Alessandro Raho Solo Show Alessandro Raho Solo Show

Alessandro Raho Solo Show

15 January 2003
Paris Marais
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Overview

Nostalgia for an exotic ‘elsewhere’ pervades Alessandro Raho’s new paintings: Bahamian beaches with crystal blue seas and ornate Helsinki rooftops dusted with icing-sugar snow are fantasies concocted in the contrasting reality of the artist’s studio, situated in an industrial area of South London.

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac will be showing a series of recent paintings by Alessandro Raho from January 11 to February 15,2003. Nostalgia for an exotic ‘elsewhere’ pervades Alessandro Raho’s new paintings: Bahamian beaches with crystal blue seas and ornate Helsinki rooftops dusted with icing-sugar snow are fantasies concocted in the contrasting reality of the artist’s studio, situated in an industrial area of South London. Desire for another place underwrites the female subject's gaze onto mountains from a balcony in Catherine at the Monasteria de Piedra and the boat speeding towards a distant horizon in Bahamas. The palm-tree motif, evoking luxury and promise, recurs in paintings of sandy coastlines and a driveway at night, and seeps into the hard, urban glamour of Raho’s portrait of Marvia in her green and purple flower-patterned suit. Raho works from photographic images but re-makes them in paint, investing the mechanically captured instant with a romantic intensity of labour. He selects subjects which refer to the traditional...

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac will be showing a series of recent paintings by Alessandro Raho from January 11 to February 15,2003.

Nostalgia for an exotic ‘elsewhere’ pervades Alessandro Raho’s new paintings: Bahamian beaches with crystal blue seas and ornate Helsinki rooftops dusted with icing-sugar snow are fantasies concocted in the contrasting reality of the artist’s studio, situated in an industrial area of South London.  Desire for another place underwrites the female subject's gaze onto mountains from a balcony in Catherine at the Monasteria de Piedra and the boat speeding towards a distant horizon in Bahamas.  The palm-tree motif, evoking luxury and promise, recurs in paintings of sandy coastlines and a driveway at night, and seeps into the hard, urban glamour of Raho’s portrait of Marvia in her green and purple flower-patterned suit.  

Raho works from photographic images but re-makes them in paint, investing the mechanically captured instant with a romantic intensity of labour.  He selects subjects which refer to the traditional painting genres of landscape, portrait and still-life. His complex understanding of colour underpins his practice.  Like mass-produced contemporary print which represents the spectrum using combinations of four differently coloured inks, Raho builds all of his paintings from different configurations of the primary colours: blue, red and yellow, mixed with white.  

The paintings offer a double pleasure in seeing: they seduce us with the longing evinced by a picture from a holiday brochure or a photograph of a loved one, and combine that emotive desire with the aesthetic rigour of finely tuned colour and composition.  Replicating the glossing-over of fact in reminiscence, Raho’s method of painting ameliorates his subject, smoothing over or subtracting information from his original image in order to make it more perfect, more pleasing to the eye.

Alessandro Raho has recently been included in ‘Painting on the Move’ at the Kunsthalle, Basel and had a solo exhibition at Taro Nasu Gallery, Tokyo.

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