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Francesca Amalia Grimaldi Loses Herself In The Blue Atmosphere of ‘Metamorphosis’

The Living Traditions Centre, Bikaner House welcomes Italian painter, Francesca Amalia Grimaldi’s most recent mixed-media works in the form of a five-day exhibition, aptly titled ‘Metamorphosis.’ The show will be on display for public view till 27th February 2024. The show was curated by scholar-author Uma Nair and inaugurated by Italian Ambassador to India Vincenzo De Luca and art historian Aman Nath. The exhibition is open from 11 am to 7 pm. 

The soothing breeze at twilight hours along the tropical Goa beaches tugged at the sensibility of Francesca Amalia Grimaldi like a thin layer of fine silk, triggering spontaneous creativity in the Italian painter. That inspired her to wield her brush on the canvas with distinctive imagery, even as the images carried flashbacks to her formative years on the seafronts of her Mediterranean country.

Goa Beach, Mixed media on canvas, 122cm x 152.5cm
Courtesy – Masha Art

The exhibition features ‘Goa Beach’ among 32 select paintings by the European artist. “For me, the sea is like a colourful, graded symphony. It reflects layers in harmony through nostalgic melodies,” says Francesca, who grew up in Sardinia as well as Sicily, and did landscapes till the end of the last decade. The predominantly blue ‘Goa Beach’ is an impressionist landscape that suggests the artist’s preference for solitude. The seashore tourist spot in southwest India is where Francesca returns time and again. They lend her creations a meditative signature, which comes clear in ‘Metamorphosis’, being organised by Masha Art.

Curator Uma Nair notes that Francesca’s choice of ‘thin layers as colours’ enables her to translate the atmospherics onto the canvas. “For the artist, though, this virtuosity is not the goal. It’s almost a by-product of the dulcet shades and nuances she adopts to create the mood,” she says, adding: “This mastery is evident in her abstract study ‘Under the Sea’ and a diptych named ‘For War’.”

Ladak Mountain, Mixed media on canvas, 91.5cm x 122cm
Courtesy – Masha Art

The harmony in the hues has also to do with the visual artist’s love for music. “I was drawn to classical composers…right from my childhood,” recalls Francesca, whose father was a violinist-pianist. “Now when I paint I listen to masters,” she reveals, reeling out names of Sergei Rachmaninoff, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, and W.A. Mozart, besides certain jazz virtuosos. Having spent her early years on an island surrounded by the sea, Francesca’s initial artistic creations predominantly bore a figurative character. “The blues of the seascapes prevailed, along with sand dunes with the green and red of the bushes. Junipers bent by the wind and, above all, long dark shadows heralded the evenings,” she trails off.

Within her odyssey in blue at ‘Metamorphosis’ is Francesca’s ‘Ladak Mountain’, a diptych casting morning light over the frozen lakes of India’s highest plateau amid the morning mist. The series done in the last four years, robustly boasts shades other than blue. “The sunshine yellow and greens besides other mellow shades have a spirit of resonance,” notes Uma. “Other components such as the choice of colour and the composition come second.”

Francesca Amalia Grimaldi and Uma Nair
Courtesy – Masha Art

Masha Art, a prominent art investment firm with a portfolio of over 5,000 contemporary paintings and sculptures, notes that ‘Metamorphosis’ offers a unique treat to collectors, buffs and connoisseurs. “We explore diverse visual expressions in our pursuit for excellence and quality curation,” says Samarth Mathur, managing partner of the 2018-founded gallery.

As soon as she begins working, Francesca “loses myself” in a maze of sunlit valleys, meandering ways and breathtaking landscapes. When it comes to ‘For War’ and ‘The Sound’, they are a pair of canvases steeped in abstract expressionism. The first is resonant with rich mustard-yellow while carrying a contrasting mood. “Layers of histories are hallmarks of Francesca’s work,” notes Uma. Overall, ‘Metamorphosis’ is Francesca’s take on her ruminations as a woman artist in a contemporary urban world.

About Francesca Amalia Grimaldi

Francesca Amalia Grimaldi is a trained geologist even as her first solo exhibition in Pordenone city dates back to 1987. Besides holding a degree in the science subject, she developed a passion for art history and nature which inspired her figurative works. She attended Accademia Riaci in Florence, refining her perspective drawing and painting techniques besides jewellery design. While she prefers mixed-media techniques using oils, acrylics and watercolours besides soft and oil pastels in figurative art, ‘Metamorphosis’ mirrors her felicity in abstract works. More recently, she explored the new frontiers of abstraction resulting from personal research in the field of contemporary expressionist painting, influenced by her extensive travels in Europe, Australia and America.

Image: (from L-R) Curator Uma Nair, Sanjeev Bhargava (Seher), the artist’s husband Sergio Ledda, Italian painter Francesca Amalia Grimaldi, Vincenzo De Luca (Italian Ambassador in India), art historian Aman Nath (Neemrana Hotels), Piyali Dasgupta (Programme Director, Bikaner House).

Image Courtesy – Masha Art

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