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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Alberto Andreis

Solid Afternoon,  2008, Alberto Andreis
Architectural Surrealism--if you've never heard of it, chances are you're one of millions of others in the same boat. The reason for that is I just made it up. Sometimes you have to come up with new words or combination of words in order to say what you mean or describe what you write about. The phrase comes from a close look and an even closer study of the work of the Italian painter, set designer, and interior decorator, Alberto Andreis. Take a look at one of his pieces, Solid Afternoon (above) dating from 2008. It's surrealistic and it's an architectural structure floating upwards in a surrealist manner. So, if you don't like my newly minted description, what would you call it (short of describing every detail)?
New York Tales, Alberto Andreis
Titles are, after all, a kind of literary shorthand, used in place of what I jokingly referred to as "describing every detail." The problem I'm having in writing about Signor Andreis stems from the fact very few of his paintings have titles, or at least they seem to be unpublished. I suppose the reason for this is that like a great many artists today Andreis paints in a serial manner, creating any number of works that are quite similar in theme, appearance, style, or other attributes. In the process, titles either devolve to serial numbers or are omitted altogether. (Gallery owners hate that.)
In the Evening, 2006, Alberto Andreis
In Andreis case, the series have titles such as Viaggi (travel), Solidi (solids), Sogni (dreams), New York Tales, Disegno (drawing), Babele (Babble) and...well, you get the idea. Each series is usually finished before being displayed at an art gallery exhibition, often named for the series. Working in a series with a common theme is something of a marketing ploy foisted upon artists in making his or her show seem very much like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for collectors to see and buy.

Alberto Andreis was born in Brescia, (northern) Italy in 1959. He graduated from the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Milan majoring in Scenography. From 1983 to 1989 he was assistant to the set designer to Ezio Frigerio, which eventually involved participation in the project for Cyrano de Bergerac. He won an Oscar for costumes, and a nomination for the best set design. Other major prose and lyric performances include C. Goldoni's Gracious Woman at Nürnberg Theater in 1988, I love you Maria! in 1990 with Carlo Delle Piane. In the same year, Andreis did the scenery for Shake-speare's As You Like, at the Teatro Romano in Verona; Delusions in 1992, U. Betti's Goat Island at Teatro Toselli di Cuneo, and in 1997 Antigone of Sophocles at the Villa Theater in Rome.
A little fanciful for my tastes, but still elegantly attractive.
At the same time, Andreis has extended his work experience to interior decoration, collaborating with architect Celeste Dell' Anna and architect Diana Terragni, as well as various projects for Versace stores, the palace of the Sultan of Qatar, for the study of the Architecture Laboratory Association, utilizing trompe-l'oeil both in Italy and abroad. His work as a painter is parallel to previous experiences, although it has been augmented in recent years.

Shipwreck, 2007, Alberto Andreis

Babble (series), 2016, Alberto Andreis


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