New exhibition at GAM | Wunderkammer from 27 February to 1 September 2024.

The exhibition ‘Jacopo Benassi. Autoritratto Criminale’, curated by Elena Volpato, will be presented on 26 February 2024 at the Wunderkammer of the GAM – Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Torino.

The exhibition comes to life with the entry of the work Panorama of La Spezia, 2022, into the collection of the Fondazione per l’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea CRT. The acquired work is a self-portrait in which the artist never appears, just as there is no human presence. Instead, there are photographs of plants, taken in the dark of night in the public gardens, plants that at least partially cover some views of the Ligurian city, painted with a vague 19th-century flavour. Overlapping photos and canvases, held together by thick straps, are hung on two plasterboard walls that for a time served as Benassi’s temporary studio while he prepared for an exhibition in La Spezia, his home town.

Since then, Benassi’s work has gradually shifted from photography to a shadowy space between photography and painting, between photography and plaster casts. His photographic work, developed under the sign of the contrast between the darkness of the background and the light of the flash mercilessly aimed at each subject, has momentarily chosen as its place of selection and concealment the invisible part of things, that which remains guarded or imprisoned between one frame and another, between one image and another, that which can only be imagined or desired. Behind the installation of Panorama of La Spezia, used as a screen, appears Hanging Portraits Series, 2024, created for the exhibition, a work that takes the process of erasure to its extreme consequences, presenting a heavy sandwich of frames suspended in the void, of which only two repetitions are visible. They are photographic portraits of famous people (Valentino, Nan Goldin, John Wayne, Snow White, Ando Gilardi…) interspersed with a few self-portraits, all condemned to invisibility and thus paradoxically reactivated by Benassi in their capacity to be images, to have a new evocative power through negation.

In addition to Benassi’s works, the exhibition will also include, at the artist’s request, the large plaster sketch that Leonardo Bistolfi made for the monument to his friend Cesare Lombroso, which is kept in the GAM’s collections, and the skull from which Benassi draws inspiration and which is in dialogue with the video Autoritratto criminale (Criminal Self-Portrait).

The exhibition is organised in collaboration with the “Cesare Lombroso” Museum of Criminal Anthropology, Augustin Laforêt and the Francesca Minini Gallery and will be on show from 27 February to 1 September 2024.



Jacopo Benassi, Panorama di La Spezia, 2022
Installation: fine art prints, acrylic on canvases, artist frames, wooden panels, and wooden structures
Variable dimensions

Photo Credit: © Jacopo Benassi e Francesca Minini – Courtesy GAM – Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea in Turin
Owned by Fondazione per l’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea CRT

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