Press Release

Blindarte is pleased to announce the first solo-show by Davide Cantoni in Milan in its new space in  via Palermo 11, from March 22nd to May 3rd 2018 – opening Thursday March 22nd in presence of the artist and of the curator Lorand Hegyi.

Considered with great interest for his innovative technique and for the intensity of the stories he tells and reinterprets through his work, Davide Cantoni presents in this exhibition curated by Lorand Hegyi a new series of big scale bourned drawings of big size, united by the theme 2 degrees - title of the exhibition - and, for the first time in Milan, the imposing museum artwork entitled 111.



International exhibitions

International Archives 1st half of 2018

Davide Cantoni, 2 Degrees + 111 and other burned drawnings

Blindarte, Milan (Italy)

22.03 - 04.05.2018




Exhibition March 22- Mai 3, 2018. Blindarte Milano, Via Palermo 11 - 20121 Milan (Italy). Tel.  : +39 02 36 56 54 40.







In the constant search among images and news published in the New York Times, the artist, Italian by birth, but New Yorker by adoption, focuses on the consequences of global warming, and shows how those issues come out from the margins of the  international politics to hit directly the human beings, all the livings and the livability of the planet. Those image, made fragile under the effect of the burning, show how this small measure expressed in degrees - 2 - can create enormous differences, bringing the world for the first time in front of a catastrophe of global proportions never before faced. Those burned drawings, famous artworks created by Cantoni concentrating the sunlight through a magnifying glass that, imitating the photographic process, manages to burn the lines drawn on paper, are enriched in this last core of works (about 15)is enriched by the presence of the colour that is now - as the artist says - increasingly present also on printed papers. The colour, subtle and faded, sometimes burned, captures the attention and helps to fix in our memories images of events, preventing that their incessant succession gets the memory and the importance of them to fade away.

Some Remarks to Davide Cantoni’s Recent Oeuvre by Lorand Hegyi

“All the work obviously has a political side, and I want to have that. I think for any work to be interesting it has to have some political aspect. I do want people to ask themselves: What am I looking at? What is going on and why? At the same time I don’t want it to be overwhelming, I am not making politics, I am making paintings. The works relate to politics, but they have other things to say about painting, about drawing, about photography, about video making.” – said Davide Cantoni to David Coggings when he interviewed the artist about the relation of his work to politics. Actually, Davide Cantoni’s work doesn’t reveal itself as political statement, neither as manifestation of any political activity but pure poetry. The fragility of the images, the subtlety of the shapes which suggest provisory and ephemeral existence of all the phenomenon appear at his universe, the emotional aura which surrounds the motives from nature and human civilization all create an extremely sensitive and reflective, meditative context, rather contemplative than active. This almost melancholic contemplation is very fare from any political activism. That is the universe of the artist, the realm of the poet, who has the capacity and competence to see and to let to see the hidden, irrational forces of self-destruction behind the seemingly neutral surface of the things.

Davide Cantoni’s new series of big scale drawings offers an incredible balance between intriguing, subversive intellectuality and appealing, subtle sensuality, between sharp, precise observation and empathic imaginary. His images represent places, cases, situations and constellations on our planet where different forms of human ignorance, indifference, violence and aggression destroy natural harmony and historically given rest of previous civilizations. The appealing beauty of fragments, the sensual surface of the details, the fine, subtle tones of carefully introduced colorization of some parts of the drawings contribute the creation of a new kind of bellezza of the surface, while we have the tendency to forget, or at least not to realize the tristezza of the reality behind it. This double strategy of the reading of the visual reality of the fabricated images reveals Davide Cantoni’s subversive intellectual approach to the visual appearance and fills his work of with tensions, contradictions and multiple contextual references not only what concerns the narrative complexity of the artwork but mainly what concerns the process of critical observation and analysis of the reflected phenomenon. In this sense his oeuvre embodies a certain kind of challenge of the viewer’s attitude as well, as a questioning the artist’s competence of fabrication of images. Davide Cantoni’s hidden Romanticism involves his conviction of the intriguing, subversive competence of images as well, as his passionate emotional involvement in the concrete human constellations, in the human experience of angst, sufferance, marginalization, abandonment and violence of our days. His drawings evoke perspectives of awareness and at the same time emotional dimensions of responsibility and empathy.The artist presents also the important work 111, what has been called the "cartography of world conflicts". The art-work , consisting of 111 burned drawings, is a study - unscientific - on what were the conflicts that have invaded our planet from 1900 to 2010. Empathic Cartography-Objectivity versus Sensibility, about Davide Cantoni's work by Lorand Hegyi (complete text in the monograph).

The project 111 Years represents a new cartography of human suffering whereby the various armed conflicts, aggressions, terrorist attacks and atrocities of civil wars are being systematically counted and structured through different ways of working on paper or by way of graphic representation of the scenes of violence. The seeming objectivity, the quasi-historical encyclopedic claim to present a concise, consistent and transparent reading of world-historical events creates a sort of visual systemization but hints at the true, single stories of individuals, thereby maintaining the poetic impact that derives from concentrating upon the quiet, restrained, material revelation of human suffering which is always at the center of the work. This visual system, a methodically and rigorously structured cartography retains at all times the full emotional impact of the whole picture, in this way provoking an empathic response.The courageous and unexpectedly radical nature of Davide Cantoni’s artistic position, consists of the uncompromising extremity with which he represents the binding ontological fragility of our life as an unavoidable, objective fact. Paradoxically it is just this objective calm, this indisputable irrevocability of being wounded and of fragility as a universal and eternal state of things, which ultimately provokes an ethical resistance against the concealed apathy hidden behind fatalistic determinism.

Selected biography of David Cantoni

Born in Milan in 1965, after studying at the Slade School UCL and at the Royal College of Art in London, he moved to New York where he currently lives and works. He has exhibited in numerous museum spaces and private international galleries for example in Germany (Galerie Thomas, Dina4Projekte Munich, Kunstverein and Optisches Museum, Jena), in USA (Yossi Milo gallery, Cathouse Proper, Davidson Contemporary, It gallery, Elvehjem Museum of Art, Hunterdon Art Museum), in England (John Moores Liverpool), in France (Musée d'Art Moderne de Saint-Étienne, H Galerie, Paris), in Switzerland (Kunstmuseum, Thun) in Asia (Daejeon Museum of Art. South Korea) and in Italy (Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo,, Grossetti, Blindarte contemporanea, Pan, MACI Art Museum contemporary of Isernia). Among the recent participations: "The Roaming Eye "curated by Katleen Kucka and Jennifer Riley, The Shirley Fiterman Art Center, NY, "Seaman's House" Curated by Helen Allen, Chelsea NY "Natura Plastica" by Memmo Grilli, Blindarte Contemporanea, Milan. "Leaving Home" Cathouse Funeral Migrates North curated by David Dixon, Beacon NY. At Blindarte contemporanea has already exhibited in 2005 (personal exhibition), in 2007 (personal exhibition), in 2010/11 (personal exhibition).



Davide Cantoni at Blindarte, Milan

© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2018. All Rights Reserved

© Davide Cantoni

© Davide Cantoni