Maja Arte Contemporanea is delighted to announce Ria Lussi’s personal exhibit, “Chi ha paura del Rosa?” (Who is Afraid of Pink?).
On display is a collection of ironic and playful self-portraits; it was inspired by Daina Maja Titonel’s invitation to close a two-year cycle of exhibitions dedicated to female artists. Lussi responds by challenging the current gender disparity through permutations of her “Rose”. Completed in acrylic paint on a round-shaped canvas, each portrait attributes an adjective to its “Rose”; in turn, this becomes an interpretive lens colouring the candid and metamorphic figure that emerges. Lussi’s sophisticated research into chromatic variations renders each of her roses unique.
The exhibition is completed by a bust of Leonardo da Vinci in Murano Crystal (2016); three Rosaries (2016) in blown glass by Maestro vetraio Silvano Signoretto, and the excruciating “face” of Irene (2014), the only empress to have ruled in the fifteen-century history of the Roman Empire.
The reflection that emerges is a shared and striking concern with the gender gap. This is compounded by the gallerist’s own research: she used her expertise as a mathematician to develop a comparative statistical analysis of the state of the gender gap in the visual arts.
To cite only some recent data:
– Between 2008 and the first five months of 2019 over $196,6 billion has been spent on art at auctions. Only 2% of this sum was designated to works produced by female artists ($4 billion for close to 6000 artists). In the same timeframe, Pablo Picasso’s works alone were auctioned for $4.8 billion, a staggering contrast.
– The record auction sale for the work of a female artist (the painting “Propped” by Jenny Saville) is $12.4 billion (Sotheby’s, October 2018) compared to the $ 91,1 billion spent for “Rabbit” by Jeff Koons (Christie’s, May 2019).
Responding to a pressing desire to take action and make a contribution towards a change, the Gallery’s website includes a section dedicated to the topic. Its name is inspired by this exhibition.
The exhibit is corroborated by a catalogue including critical essays by Umberto Palestini, Gloria Fossi and by a botanical note on roses by Roberto Valenti.