Mona Osman – Rhizome and the Dizziness of Freedom

Periodo: 13 Oct 2019 - 16 Feb 2020
Mona Osman Albergo delle Notarie, Reggio Emilia

Collezione Maramotti presents Rhizome and the Dizziness of Freedom, the first solo show in Italy of the young artist Mona Osman.
Osman, who grew up and lived in Budapest, Nice, London and Bristol, presents a cycle of new paintings created for the Collection’s Pattern Room.

Osman worked simultaneously on all the new works, in which we find influences and references derived from a work conceived at the same time, in a single space: the last year, in the artist’s studio.
Introduced by a triptych of portraits set up on an external wall of the main hall, the exhibition includes three large canvases and two medium-sized ones, all made with oil and mixed media on canvas.

Starting from the idea of ​​combining biblical episodes with notions drawn from existentialist philosophy – and with the intention of asking questions, rather than offering answers – Osman has pictorially developed a dense theoretical and spiritual reflection on the search for the Self.

According to the artist, man’s ambition to reach an absolute and immutable understanding of his individual essence clashes with the impossibility of defining it, generating anguish and suffering.
Two elements recur in the works on display: the idea of ​​the Tower of Babel and what Osman calls “Absolute Self”, the Absolute Self.
The Tower of Babel, symbol of the act of pride of man to rise towards the sky and the consequent divine punishment, becomes a paradigm of the impossibility of communication between individuals and of the resulting condition of solitude, of the absence of “another” through which we recognize ourselves.
The Absolute Self represents the ideal and monolithic version of the Self that we seek to outline and to which we tend, without ever really succeeding in reaching it. Reality and experience inevitably escape control, disclose unexpected discoveries and unpredictable changes. Like the Sisyphus of Camus, happy because in his condemnation he becomes aware of his own limits and assumes his own destiny, man should accept his indefinable existential condition and find fulfillment in a more open and permeable dimension, abandoning his will of clarity and perpetual progress.

Osman has devoted himself from childhood to painting and drawing, through which he carries out an investigation into the perceptions and tensions of man, often linked to a state of anxiety.
Inspired by experiences rooted in his personal history, the artist builds scenarios full of characters and narratives with which he investigates universal existential questions and the dynamics of relationships between individuals.
The canvases, which present different levels of depth and vision, are densely populated with characters, patterns and elements that do not belong to a defined dimension and time.
The gaze is driven to move from one detail to another, exploring the surface of the work through varied rhythms, associations and sudden revelations.
Featuring pictorial brushstrokes and intense colors, his pictorial language also incorporates resin and collage, with which Osman constructs a formal articulation of the surface of the works, in which echoes and styles of artists such as Klimt, Ensor and Mondrian appear to be freely reworked and incorporated without obvious premeditation or citationism.

The exhibition will be accompanied by an artist’s book in the form of a sketchbook.


For more information: Collezione Maramotti


Location: Collezione Maramotti, via Fratelli Cervi 66, Reggio Emilia