ARTURO DI STEFANO :: NON FINITO
22 October – 18 November 2021
48 page hardback catalogue with 40 plates, an essay by Andrew Dempsey and the transcription of a filmed conversation with the painter Anthony Eyton is published. view the Exhibition Catalogue
Art Space Gallery is delighted to announce our representation of Arturo Di Stefano with this debut exhibition featuring new work made over the last 4 years with a small group of earlier paintings unseen in London. It is an exhibition that will showcase grand architectural compositions of Italy, New York and London with more intimate paintings of family and friends that reveals the range of an extraordinary pictorial imagination.
Di Stefano’s achievements have been widely recognised and written about by critics, art historians and also by literary luminaries that include John Berger, Michael Hofmann, Yehuda Safran. The poet Jamie McKendrick has written:
"Di Stefano’s paintings are meditations on the actual that collect and reassemble
the traces of time."
And herein lies the essence of Di Stefano’s art that fuses an unerring eye for the reality of places or people that hold a special significance for him with ideas of time or narrative or memory. His pantheon of artists, ancient and modern, are a constant source of inspiration as is his Italian heritage into which he weaves ideas from literature, historical events or memories to evoke the magic of associations that place his pictures amongst the most lyrical to have been produced in Britain in recent years.
In his homage to Max Beckmann, MET Beckmann, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is featured with the poster of Beckmann’s Self-portrait in a Blue Jacket from 1950 which featured in an exhibition there at the time of his death as he walked across Manhattan to see the show. Behind the classical façade of Messina Theatre is where his Sicilian father’s emigration to England to work in the coalmines of Yorkshire was arranged. In Alfresco Cinema, Orvieto childhood memories and a later visit to Orvieto to see Luca Signorelli’s frescoes in the Cathedral there are brought together with the spire of the Cathedral rising above the open-air cinema screen. In Gallery, Bologna we experience Morandi’s daily walks to his studio.
A skilful painter, his surfaces are built up slowly with a subtle handling of paint and then, at the point of completion, he teases new and unexpected qualities from the paint. With the paint still wet across the whole surface a layer of varnish is applied and paper laid over the varnish and burnished. When peeled off it reveals a surface modified and alive with the patina of chance.
Arturo Di Stefano was born in Huddersfield of Italian parents. As a child he lived with his maternal grandparents in Bonito, Italy before returning to Liverpool. He has studied at Liverpool Polytechnic, Goldsmiths College of Art, the Royal College and the Accadamia Albertina in Turin. He has exhibited extensively since 1981 with work shown in the Royal Academy, Estorick Collection, Tate St Ives, Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal, Museum of London and a retrospective at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.
His work can be found in public collections including, Arts Council, Contemporary Arts Society, Government Art Collection, Museum of London, National Portrait Gallery, Victoria & Albert Museum, Pallant House, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University and Walker Art Gallery Liverpool.
ARTURO DI STEFANO: "Non Finito" | PRESS RELEASE