and old landscapes.

Attracted by the geographic maps that she saw  when was younger, she  started drawing and reusing  maps, collecting and recreating little by little a whole new world .

The ductility of PMMA allows her mood to work on several surfaces and imagine different landscapes:  “ Geografie Impossibili” is one of the artworks showed in the  DI SARRO Gallery, a  Contemporary Artistic Documentation  Centre, under supervision of Gabriella D’Alesio curator.

On her way back from Johannesburg, strongly inspired from Africa, she elaborates  new sculptures, “ Ab Origin” and  “Contro”, a conscientious name and shame of some horrific tribal practices,  like the infibulations or the excision of the clitoris using some original materials coming from this land. Her engagement in this direction is always present !

Early nineties , Gabriella initiates a period of a collective assemblies and interventions in the city of Rome, she co-founded Polisgramma-Gruppo 12. Proceeds with installations and assemblies to intervene in the city with a group of women. Her social  commitment  becomes obvious while working with this Cultural Group. They, create” Building Ground Art”: choosing  a “Metal Fence” of some urban constructions “ to define “their research. The purpose was to highlight the continuous metamorphosis in the town”. This support has been ideal for their art-works, trying to show a way out to the man-city relationship problem. Their intervention have had a double value “social and aesthetic”: to return to another idea of the “ Polis “,  to whistle blow the necessity to preserve materials and immaterial properties. These Fences,  become the city’s  transformation symbol: ideal  place for  memory, imagination and art, an original space for the artists, an alternative to the museums.

“ Today I live in a torn city “, was one of these road shows, “ The bureaucratic wave tries to overwhelms all”, for Urban Madness in  Alessandri’ Palace – Viterbo, “The Roma’s goddess”, was another show to the Termini Station, “Time’s Roofs”, to the Imperial  Forum of Rome  – “ Aspects of imaginative hierarchy ”,  Milan’s Politecnico,  only some of numerous  interventions in different towns with a Public Patronage and Anna Cochetti curator! In these occasions she continue to use or recycling- plastic materials – Perspex- to realise her art work!

After her stay in Beijing,( 1980), this artist elaborates a new cycle realising a new personal exhibition,  “ Derive linguistiche” at the Gallery l’Ariete in Bologna. Getting inspiration by the Chinese ideograms, she paints and starts to compose also a series of masks and art books employing original materials as inks papers, flying kites, masks, travel memories, and play as habitually with the “ metaphors” that spring up from this signs in a comparison of civilisations, Valerio Dehò curator.

Heir to a familiar tradition devoted to the “ Music”,  in which the grandmother, Elvira, was a soprano and the mother, Fausta, a  pianist, Gabriella  inaugurates another cycle of art works on this theme. “ The Music” considered “abstract art for excellence”, becomes her “ texture”  employing  symbolic way to refer to this abstraction, in a visual performance. 

She find in a old market some “ Old Musical Piano Rolls”. A continuous Rolls of Paper with perforations ( Holes) containing the notes ‘s Verdi, Rossini, Bizet Opera, and other indications as “ incipit, andante , mosso, piano, ritmo, allegro…

She senses that  this may be the perfect support to have some iconographic references to express the  music!. “These Piano Rolls “ have been used in a structural assemblage on the surface, “ moving” in an alternative rhythm, to indicate the classical music  and a memory of this ancient period! Only in the 1600, after a long process, has been elaborate a system to express the music with “the notes” and we can’t have nothing of this, if the man hadn’t listened and heard that the sound “ travel “ inside,  making him vibrate like a musical instrument. A “Real Antiphonary “ and some little details that this artist introduce in these art work represents the importance of our roofs!. Icons, sayd Plato, represents the “Splendor of the images”, so in these ” New Icons” you will have ” the ” Music ‘s Splendor !  Gabriella called the new cycle “ Notes of musical iconography”, exposed in Contemporary Histories Studio, Anna Cochetti curator.

This collection brings together works that try to identify a plan, a pathway through the expressive complexity that is manifested in contemporary art. A complexity that is made evident through the use of techniques and materials that are often original yet still express and reveal a kind of internalization and metabolization of the echoes of the artistic research of the very recent past.

She loves to combine emotion and mind to involve the public in a joke to play with.

Il desiderio di ricerca è in divenire, perché questo è il suo modo di essere.

L’essenzialità delle pitture rupestri, il rigore e il simbolismo medievale, il disegno e l’anatomia rinascimentali, la linea barocca, la ricerca luministica degli impressionisti, quella coloristica dei Fauves, l’atmosfera della Metafisica e del Surrealismo, la spiritualità dell’Astrattismo e la matematicità dell’Informale, alla ricerca di un segno, di un linguaggio e di uno spazio personali.

“E certo alla mente e al cuore parlano le opere di Gabriella Porpora, fluttuando dense e colorate come nebulose in un cielo trasparente senza inizio e senza fine, proprio come noi percepiamo l’universo e come forse ci illudiamo che siamo noi stessi: senza un inizio e, soprattutto, senza una fine.”
ALDO D'AMBROSI
“It’s the particular blue hue that Gabriella Porpora has chosen for her monocrhomatique painting on plexiglass “ Ritmo di danza” that make one think of Yves Klein, the French avant-gardist who covered nude women in paint and created compositions by rolling and dragging them across huge canvases laid out on the floor. […] Once again the viewer has no choice but to surrender, letting a smile be his or her umbrella.”
ED MCCORMACK
“Sopra tutto, prevale un senso di luminosità e di trasparenza, tanto cercato da ricorrere all’uso del perspex, attraversato da toni cromatici e da umori culturali.”
NICOLETTA MAGNONI
“Il suo far proprio un linguaggio lontano geograficamente ma non spiritualmente, rende chiaro il senso di un operare artistico che prova di stabilire punti di contatto, che cerca nell’attrito delle derive linguistiche di provocare quello stupore che ogni genuina conoscenza dovrebbe produrre.”
VALERIO DEHO'
“Gabriella Porpora con fusioni materiche esprime polivalenze di significati e di forme in strutture di passionalità coloristica.”
GIUSEPPE SELVAGGI - Giornale d'Italia
“il materiale usato acquista propria autonoma valenza decorativa […] fratture o assemblaggi materici coniugano colore e materia sempre in sospensione e in chiave di poetiche visioni.”
GABRIELLA D'ALESIO