FRANCO AND RENATA
13 / 26 October, 2018
Park Hub, Via Garofalo 31, Milan
Park Associati are pleased to host in their practice’s premises the solo exhibition of Thomas Berra, opening on the occasion of the beginning of the Milano Fall Design Week. The Milano Fall Design Week seemed to be an ideal opportunity to create a veritable solo exhibition of Thomas Berra focussing on the work ‘Franco and Renata’, the result of an active collaboration between design and art.
Inspired by family photographs, the artist tells the love story of Franco and Renata, his uncle and aunt. This very personal story is also a reflection of an era, the long Italian post-war period that was scarred by events that left a mark and influenced the recent past. Based on the Grand Hotel-style photo-novels, the artist created a picture tale printing it in around 1000 copies. The work is meant to be shown on a support reminiscent of the small kiosks that used to sell newspapers in those years. The artist asked Park Associati to design the newsstand on which the copies of the photo-novel are to be affixed.
Conceived in 2017, on the occasion of the 6Artista award, won by Thomas Berra and Corinna Gosmaro, the work “Franco e Renata” was exhibited at the Pastificio Cerere Foundation in Rome, in collaboration with Shafhof – European Center for Art Upper Bavaria, and is now on show for the first time to the public in Milan.
Thomas Berra’s artistic work expresses itself in more than one language. Never becoming analytical, Berra’s investigations into shape and colour translate into images and marks more his dialogue with the ‘masters’ or with works that particularly affected and stimulated him. The pictorial gesture combines with the relationship with space, straining to fill it, to assert the power of the dialogue between shapes, volumes, surfaces and marks. The artist himself claims to ‘plunge’ into colour; his search leading him to be completely under its power, such as happened with recent works related to green and nature. In parallel there are the artist’s experimentations relating to past experiences, the retrieval of partly-forgotten popular media, such as the photo-novel.
‘Franco and Renata’ attempts to reunite these different souls by exhibiting a large painting, the original photo-novel drawings and a great site-specific environmental piece of work around the kiosk.
Thomas Berra was born in Milan in 1986.
He attended Brera Academy of Fine Arts, leaving it in 2012 to embark on some travels that took him to Chicago, Switzerland and Germany for exhibitions and residencies. In 2012 he founded the artist-run space Labrouge in Milan. He was among the finalist artists at Premio Arte Cairo in 2018, and his works will be shown at Milan’s Palazzo Reale from 16th to 21st October 2018. His work is included in the Banca Sistema Collection, Milano and the Unicredit Collection, Milan.
Among his most recent solo exhibitions: Verde Indagine, Placentia Arte, Piacenza (2017); Dopo il Diluvio, Villa Vertua Masolo, Nova Milanese (2017); Ciao, Mana Contemporary Studio, Chicago, USA (2015); 8 ½, Spazio 1929, Lugano, Switzerland (2015); Thomas, Room Galleria, Milan (2015); Casabarata, Banca Sistema, Milan (2014); Ciao, Room Galleria, Milan (2012).
Among his collective exhibitions: A Christmas Carol, Placentia Arte, Piacenza (2016); Collezione Vedovamazzei, Studi Festival #2, Milan (2016); SubCulture Fanzine, Edicola Radetzky, Milan; Souvenir, Palazzo Mezzanotte, piazza Affari, Milan (2015); Imago mundi, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin and Fondazione Cini, Venice (2015); I am, Villa Paradiso, Lugano, Switzerland (2013); Two and a half, Tabadoul Space, Tangiers, Morocco (2013); Crises and Rises, Palazzo delle Stelline, Milan (2012). In 2013 he won the Unicredit Prize.