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PETROLOGY

Chiostro del Bramante
16th November - 4th December 2005

I. Umbilicus urbis

Genio del mondo fragile
pozzo al centro del centro
del Centro.
Occasione propizia per la discesa
ai regni di Vulcanus, Dite, o Proserpina.
Romolo ti ha segnato
come fossi soltanto pietra
e non geometria, numero, frattale.
Mundus.
I piedi vanno in tondo,
accarezzano l'orlo
del pozzo del mondo.

- from "Mirabilia Urbis" by Fabrizio Falconi

Catalogue Introduction by Fabio Galadini
The painting of Justin Bradshaw presents his works to us not as products, as things among other things, or objects taken from within a certain network of values and meanings, but rather as events captured in a precise moment, in a specific state of passage, that continually encroach into the world re-establishing it as an originating possibility through which to communicate and to reinstate new forms of it’s beginning.
His painting informs us of light, of the possibility that this physical event conceals through veils and transformations, concealments and allusions, the deeper meaning of artistic communication.  A destabilizing which brings stability, waiting rather than searching, a hiding of ideas with the intention of their being found.
The paths that the paintings of Bradshaw follows are unexpected, arduous, indirect, and arrive at their meaning through observing another, leaving a vacuum that only a changing interpretation can fill. “Unveiling coverings”, but also “covered unveilings”, the image always represents more that it seems to offer, the meanings multiply beyond the intentions of their author,  evocative trajectories spread out like incursions into foreign territories that are forced into existence by the emergency of a new context. Every image reveals another.  Hence stone, solidly formed, is perceived as a model to be portrayed and, in the act of painting through the infinite regions of light, he reveals the characteristics of the material, evoking it’s origin.
The eyes think, thoughts see, within and without.  The spectator believes in what they see at a given moment, but which a second later could be no longer real, or true.  The Mystery of the Ambiguous, evidence of the unmentionable.  In the world of images the improbable has no place, only appearance is, in it’s most extreme essence, Essence.
In observing Bradshaw’s works it is impossible not to think of the “light” of the great masters of painting. In this continuous unveiling can be found the light of Pissaro and of the english watercolourists, here is a pictorial naturalism which plunges into scientific impressionism, into divisionism.  We find the great lesson on painted light of Monet and of the photography of Nadar.  But in the patient, almost phobic riconstruction of objects, of “things”, the artist seems to have completely immersed himself in the techniques of radical realism, in that which has been described as hyperrealism, of an art that is, so to speak, illusionistic and mimetic per eccellenza.  A vaguely ‘pop’ approach that nevertheless offers a glimpse of a cathartic possibility of a new genre.  The references to conceptual art are sophisticated, and bring us back to the ‘ecological’ experiences of Christo’s wrappings, reclaiming that naturalization of the relationship between man and nature, that reordering which has been imposed by technology, radically reforming ways of being and of appearing.
 
Fabio Galadini
Professor of Aesthetics
University of Malta
Rome campus

download the catalogue (in Italian) pdf or apple ibook format

press
'Pittura e Poesia al Chiostro del Bramante' by Anna Grazia Benatti, La Discussione, 18th November 2005.
'E' Scritto nella Pietra la Bellezza di Roma' by Silvia Castello, Il Giornale, 22nd November 2005.