/ Francesco Di Lernia

Francesco Di Lernia (1966) is a well-established Italian painter living and working in Turin. He completed his studies at the Albertina Academy of Fine Art in Turin (1984–87). He has participated in numerous personal and collective exhibitions nationally and internationally. His work was recently exhibited in two group exhibitions, curated by the American-Italian artist Victor Kastelic at his gallery Kspaces in Turin: The Greatest Things/Le cose migliori (2018) and Foreshadows/Prefigurazioni (2019). Some of his works have recently become part of the Bianca and Mario Bertolini collection at the Museo del Novecento in Milan.

His pictorial research, based primarily on the study of light, leads him to observe reality to be able to access surrealist and introspective domains, both of which constitute the essence of his works. Two early group exhibitions were a defining point in establishing his artistic practice, as they helped him to organise his visual language in terms of themes into cycles: first, Segni e Disegni (Galerie Analix, Geneva, 1993), curated by Gianni Romano, and second, Noa Noa, una stagione in Paradiso (Galleria In Arco, Turin, 1995), a tribute to Paul Gauguin (1848–1903), which also included other Italian celebrities, including Salvo and Mimmo Paladino. The artist's various cycles have been related to his personal experience and reflection of the world, for instance, Piscine ("Beaches") in 1999, Hotel Bellavista ("Hotel Belvedere") in 2008, and Luz y Hombres ("Light and People") in 2012. These cycles have become repeated "conversations" whenever he revisits them, but each time the same scene used in the cycle is viewed from a different perspective.

It is part of my artistic history to treat environments as stages as well as in the cycles... Thus I develop an idea that I often then realize with different expressiveness of language. Climate change in this series invades the scene. The paradox surrounds us in the present and is certainly no longer a novelty. The beaches still maintain a playful aspect, an indispensable feature for survival that it preserves from falling into the void. The spirituality on stage is represented by the luminescences that manifest themselves here and there.
– Francesco Di Larnia's statement in the catalogue Giardino delle Delizie, a collaborative project with Octavio Floreal (2022)

Since the 1990s, Francesco Di Lernia has taken his adept brushwork into the realms of magic realism… he goes there as if on a mission… a calling. His production will focus, at times for many years, on a theme or a concept that fulfils both his desire to paint well and explore surreal corners of perception: A glowing green entity among everyday street scenes or dinner-table conversations. Suitcases and travel gear are abandoned amid dense and forbidding jungles and forests. Cheerful crowded beaches along the Italian Riviera where sunbathers are menaced by sudden darkness. Lately, Francesco envisions lovely views from the Lido of Venice – Hotel Belvedere – as giant Icebergs encroach upon the scene… penguins and palm trees… sand dunes and snow banks and, of course, the nonchalant swimmers and sunbathers… all happily existing in complete indifference. Di Lernia’s magic realism has as much to do with the viewer’s troubled conscience as his own.
– Kspaces Archive, Turin (2022)

Francesco Di Lernia, Communicating Landscapes, 2021, Oil on panel, 52 x 72 cm. © The Artist

Francesco Di Lernia, Hotel Bellavista 1, 2021, Oil on cardboard, 52 x 72 cm. © The Artist

Francesco Di Lernia, Hotel Bellavista 2, 2021, Oil on cardboard, 52 x 72 cm. © The Artist