Francesco Poiana

“This series of small oils on canvas and panels are a combination of observation and imagination that are reflecting my sense of wonder and a lack of artifice that can be discovered only from life. To penetrate the secrets of nature it is necessary to give free rein to the abstract processes of the mind and to find expression for direct emotional responses. To capture the essential elements, we need a probe to pull out the mysterious and profound nucleus.

This body of work was generated in a residence held in west Sicily around the Nature Reserve “Saline di Trapani and Paceco” during the summer of 2022.

In the frame of the vast natural park, it is possible to move only on foot in order not to scare the wild animals and these constraints led me to choose a fast and easily transportable way with which to work outside: small-format panels and canvases and techniques that predispose to synthesis, a poetic of the essential.

Lost in the pinks, browns and blues of the salty marshes, my journey took me to many different places around the natural reservoir working along the banks of the marshes under different shades of light and in the hinterland, where the golden fields are drawing sunburned dry hills and valleys. In this “painted journey,” I am following in the footsteps of painters such as Thomas Jones, Turner, Whistler and many others that started to build a new visual imaginary that has always inspired me. Thomas Jones is the first painter that inspired in me the idea of “discrepancy” in the landscape. If we cease to look at the landscape as a product of the human activity, we see an impressive amount of undecided spaces, like he has done in Naples in the years 1778-1779. It was then that he developed his landscape painting, not as a mimetic picture of reality, but as a structural and geometrical projection of forgotten pieces of the city, neglected fragments which he framed on paper.

My love for art history and the tradition of painting led me to investigate and study also the modern and contemporary art and artist such as Giorgio Morandi, Richard Diebenkorn, Etel Adnan and Llse d’Hollander among many others are bearers of a new and contemporary vision of the landscape.

My purpose was to give back the immediacy of the real. I used to work tirelessly from life, outdoors, quickly and intensely, constantly moving from place to place and looking for different lights and sights.

This body of works draws attention to the immediacy of the plein air, of the image achieved in a flash, quickly grabbed and then revised at the studio.

The procedure starts with painting from nature. Paint and draw, because drawing becomes a complementary experience to painting, permitting one to collect a series of notes, and a plot to work on.

Back in the studio, I had the chance to develop and rethink at the first glimpses and add layers and intensity to the paint surface to obtain a more elaborate picture. In my pictorial work, I am finding an ever greater dialogue between oils and watercolours that allows me to move between the two techniques while maintaining the same freshness, transparency and fluency. One technique enhance the other and gave me signals on the way through. The more time I spend listening to my paintings, the more I understand and create a dialogue around their becoming. They suggest the path to take that for everyone is different and unpredictable.

Each technique has its characteristics, mood and character that must be understood. Paint has a life of its own if you allow it to express itself, it will surprise you by showing its character. Oil painting can be used in many ways, from the technical point of view is the most complete and versatile of all painting mediums because it allows fluidity but also higher materiality and intensity of colour. In addition, it allows you to work spontaneously on any type of surface. On paper, panel and canvas the drying changes but remains the same spontaneity and colour vibration that makes the surface appear as just painted. Watercolour is very gentle, delicate and emotional, and has all the potential of oil painting but the big difference is that it is full of light. That’s the life of the painting…”



Francesco Poiana

[ 1990
- Present ]
Born in Faedis in the North East of Italy in 1990, Francesco Poiana attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome and then the celebrated Albicocco fine art printing workshop in Udine before studying for a Masters degree at Central St Martins College of Art in London. He joined the Royal Drawing School in 2019.

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