Cristina de Gennaro
Pentimenti Drawings.
Gouache, pencil, charcoal, archival ink jet prints on Japanese gampi paper.
3 panels, 39"X10' each. Installed at the Hat Factory, Peekskill, NY.
Each drawing is comprised of three sheets of translucent paper hung adjacently to one another so that the compositions, viewed from two sides, are affected by the traces of drawings and prints from the underlying sheets. Pentimento in Italian literally means regret, and it's a term used in painting when compositional elements covered over by the artist during the production of a painting become visible again over time, as the top layers of paint sometimes become translucent with age. The artist's corrections and changes may reappear at a later date as testament to her process, much like the way memory emerges over time, bearing witness to our lives.

The project was inspired by an historical system for memorization called the "memory palace" in which one created a fictional building, placing memories in each room as a way of associating the memories to a specific location to give order and to recall them. But memory is a process as much re-created as recollected. The three layers in the drawings are thin and fragile, and shift with air currents causing images from the underlying sheets to move in and out of focus. Images foregrounded on one side, may become mere shadows when viewed from the other. So, although these drawings, like "memory palaces," reference architecture as an organizing principle, the multiple layers and shifting focus resist closure suggesting, instead, a sense of memory as provisional and contingent.

You may view Cristina de Gennaro's web site at www.cristinadegennaro.com.

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