Rudy Cremonini: When the Music Is Over

8 January - 19 February 2022

Capsule Shanghai is delighted to present "When the Music Is Over", artist Rudy Cremonini's first solo exhibition in China, showcasing his most recent paintings. The show will run from January 8 to February 19, 2022.


At first glance, Rudy Cremonini's paintings on show appear calm and reassuring, acting as visual narrations, depicting ordinary life. However, this is just on the surface. The subjects portrayed, though seemingly simplistic, are complexly rendered in his fluid and sinuous, meandering pictorial style, conveyed by quick and immediate gestures. The crepuscular nuances present ambiguous and alienating visions. Driven by the mnemonic flow and emotional involvement of the author, his work hints at the intimate and mysterious essence of the represented reality, insinuating the presence of indeterminate, elusive, and subtly disturbing tensions.


The interpretation of these images, despite their semantical autonomy, lead the viewer into a world of fragile certainties, devoid of any concrete foundations, where everything is abandoned to its own state of inertia and profound apathy.


The interior images may appear at times capricious, depicting subjects such as an ungraceful body lying on a sofa, ladies sipping their last drink, a table with two large, uncut pineapples, and flowers of different species, preserved in their vases. In the exterior, the subjects shift to that of some people in a pool, and others floating helplessly along, atop an inflatable swan. The surrounding landscape reflects on the water's edge. In the garden, you can see statues and luxuriant plants. Further on, flamingos stand in a pond, parrots sit in a cage, and an intricately-wrought iron gate at the entrance blocks the view beyond the fence.


Cremonini recreates decadent scenarios, dominated by a melancholic, tired, even drunken atmosphere, embodying the expression of a stagnant life, dominated by both numbness and pervasive indolence, characterized by the gradual loss of contact with the outside world, where everything is locked up in a circumscribed and well-fortified, domestic space. This latter space limits the autonomy of those who inhabit it, showing that, living in a state of comfort and security comes only in exchange of individual freedom. All of this metaphorically expresses the human condition. The result is the obliteration of desire, of all forms of thought, and an intimate satisfaction with a distressed, frustrated, but protected and safe world. His work highlights how the world indulges in the refinement of idleness, leaving individuals with profound emptiness and loneliness. 


Each painting is a fragment of a reality both frozen in time and beyond time, suspended between day and night, between the will to act and the impossibility of inspiring change, between living and dying, in the agonizing expectation of a predicted "after" that will never arrive, where the past and future seemingly intertwine in a dilated, monotonous, asphyxiated present.


Text by Davide Sarchioni, art curator and historian

Original text in Italian. Translated to English by Manuela Lietti. Translated to Chinese by Yule Qi.