Federica Gennari


Femininity is body and substance. Womanhood has a shape, an expression, a movement, and seductive physical and intellectual qualities.  Womanhood is seen in the gazes: strong, intense, penetrating, but often without mercy towards an inner self that cannot hide.  The eyes are magnetic and meaningful, their feelings left to be deciphered, while these are betrayed by emotions far too cumbersome and distressing.  This emotive intrigue is transmitted through the facial language and expressions, and seems to be reflected in the gazes of this painting by Clelia Adami, (b. Brescia, 15 October 1983).

The women in Clelia’s painting are composed of expressions, forlorn gazes and intense eyes, while pictorially they are seen in the light of a past reference:  The expressive power of the clean contours define pristine areas that tap into the works of Toulouse-Lautrec and, above all, into the female bodies of Schiele, which are portrayed on canvas in their simple nudity with occasional hints of contrasting colour.  In some cases the urgency of the drama on the jute or canvas, placed against the pure and definitive contours of the subjects portrayed, seems to draw on the stark but powerful style of this great Austrian artist and engraver.  

Nevertheless, a fresh breath of modernism can be found in this pictorial reference, which is cast in a light beaming through the works and animating the incrusted, colourful brushstrokes of the gazes, giving them life and dazzle.  The human subject, the single theme of Clelia Adami’s pictorial study, is given sharp focus here, captured in full, or through its detail, while lacking any scenic or environmental context that might disturb the tacit language of artistic expression.  Here the body appears to be nothing more than an appendage, or a formal, logical conclusion to a message conveyed through its gaze, and which could live a life of its own decontextualized from its physical form.

Colour is spread across with power and vigour, often with a spatula; a tool that has been lent here to engraving lines into the coloured mass.  Over an essential base, made up of light-coloured strokes, similar to the white lead in the sketches, a vibrant and bold colour scheme, using purple, reds and yellows, has been applied.  This dramatizes the figures until they appear to pulsate with life and emotion.

Born in 1983 in Brescia, Clelia Adami has gained considerable recognition for her artworks, especially in recent years.    She received a mention for her brushstroke skills in the 13th Pittura di Calcinatello awards; she was commended at the Giovane di Art New Dinamysm competition in 2011; she won first prize in painting, as well as the Moretto Prize, at Brescia’s Moretto Awards in 2010; and she came second in the Young Artist of Brescia awards (curated by Associazione Martino Dolci).

Having obtained a leaving diploma from the “M.Olivieri” Public Secondary School for the Arts in Sarezzo, Brescia, in 2001, she went on to obtain a degree Cum Laude from Brescia’s Santa Giulia" Academy of Fine Arts in 2008.  Here she specialised in painting, achieving excellent results.  This Brescian artist has now exhibited in countless solo and collective exhibitions.  Included amongst her solo exhibitions have been “La bellezza della  verità” (2010, Galleria Martino Dolci, Brescia), “Senza Condizioni”  (2009, Concesio, Brescia), and “Segno e Materia” (2007, San Gervasio,  Brescia).  Collectively, she has exhibited in “Cave Eggs” (2011, Villa Glisenti, Brescia);  “Young artist of Brescia” (2011, Galleria Marchina, Brescia); the “Arte Giovane” Competition (2011, Sala del Podestà, Soresina, Cremona);  “Evangelizzare con l’arte” (2010, Galleria Civica di Montichiari,  Brescia); “Mostra amMAGLIante” (2009, Museo “I Magli”, Sarezzo in  Brescia); “Archetipi dell’anima” (2008, Sala degli Alabardieri, Palazzo Comunale di Cremona); “La Fucina di Vulcano” (2005 Sala Civica di  Calino, Cazzago S.Martino di Brescia); and "Travagliato Cavalli" (2002  Travagliato, Brescia), as well as in many others.

The expressive element in Clelia's artistic statement will never leave the onlooker unperturbed: he is met with gazes, which seem to be fixed, intense and deeply disturbed by unavoidable thoughts and knowledge.  At the showing of the "Sguardi" exhibition (2011) the critic, Paolo Sacchini, described the artist's work as "... those outlined by Clelia are not simply eyes that express themselves [...]; rather, they are gazes that emerge from the background of the paintings and seem to point to or, - even better perhaps - closely investigate, a hidden state of consciousness, alongside an inextricable and almost matted tangle of experiences and sensations; like a hidden and perhaps unconfessed intimacy ".  

The imprinted movement, and the substance of the colour, crystallized to the height of tonal expressiveness, communicates competitively with the weak and fragile lines. This alludes almost to impressionism and the dramatic eloquence of German expressionism, having been accorded through the artists feeling and conveyed with a variable brushstroke, which is at times solid and at times weak.