Nick Devereux – Inpainting

Venezia - 28/05/2013 : 30/06/2013

Mostra personale in coincidenza con la 55. Biennale di Venezia.


Comunicato stampa

Inpainting is artist’s Nick Devereux (b. 1978; Panama City) first solo show in an Italian
institution. This articulated project expands on Devereux’s investigation of the visual system
and focuses on ideas of perception and representation, questioning those which are considered
to be established and fixed codes in art history. Appropriating and reformulating images and
their subject matter, Devereux’s works generate an animation of a certain portrayal of the past,
creating a short circuit between the acknowledged and the undisclosed, between the
apparently familiar and the arcane

For Inpainting, at Fondazione Querini Stampalia, the artist embarks on a completely new
research, starting from the text in which Pausanias, the Greek traveller and geographer of the
II century AD, known for Description of Greece, diligently describes in this ten volume cultural
geography of the Greek territory, the now-destroyed frescoes of Polygnotus at Delphi.
After an exhaustive study and analysis of the narrative, Devereux decided to elaborate the
information recounted by Pausianias, both through references to the historical context as much
as through his personal observation and interpretation of the specific images. Paring down the
text to the objects, gestures and landscapes described, the artist developed a new version of
the script composed exclusively by tangible fragments derived from the original piece.
Inpainting gathers a series of paintings, referencing those same symbolic fragments, selected,
isolated and transformed by Devereux, which together reconstruct an abstract and mystified
script alluding to the original oeuvre. Devereux’s research explores and morphs the structure
and authority of the icon, freeing potential and unexpressed associations, while simultaneously
eluding illustrative representation.
The essence of the title of the exhibition itself, Inpainting alludes to a particular conservation
technique, based on the process of reconstructing lost or deteriorated parts of images, through
a precise and minimal intervention, necessary for the new unity of the work. Devereux applies
a very similar procedure to his paintings by suggesting new alliances and significations when
recomposing the form. Working within a theory of vision the artist traces and outlines the
terms representation and identity exploring the integral nature of the image, while questioning
the origin of its source. The artist’s paintings are perceptive games, which aim at demolishing
immutable beliefs, arguing the illusion of truth. In the works shown at Fondazione Querini
Stampalia, minimal geometrical constructions, interfere with the main figures, subtracting their
specific identities. Devereux’s gesture disrupts the scene and the classical visual display,
provoking an effect of disorientation to the viewer’s allured eye. The recurring vertical form
becomes an emblem, generating a new epic, or better a hybrid: the synthesis of the origin and
the process. Inpainting thus reveals a translation of history and figuration liberating Pausanias
text from its terms of recognition, stating the uncertainty of knowledge and the infinite
potentials of vision, interpretation and narration. Devereux plays with the time and space
described in the mythical, hence underling how a deviation in the perception of history’s
images can free not only what we know but also what has fallen into oblivion.