b. 1960 Turin, Italy; Lives and works in Turin, Italy
Angiola Gatti (b. 1960 Turin, Italy) is an artist who pushes the boundary between painting and drawing, suggesting the irrelevance of such distinctions in a contemporary context. Born and raised in the birthplace of Arte Povera, Gatti’s use of the everyday ballpoint pen is a nod to the movement’s championing of common, accessible tools that she uses in her own style of painting. The ballpoint pen brings her closer to her artwork in a physical way, such that, as she puts it, the “canvas is nearly carved,” by the force with which she presses her pen on her work.
Her mark-making, which ranges from tightly controlled to large and gestural, is an intuitive investigation of drawing, line and form. The ultimate images that she designs are formed by thousands of individual marks and motions. Her larger, denser canvases often use up the ink of over 30 to 40 ballpoint pens.
In her compositions, Gatti conceives spatial systems that relate to architecture, rhythm and proportions. During extensive walks throughout the city of Turin and the neighboring mountains of Piedmont, she immerses herself in the region’s impressive urban and rural landscapes, which both inform and reflect the multiple vantage points evident throughout her compositions. She is interested in the physical and mental dimensions of space encountered during these walks.
In her more minimal works, Gatti is acutely aware of negative space versus created space, producing meditative voids and unexpected configurations. The changing density and color juxtapositions function to enhance elements of pictorial depth, generating an overall atmospheric, yet structured quality to her work. Interested in philosophy, and most recently in phenomenology, Gatti engages her own history and memory by extracting the essential features of personal experiences and translating them into her art.
Gatti studied at the Academy of Painting from 1979 to 1981 and graduated from the University of Torino with a degree in philosophy in 1985. She lives and works in Turin.
Her work has been published in Ballpoint Art by Trent Morse, one of the most definitive books on contemporary artists using ball point pen.
She has exhibited at the Museo Ettore Fico (2018), Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Amburgo (2017), Galleria Photo and Contemporary (2012), Villa Giulia at Centro di Ricerca Arte Attuale (2011), Stuart Shave/Modern Art (2011), Museo Filatoio di Caraglio (2005), Centre Culturel Pomel (2004), Centre d’art contemporain Le Creux de l’enfer (2004), Galerie des Arts Visuels de l’Université Laval (2001) and the Unione Culturale Franco Antonicelli (1987).
Her work is in the permanent collection of Balbo di Torino, Italy; Chianale di Torino, Italy; Fossati di Como, Italy; Frac Auvergne, France; and Minneapolis Institute of Art, MN.
Angiola Gatti: Una Direzione In Un Andare