Giulia Andreani

Selected Works

La Gifle

2014
watercolour on paper
125 x 195 cm.; 49 1/4 x 76 3/4 in.
Photo: Marc Domage

“Giulia’s painting does not portray a narrative; it is neither history painting nor narrative painting, strictly speaking. If, however, it produces meaning, it only emerges in dribs and drabs, leaving us dumbfounded, at first, in front of works that are often complex and dense, faced with figures that are difficult to label and silenced by the fluidity of the painting, the drips that delete and the subtle range of Payne's bluish-grey tones that bathes everything in a form of strangeness. Furthermore, the central rapport with photography, frequently mentioned by the artist in interviews, as a source for her work, suggests a specific “off-screen” freeze frame that nurtures this sense of omission, suspense and narrative even when the source images have been manipulated, moved around and stuck together again as in La Gifle.”

A. Lavin, ‘Of truth we know nothing, for truth lies at the bottom of a well. Painting that estranges’, in Giulia Andreani, exh. cat., Labanque, Béthune; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Dole, Paris: Dilecta, 2019, p. 38

Le Rempart

2015
acrylic on canvas
190 x 410 cm.; 74 3/4 x 161 3/8 in.
Photo: Marc Domage

“[Giulia Andreani] outlines the different facets of an assumed 'feminine identity' that, in the end, is just a pretext for expressing a critique of the powers that be. All these women are brought together in a work dating from 2015, a large format composition entitled Le Rempart, uniting different women, different stories and different struggles. Giulia Andreani gathers her findings in this way in order to really make history: from nurses on the front during World War I, to obtaining the right to vote, via Salomé, Hannah Höch, a mischievous young girl who might well be the artist herself, and Simone de Beauvoir.”

J. Crenn, ‘Tremate, tremate’ in Giulia Andreani, exh. cat., Labanque, Béthune; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Dole, Paris: Dilecta, 2019, p. 41

Damnatio Memoriae III

2015
acrylic on canvas
150 x 200 cm.; 59 x 78 3/4 in.
Photo: DR

“Even if my approach is fairly linear, working from archive documents and using the same colour all the time, it is ultimately pretty anarchic with respect to me, in that I place things on a pedestal and then shatter them with a hammer. I destroy the very idols that I have just completed. I paint a lot of powerful figures precisely in order to endanger this power, and increasingly, I do the same thing with well-known art-historical figures.”

L. Delalande, ‘Interview: Giulia Andreani. Paris, May 2019’ in Giulia Andreani, exh. cat., Labanque, Béthune; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Dole, Paris: Dilecta, 2019, p. 36

Sept femmes

2015
acrylic on canvas
each panel: 35 x 27 cm.; 13 3/4 x 10 5/8 in.
Photo: DR
Collection: FRAC Poitou-Charentes

“I like to confuse and provoke the spectator to prevent them from being passive in experiencing to my work, which is why I make them responsible for what they are looking at. When I made the series of portraits titled Trois femmes / Sept femmes, for example, the sadness of the faces was at odds with the barbarity of the acts committed by these Nazi women, which might allow for them to be seen as victims rather than the real persecutors.”

L. Delalande, ‘Interview: Giulia Andreani. Paris, May 2019’ in Giulia Andreani, exh. cat., Labanque, Béthune; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Dole, Paris: Dilecta, 2019, p. 36

Il Ratto di Europa

2016
acrylic on canvas
150 x 200 cm.; 59 x 78 3/4 in.
Photo: DR

“No threat of censorship hangs over Giulia Andreani, but the very real, proven ‘risk’ of painting persists. Nonetheless, her use of allegorical and symbolic figures serves as a manifesto, as for Courbet, and (…) its purpose has clearly been to bring about their fall or decline. They are ‘real allegories’ in so far as they are painted from photographs of real women, although only just, for what are these young women if not just images? They are also allegories that are in a really bad way: (…) Europe is sick, and European nations, burdened with debt, are metamorphosed into men – or women – pigs thanks to a mean play on words.”

A. Lavin, ‘Of truth we know nothing, for truth lies at the bottom of a well. Painting that estranges’, in Giulia Andreani, exh. cat., Labanque, Béthune; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Dole, Paris: Dilecta, 2019, pp. 37-38

On n’en saura rien

2016
acrylic and oil on canvas
each panel: 35 x 27 cm.; 13 3/4 x 10 5/8 in.

“While monochrome reveals, colour hides. It masks, and like the masks that I juxtapose on faces, that which masks, reveals. I use colour in an abstract fashion, to intensify meaning. In my series On n’en saura rien, created during a residency at the Atelier des Arques in 2016, I used different shades of oil paint. The colours, reproduced like samples on a colour chart, match those used for the pretty shutters of the village houses whose narrow strips obliterate the faces exhumed from the archives of the place’s grim past (camps for immigrant workers, executions of members of the resistance, collaboration, the devastating passage of Reich troops). The present desire ‘not to see’ appends itself to history. I felt the need to denote the present bearing down on history and vice versa.”

L. Delalande, ‘Interview: Giulia Andreani. Paris, May 2019’ in Giulia Andreani, exh. cat., Labanque, Béthune; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Dole, Paris: Dilecta, 2019, p. 37

Pensionnaire Modèle

2018
acrylic on canvas
190 x 440 cm.; 74 3/4 x 173 1/4 in.

“In her large format works, where the logic is no longer one of framing or photographic cut, but rather, of collage, it is not the off-screen that produces this sense of narrative tension but the elliptical movement created by the montage. In Pensionnaire modèle, we are able to recognize Balthus, and the Villa Medici, possibly. Even without the help of the artist to identify the other figures, we are able to grasp bits of it: the studio, the institution, the relationship between artist and model (a woman) are all there, side by side. But the story they unfold – the artist refers to an uchronic tracking shot – remains piecemeal, can be read every which way, and seems to constantly shift viewpoint (the differing scales and perspectives account for much of this).”

A. Lavin, ‘Of truth we know nothing, for truth lies at the bottom of a well. Painting that estranges’, in Giulia Andreani, exh. cat., Labanque, Béthune; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Dole, Paris: Dilecta, 2019, p. 38

L'artiste microbe (autoportrait en Baikinman)

2018
acrylic on canvas
55 x 45 cm.; 21 5/8 x 17 3/4 in.

“I reckon artists should be disruptive agents, like microbes are for organisms. A painter’s work disrupts the meaning of words to show them in a different light. I think figurative painting is misguidedly more accessible and potentially more dangerous.”

L. Delalande, ‘Interview: Giulia Andreani. Paris, May 2019’ in Giulia Andreani, exh. cat., Labanque, Béthune; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Dole, Paris: Dilecta, 2019, p. 36

Kahlo

2018
arylic on canvas
80 x 60 cm.; 31 1/2 x 23 5/8 in.
Photo: Claire Dorn

“Whether painting famous people with the faces of children (Kollontaï, Fassbinder, Kahlo, etc.) or scattering children throughout her compositions, often masked or seen from behind, the works obviously differ but all share this strange relationship with time that is specific to childhood – one of ‘let’s pretend’, of another form of suspense, of all the possibilities still to be written (to be painted).”

A. Lavin, ‘Of truth we know nothing, for truth lies at the bottom of a well. Painting that estranges’, in Giulia Andreani, exh. cat., Labanque, Béthune; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Dole, Paris: Dilecta, 2019, p. 38

La Cattiva

2018
acrylic on canvas
35 x 27 cm.; 13 3/4 x 10 5/8 in.
Photo: DR

“When you question Giulia Andreani about her relationship with history, she evades the issue, saying ‘I approach history covertly’, and cites Rembrandt: ‘I only paint portraits’. But if they are portraits, they too remain enigmatic. Obliterated by drips of paint or hidden by masks, they retain a silent distance echoed by the ‘estranging’ effect of the blue-grey.”

A. Lavin, ‘Of truth we know nothing, for truth lies at the bottom of a well. Painting that estranges’, in Giulia Andreani, exh. cat., Labanque, Béthune; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Dole, Paris: Dilecta, 2019, p. 39

Fillon fillette ou Jeannette

2019
acrylic on canvas
150 x 200 cm.; 59 x 78 3/4 in.

"'With the Imperial world my connection is no more than childish', said Pier Paolo Pasolini quoting Ossip Mandelstam. Jörg Immendorf said 'when I paint, I feel like a girl in a peep show'. I myself feel like a little girl who comes in through the back door, installs herself without being invited, and gets up to mischief! [...] I like to think of artists as committed grown up children rather than bored, cynical, young adults."

L. Delalande, ‘Interview: Giulia Andreani. Paris, May 2019’ in Giulia Andreani, exh. cat., Labanque, Béthune; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Dole, Paris: Dilecta, 2019, p. 36

Art must hang (Swansong crochet deadpan painting)

2019
acrylic on canvas
200 x 300 cm.; 78 3/4 x 118 1/8 in.

“The large formats represent the climax of a project and are proceeded by various stages. I always start with a small watercolour, then I make small or medium-size portraits, and sometimes, something in these paintings gives rise to a large-format work. The inherent frontality of my paintings is de facto accentuated. [...] I want the spectator to experience my work physically as well as visually. What’s more, my attitude to painting is different when working with this kind of format: the movement and treatment of the image are not really the same; I’m totally focused and come away exhausted, usually having exhausted the subject as well.”

L. Delalande, ‘Interview: Giulia Andreani. Paris, May 2019’ in Giulia Andreani, exh. cat., Labanque, Béthune; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Dole, Paris: Dilecta, 2019, p. 36

Anita

2019
acrylic on canvas
100 x 80 cm.; 39 3/8 x 31 1/2 in.

“My painting, which as it happens is impure, shares much with watercolour (a technique frequently disparaged by ‘paintocrats’), where thin layers are laid one on top of the other to bring out the image gradually, as in a developing bath. I mimic in painting the process by which things and faces emerge, or ‘surface’ in traditional photography, and if one looks at the etymology of the word photography, it means ‘writing with light’. German literature has been a great source of inspiration for me, and I’m fond of the statement by Hugo von Hofmannsthal: ‘Depth must be hidden. Where? On the surface.’”

L. Delalande, ‘Interview: Giulia Andreani. Paris, May 2019’ in Giulia Andreani, exh. cat., Labanque, Béthune; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Dole, Paris: Dilecta, 2019, p. 36

Résidente (Allégorie de la sculpture)

2019
acrylic on canvas
200 x 150 cm.; 78 3/4 x 59 in.
Photo: Marc Domage

“Three pictures, Résidente (Allégorie de la Sculpture), Résidente (Allégorie de la Musique) and Résidente (Allégorie de la Peinture), are painted from photographs of Stéphanie [Solinas], Lise [Charles] and Claire [Lavabre] playing, as in a ‘tableau vivant’, the roles of [Lucienne] Heuvelmans, [Lili] Boulanger and [Odette] Pauvert, each embodying the allegory of her art. The photographs ‘composed’ by Giulia Andreani are ‘triggered’ by Stéphanie Solinas herself. A multi-layered structure for this fragile balancing game between allegory and reality.”

A. Lavin, ‘Of truth we know nothing, for truth lies at the bottom of a well. Painting that estranges’, in Giulia Andreani, exh. cat., Labanque, Béthune; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Dole, Paris: Dilecta, 2019, p. 38