December 10 – March 13, 2022
REGGIA DI PORTICI (Palace of Portici)
Centro Musa – Museo Ercolanense – Reggia di Portici
Via Università 100 Portici
Opening Reception: December 10th at 5 PM
Exhibition conceived and curated by Cynthia Penna
ARTE1307 Istituzione Culturale with the support of the United States Diplomatic Mission to Italy
Featuring: Shane Guffogg, Kelly Berg, Laddie John Dill, Ned Evans, Justin Garcia, Miguel Osuna, and Todd Williamson
On the occasion of the celebrations for the 225th anniversary of the establishment of the U.S. Consulate General Naples (one of the oldest in the world), Art1307 Istituzione Culturale, the MUSA Center of Portici (University of Naples Federico II) present the exhibition “Inspirational: the influence of place” .
Seven contemporary American visual artists have been selected and invited to read the books of seven American writers of the past who participated in the Grand Tour in Campania, and have been requested to create new artworks inspired by their reading and by their own personal experience of this Land.
An interweaving of ancient literature and contemporary visual arts that not only seals a prolific interconnection between the arts but also represents that union between cultures that constitute the cornerstone of the United States Diplomatic Mission in Italy.
The curator Cynthia Penna was inspired by the book of Pier Luigi Razzano “America-NA”, which examines the writings of authors of the past dedicated to our territory. A “reading” and a retelling of Naples and Campania that, from the past, move to present years through a path that cancels Time, breaks down barriers and cultural differences. In this way, we can look at our territory with new eyes, free from the sentimental contaminations derived by our origins in the territory.
At the same time, it is a survey of a land that is very difficult to understand and interpret with cognitive meters that are distant from our culture. A “locus” where everything seems to suddenly happen and everything remains the same for centuries; an unprecedented investigation of the hidden potentialities of our territory that can enlighten us on our limits and on our mistakes in order to lead us towards a fairer and more equitable future development. A fascinating, enchanting and all-encompassing reading of this land given through pictorial synthesis. An unusual way of questioning ourselves about our values and our limits that can lead us to understand the place more deeply, beyond easy stereotypes.
A Note from Shane
When Cynthia Penna suggested the idea of this exhibition, it was an immediate yes. And it was also a fit since I have been visually responding to the poem The Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot for 6 years and counting. When I read the words of a great poet or author, my mind is flooded with images. And in the case of James Fenimore Cooper, his description of the Bay of Naples in 1834 brought back my own memories of when I first saw it 9 years ago. Naples has a long history that includes the invasion of many countries, each leaving their mark through art and culture. This history is like a visual echo that can be seen throughout the city. Cooper’s words ignited my own memories and imagination as I began to wonder how I could condense time and space into a single moment? These paintings are the result of my question.
– Shane Guffogg
Dec 1, 2021