Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo presents Antipoem, the first solo exhibition in Italy by Ambera Wellmann (1982, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia). Together with a small selection of existing works, Antipoem presents a cycle of new paintings specifically created by the artist for this occasion.
The show’s title takes its name from Anne Carson’s translations of Sappho’s archaic Greek poetry, whose fragmented remnants and missing passages create what Carson describes as a kind of Antipoem, a space where the visual intervenes in the absence of language.
Among the new paintings created for this presentation are a series of large-scale Minotaurs. Wellmann’s works investigate fear, power and formlessness through a critical confrontation with the art-historical motif of the Minotaur. Set amidst nocturnal landscapes, Wellmann’s figures obscure and disintegrate in their environments, where darkness functions as both a metaphor for vulnerability, and a limitless queered atmosphere in which the boundaries of the body can disappear.
The uncertain space-time coordinates in which Wellmann sets her paintings constitute potential worlds within worlds, where past and present, human and animal bodies transmute. Embracing chance, error and revision, her works expose the processes of their own metamorphosis, in which the fragility of the individual is welcomed into the sphere of collectivity. The exhibition proposes infinite and unpredictable imaginaries: Antipoem is permeated by an expectation of catastrophe that overlaps, until it coincides, with the desire for an alternative future.
Ambera Wellmann (b. 1982, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia) lives and works in New York. Wellmann is a graduate of Nova Scotia College of Art & Design University, Halifax, Canada, and received her Masters of Fine Arts from University of Guelph, Canada. Her work has been shown at Stavanger Art Museum, Norway (2023); the ICA Boston (2022); Palazzo Bollani, Venice (2022); New Museum Triennial, New York (2021); Staatsgalerie Stuttgart (2021); Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Torino (2021); MAC Belfast (2021, solo); Pond Society, Shanghai (2021, solo); The Emerald Tablet, Jeffrey Deitch Gallery, Los Angeles (2021); Present Generations, Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus (2021); Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin (2020, solo); Drawing Center, New York (2020); Company Gallery (2020, solo); MOCO, Montpellier (2019, solo); Istanbul Biennial (2019); Museum of Modern Art Warsaw (2019); Australian Center for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2019); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2019); Projet Pangée, Montreal, (2018, solo); Office Baroque, Brussels (2018); Regional Centre for Contemporary Art, Sète (2018); Arsenal Contemporary, New York (2018); Oakville Galleries, Oakville (2018); Nicodim Gallery, Los Angeles (2018); Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York; Dupont Projects Toronto, (2016, solo).