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15 October 2020

Matteo Fato with 159 Elica employees, Gentili come un ritratto, 2020 (circa)
20 October at 12 am
via Ermanno Casoli, 2
Fabriano (AN)

Matteo Fato won the 18th edition of the Ermanno Casoli Award with “Gentile come un ritratto”, curated by Marcello Smarrelli, a project chosen for the sensitivity and effectiveness with which it has been able to deal with this particularly difficult time in which even the relational dimension of work is being put to the test by the pandemic. The artist has indeed decided to open his authorship to a collective operation, translating the pictorial gesture, namely the distinctive feature of his work, into a “collective act”, thereby recreating a sense of closeness and interaction with others. The work produced is the result of a temporary painting workshop set up for a week in Elica – a leading manufacturer of cooker hoods for kitchens – and headed by Matteo Fato, with the participation of 159 employees from the Fabriano, Mergo and Castelfidardo offices (FIMEMotors).

The title Gentile come un ritratto (Gentle as a portrait) deliberately recalls the alleged self-portrait of painter Gentile da Fabriano (Fabriano 1370 approx., Rome 1427), which appears in the Adoration of the Magi painting (1423), now preserved in the Uffizi. Matteo Fato’s challenge was multifaceted: starting from a masterpiece of the past closely linked to the talent and beauty of the region to collectively conceive a work in the present, and, in this leap in time, moving from Gentile’s self-portrait to a relevant portrait: that of a company based in Fabriano that, driven by the passion of its founder Ermanno Casoli, has distinguished itself in the field of design on a worldwide level, in an ideal connection with Gentile’s Renaissance workshop.

The participants had the opportunity to interact with the artist personally, though always in complete safety, reflecting together on the nature of the portrait as a form of expression that represents not only an individuality, but the era that characterises it. In order to portray a subject, it is necessary to be able to achieve “familiarity” with the historical, cultural and social context that surrounds them. Keeping this in mind, each of the participants received from the artist the key to leave their mark, in search of a similarity based on their own experience and everyday life. The result is a work that, in its plurality and abstraction, is capable of representing all those who have contributed to its realization.

The portrait, as is customary in Matteo Fato’s painting, is part of a larger installation entitled Gentili come un ritratto (Gentles as a portrait) made up of other works linked to his work process: indeed, other paintings have been extracted from this collective operation, produced from the cloths used to clean the brushes at every change of hand and colour, in turn placed and framed inside their transport crates.

The project is part of the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the birth of Elica and follows the methodology of E-STRAORDINARIO – the training programme featuring contemporary art that has distinguished FEC’s activities for over a decade. The installation will become part of the Elica Corporate Collection, which can be visited upon reservation.

Participation in the inauguration is subject to the limitations due to the current health situation; it will be possible to participate only and exclusively upon reservation and up to full capacity.

Information and reservations