Step Into An Italian Painting In This Immersive Exhibition In Mayfair
An oval headed bust on a pedestal stands in front of us, with Italian architecture behind in a surreal coloured landscapes. This is a Giorgio di Chirico painting, but it doesn't just stop at the edge of the frame — the painting extends across the walls, behind the stairs and even the floor is covered with artificial grass.
Nahmad Projects, a gallery in Mayfair, has done a fantastic job of converting this gallery into an immersive di Chirico painting. Professional muralists have been used to ensure the walls use colours and architecture that will blend seamlessly with the work, and the effect is magical.
The exhibition is curated by artist Francesco Vezzoli to showcase his works alongside those of di Chirico in a setting that blends the past and present of art together.
"The goal is to create an historical dialogue, where the Italian twentieth century re-emerges as part of the present — as seen through Vezzoli's eyes."
It's clear to see the influences of di Chirico's work upon Vezzoli's own, but the downside it does draw a direct comparison. In that context, di Chirico easily comes out the winner. While Vezzoli's manipulations of celebrity portraits — such as adding glittery tears to Sophia Loren's eyes — have their charm, it can't really stand up against the Modernist masterpieces on the opposite wall.
The exhibition itself is a stunning set-up, with a sculpture in the centre reflecting the layout of the painting on the nearby wall. There's also a dark side room to display the smaller works so they aren't drowned out by the impressive murals. The gallery has clearly gone to great efforts to put this small but imaginative show together, and it pays off in spectacular fashion.
Metafisica da Giardino is on at Nahmad Projects, 2 Cork Street, W1S 3LB until 15 December. Entrance is free.
Last Updated 09 December 2017