Luca Padroni

1973 · Italy

Artist biography

Luca Padroni was born in Rome in 1973. As a child, following his mother’s travels, he spends long periods of time in African countries (Mozambique, Sudan, Namibia), though continuing to study in Rome. After high school, Padroni moved to Canterbury, to attend the Kent Institute of Art and Design, and was later admitted to the Slade School of Fine Art at the University College London. In these formative years, the influence of the artists and teachers that he meets at Slade, such as Frank Auerbach, Ian Uglow, John Davis, Bruce MClean and Timothy Hyman, will be particularly important. In 1996 he won a scholarship to the USA and spent a semester at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; once he obtained the degree in Fine Arts, BA (Hons) in 1998, he returned to Rome for two years. In 2001, with a Fulbright scholarship, he attended the San Francisco Art Institute, but after half a year he decided to return permanently to Rome and established his studio in the Monti district. During this period, Padroni spends a lot of time in some areas of Rome, such as the Esquiline, Piazza dei Cinquecento and the Termini train station, where he executes numerous studies live. It is the experience and atmosphere of these crowded areas, multicultural and full of fascinating contrasts, which the artist assimilates and transposes in the works of the period, and that he exhibits in several exhibitions between 2001 and 2005. They are made of canvases filled with inserts, cars, streets and people in motion, where the real architecture overlaps figures and scenes that are reworked through an introspective vision, and the dynamism of the city is emphasised by the speed of the artist’s gaze. “Il giorno del Giudizio” is part of this series of paintings, and was presented in 2005 at the 14th edition of the Rome Quadrennial, at the National Gallery of Modern Art. In these years, while continuing his materic,emotional and figurative painting, Padroni begins a new research that relates to trains and the sense of speed and movement, mainly based on a more rigorous style, and on a more controlled use of colour and distillation of the forms to their essential geometry. Though apparently in contrast with his former production, the works that are produced in these years are the result of the same intensity of observation of the world, and the same emotional perception of life events as before; in an interview with Marco Tonelli, the artist says: “There is definitely an abstraction from the immediate experience of the street, but I think that my personal knowledge of these places is fundamental in order to obtain such reworked images. The observer, however, is always a person that is on the same level of the trains, walking in front of these perspectives, seeing them running off and feeling hypnotised (…)” He exhibited these works in several Italian and international exhibitions, including the personal Tran Tram at Oddi Baglioni Gallery in Rome in 2005, Prospettiva Mirò at Termini Station (with Oddi Baglioni Gallery), Transiberica at Galeria La Aurora Murcia in 2007, the collective exhibition Pittori al Muro at the Fabio Sargentini’s Gallery L’Attico and Fault Lines at Testori Gallery UK in London in 2008. In the following years, Padroni continues to investigate the possibilities of painting focusing on a new ground, dedicated to craters: enormous chasms where the forms and forces of nature intertwine with the artist’s personal experience, such as the birth of his son. Several personal exhibitions are held, such as Earth! at Galleria Trecinque in Rieti, and Fire Walk with Me at Galleria Il Segno, both in 2010, and Oltre il trompe- l’oeil at Galleria L’Attico. In more recent years, he has been focusing on a series of works called “astral landscapes”, evocative and visionary works presented in 2012 in occasion of the exhibition Favorable astral convergences on the day I was conceived, at the Gallery The Office Contemporary Art; the artist explains: “I was fascinated by the idea of introducing the concept of conception in the title, but in the broad sense. That moment in which a process takes place, but before it is accomplished. When you still do not know what it will be”. On the same theme, the solo show “Contemplations” at Sala Santa Rita and Biografie Visionarie, at Galleria Wunderkammer of Rome. In 2013 the solo exhibition Tempo, Spazio, Movimento at Gallery Espace Gaia of Geneva is inaugurated. Luca Padroni was a finalist in the Terna Prize in 2010. His works are part of several public collections, including the Certosa di San Lorenzo, Padula, the Municipal Museum of San Gimignano and the Capitoline Museums in Rome.

Luca Padroni

  • Exhibitions 2

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