Mirrors: Luca Tommasi

26 November 2022 - 28 January 2023

Ian Davenport returns to Milan with a solo exhibition entitled 'Mirrors' which brings together an unprecedented series of paintings on aluminum and works on paper. For his new exhibition, the artist has worked on the concepts of reflection and symmetry, creating vibrant pictorial surfaces where rhythmic drippings merge into seductive pools of color at the bottom of the painting.
Davenport was inspired by the global lockdown, during which moments of quiet and solitude were forced upon us: “Just before the pandemic hit in March 2020, I started making some new paintings in my studio that explored the idea of symmetry and mirroring. The paintings are divided vertically in the central part in sequences of colors which, starting from the centre, spread specularly to the two sides of the painting. That's why I called them Mirror Paintings. This idea of mirroring and reflection seems to be especially appropriate given that so many people have spent a lot of time isolated, disconnected from each other, making time to reflect on their busy lives. I think people have had the opportunity to reflect more on themselves, on how to approach their lives. Symmetry gives a sense of centeredness and balance. Perhaps in this strange period of isolation, these works have been useful for me to find stability and, literally, to take root”.
In his introductory essay to the catalogue, Lorand Hegyi dwells on the nature of Ian Davenport's painting: “The general view offered by Ian Davenport's mostly colorful paintings manifests itself as a state of the material world, less influenced by intentional human interventions or emotionally justified actions. Almost invisible changes, extremely slow movements, simple shapes and transparent structures characterize his work which does not give the impression of the presence of any personal will or decision, of any vehement, passionate pictorial action, almost as if the entire visual phenomenon occurred as a natural process. The event instead of the action, the objective statement instead of the subjective message are revealed in his painting. And yet, the totality of the visual radiates a strange, cold, impersonal solemnity which is not at all natural: there is an inexplicable gravity which shines from the image which indicates the presence of a latent disposition or rather an invisible and intelligible system to shape, a decisive force that holds the solid pictorial order together. [..] If the powerful sensuality and the captivating materiality of the color structure attract the viewer's interest on the concreteness of the pictorial reality and tend to eliminate any connotative sphere, there is the strong evocative capacity of the painting which indicates virtual spaces for the cultural imagination”.

Text taken from Luca Tommasi