Fabio Bianco: Theatre of Light

9 August - 1 September 2019

Pontone Gallery is proud to present, for the first time in the UK, an exhibition of paintings by Italian artist Fabio Bianco. A native of Venice, he graduated from the prestigious Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia in 1995. Since then he has shown his exuberantly- colourful paintings in galleries and museums all over the world.


The core subjects of Bianco’s paintings are theatres and salons illuminated with the radiance of elaborate chandeliers. He has an essentially romantic attachment to a ghostly, uninhabited arena, viewed from the stage, awaiting an audience. His is an immersive atmosphere of excess and decadence.


These richly-decorated interiors are saturated with intense colour. He uses a heightened palette to eye-popping effect. Fiery reds, dazzling whites, vivid blue-greens and yellows are combined with joyful abandon. Almost iridescent, jewel-like encrustations of freely applied oil and acrylic paint, occasionally enhanced with gold leaf, describe a whirling, sparkling world of light.


Bianco applies his brush with a loose and bravura display of facility, which in its lively expression, emphasises his physical engagement with the medium. This, and the relatively large scale of the paintings, allows for the impact of paint as matter. His flamboyant method is analogous to the excitement and drama of an operatic performance space.


In terms of technique, these are emphatically not painstakingly-crafted, hyper-real images. Rather, he harks back to expressive models of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The chromatic intensity suggests an amalgam of the Fauves, Raoul Dufy and Odilon Redon.


These paintings express the dynamic force of light. The artist purports to paint a light source i.e. the chandelier but, ironically, the light emanating from the painting eclipses that of the source. Bianco applies paint as if it were light itself.