VERSO | John Robinson
VERSO is the new exhibition by John Robinson, curated by Domenico de Chirico and organized by Zuecca Projects, opening in Turin on 3 November 2023.
On view, a rich selection of Robinson’s “self-portrait, in disguise”, including a new series of paintings resulting from his art residency and “Seance” performance hosted in Venice at Zuecca Projects (February 2023).
Painting a performance – that has been previously enacted privately in the artist’s studio or precariously in more public settings – is what Robinson has been focused on in his practice. In his paintings, he studies the human psyche through its’ rituals and ceremonies and even its less appealing self-congratulatory manifestations. He often portrays himself behind a mask to gain access to the most obscure parts of human pathology, where embarrassment, empathy, cruelty and humiliation – but also the sublime – reside.
He is calling the spirits (verso), 2023
As stated by the curator Domenico de Chirico: “for Robinson, painting is a disguise. The main aim of his practice is to use the images of his self-portraits as the only way to become invulnerable to the inexorability of time, which he imprints on the surfaces of his paintings with magnificent acuity. Through this highly personal practice, in an attempt to transcend himself, he is constantly forced to confront the ghosts of his past: a performative self-transcendence that produces dark characters, protagonists of an absurdly comic yet psychologically revealing theatre. His works, usually made with a very precise chromatic palette of cold colours, show the artist wearing masks and other devices, during occult seances and rituals, both magical and cathartic, which never disregard a shared sense of collective empathy, where he himself mimes feelings and states of mind, tirelessly wading through the deepest motions of human sensitivity”.
After Seance in Ibiza Bianca (verso), 2023
VERSO, the title of this new John Robinson’s exhibition, clearly refers to the back of a canvas, to the other side of the coin, not usually considered because typically unseen by viewers. Much like the masks we wear and the secrets we scrupulously harbor, the unknown is undeniably an integral part of the whole. Through his paintings, John Robinson invites viewers to contemplate the complexity of identity and the mysteries behind it, between what is revealed and what is concealed.
VERSO is more than just a collection of images; it is a journey into history both personal and collective.
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November 3-26, 2023
Opening: November 3, h 5.00 pm
Via Giovanni Camerana 8, Turin
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