The paintings of Clelia Adami

Having mastered and experimented, through all her resources, with the rules and techniques of classical painting, Clelia felt a pressing need to find a direction that would allow her to fully express her individuality. Piece by piece, she chose to break down all the patterns established in her own technique, well aware of the risk that her attempt at authenticity, albeit unconventional, might actually be ineffective.  Such an expressive urgency channels itself naturally into the chosen pictorial medium: within a painting's classical and traditional frame the artist seeks a mode of communication, which often proves to be anti-traditional, goes beyond rigid conventions and harmonious composition, and is the result of a personal urgency within the artist.
Clelia’s style actually sits within expressionism, and can be interpreted both in a historical sense (early twentieth century, for example Schiele, Kirchner and Kokoschka), and in a modern sense (in line with twentieth century artists such as Bacon and Freud).  This is because the gaze shifts inside the subject depicted, revealing their inner truth.  By doing this, Clelia cross examines herself, while also referring to her own inner understanding. This is well reflected in the figures of her works, which are always created from images that have deeply affected her and have informed her expressive urgency.  As an artist, she has shifted from portraying clearly recognizable faces and bodies to barely distinguishable subjects, as the real protagonists are the colour and strokes used to create the image. Her main artistic models are, to be specific, artists of the Vienna Secession or of German Expressionism.  These are then reinterpreted with her own personal touch, using brushstrokes and applying colour with a palette knife and so giving substance to her work.
It is, literally, the flourishing and non-naturalistic use of colour, in her most innovative works, which nudge Clelia towards a kind of abstract expressionism of her very own.  That is insomuch as the figuration does not disappear but is, at times, transfigured by an expressive use of tonalities and, at other times, by large, dripping surges of colour.  From her early artistic endeavours, and undoubtedly from her solo exhibition, “Senza condizioni” (2009) – “Unconditional”, the artist has defined her work as an intervention based on subjective and unconditional expression that reveals, through her own experience and sensitivity, a truth eradicating any other intervention that could assist in enhancing it.  Over the years, her research has continued to the point of building her awareness that, in order to achieve all this, her artistic signals must be sharp, colours striking, and expressive strokes, powerful.  The latter are guided but, at the same time, totally spontaneous and which presents an interior that unfolds using bold, intense and penetrating artistic signals.
While invariably based on the logic of maximum freedom of execution, the support bases and techniques used are all different.  We pass from canvas to raw jute, to cardboard, to wood, and on to various metal surfaces, while the colours - oil, as well as glazes, bitumen, charcoal sticks, casts and plaster - are spread on using brushes, spatulas, sponges or makeshift tools (rags, tea towels and in the more recent works, directly with the hands).  The restless anguish of the faces of the first phase of the artist’s career have, at times, been created with instinctive and emotive strokes, and then alternated with more relaxed and thoughtful ones.  As her artistic awareness has been developing, the same sense of uneasiness and tragedy from the earlier phase has begun to reveal itself, this time with even more intensity and forcefulness, and acting as be the natural landing place from her earlier works.
Marisa Paderni

  • All
  • 2006-2011
  • 2012-2013
  • 2017- present