Georgina Spengler
Good News

Curator: Daina Maja Titonel
Critical essay by Roberto Gramiccia


March 26 - May 9, 2015


selected works
On show a selection of Georgina Spengler's latest work entitled Good News. Twelve paintings from 2013 to 2015 which have never been exhibited before.

In the exhibition catalogue Roberto Gramiccia writes:

It is the vital existence of painting the good news that Georgina Spengler gives us. Of her painting. Which is not, as was happening until recently, just one in the bunch. Today painters who continue to be painters are black swans. And to do it as it should be done - I mean - with radical determination, absolute commitment, and with a certain 'badness', as you'd say of those players who want to win the game at all costs. In this case the game to win is the one that will bring painting back to center stage. After it has been put on the sidelines to give space, all the space, to the incursions of the powerful armies of the of the art system, the really powerful ones, or to those lame marginal attempts - often pathetic - to march, as late followers, down the crowded roads of neo-pop or neo-conceptualism or of neo-nothing.

Spengler's work is good news, and it is positive. And the news is that she continues to do what she has done for decades. And she's always doing it better. Painting eight hours a day like a worker. With the same painstaking steady method of all time. Searching for the moment of illumination but also methodically excavating, which transforms craft into art. This time Georgina goes in depth and comes to rest on the surface. The surface of the epidermis which has become the object of her research. Which is both a reality of layered transparencies and the observation point through which we gaze into the profound. In medicine it is the same: the condition of the moisture, the color, the tortuous paths of the veins, the scars, the blushing of love, or the pallor of terror and death all provide a map of the state of the body and the psyche. The skin is the boundary line between the inside and the outside. Between the body and the soul. There where - as Carmelo Bene in a wonderful monologue reminds us - the soul is always the soul 'of' the body and not the soul 'in' the body destined to escape as soon as it is freed from it.

Body and soul are inseparable, differing from what has been taught us. It's one of the truths that makes me prefer a thousand times Spinoza over Descartes. And this painter explains it to us wordlessly. Through the veils of her systematic and headstrong and painting. Her vision, she shows us, is both clinical and poetical. The clinical of know how and the poetry of compassion which we feel moving through the able fingers of this painter. Compassion for the human condition, heroic and miserable as always. It's not the easy enticement of the seduction of beauty that tempts this artist, but on the contrary the reproposition of a criteria. The criteria that places painting above all else. This might seem to be an ideological statement of position. But instead it isn't. Because if you stop to observe her paintings with the attention they deserve, you won't find 'special effects' but you will feel your heart beat.


GEORGINA SPENGLER

Georgina Spengler was born in Athens, Greece in 1959, where she spent her early childhood. Her family first moved to the United States when she was eight and then to Holland, when she was a teenager. There, amidst Rembrandt, Ruisdael, and Vermeer began her interest in painting and she frequented the Frije Academie of The Hague, taking figure drawing and painting classes.

After finishing school, and with a very romantic vision of painting and art, she set off for Paris where she spent one year and attended the course of Cèsar at the Ecole des Beaux Arts.

Seeking a more structured approach to painting she then went to study at the Boston University School of Fine Arts. She eventually completed her academic studies at the Corcoran Gallery and School of Art in Washington D.C.

She has shown continuously over the past 30 years in various group and solo shows, often collaborating with other artists. Following is a partial recent list, starting with the most recent collaboration with Myriam Laplante in 2014, "In the end it will all be alright. Ha!".

In 2012, she founded together with a group of artists, 'Casa con Vista'; a circuit of 15 private houses in Rome, each hosting one artist who then created a specific installation for the house. The circuit of the houses, all within walking distance of each other, was then open to the public.

In 2010 she collaborated with a group of four poets and another painter, Edith Urban, on the project 'The silent space between the words'. The writers and painters set themselves in a continuum; the images and the words influencing and feeding each other. The final exhibition was held at the Temple University Gallery in Rome and a second edition was held in Leipzig at the Spinnerei, hosted in the space of Colonia 210 in 2012.

Spengler's paintings have often dealt with poetry, in 2008 she made a series of paintings dealing with the imagery of John Keats' final voyage towards Rome in 1820. It was exhibited in the Keats and Shelly Museum in Rome.

Wanting to assimilate the complexity of Italian culture she moved to Rome in 1982. But as of yet not having completely fathomed it, she has remained, and still lives and works in Rome today.