Antonio Milano. Epifanie

IAGA Contemporary Art is glad to announce the opening of the first solo exhibition signed by Italian artist Antonio Milano with the title EPIFANIE (Epiphanies) curated by Ilaria Bignotti.
The exhibition project, a completely new and site-specific journey meticulously planned by the artist and the curator, entails an immersive experience for the viewer who will be guided through Milano’s pictorial language across three exhibition stages unfolding within the gallery spaces.

In fact, the artist conceives the IAGA premises as a tripartite place, to interpret the three stages of body, mind and spirit, ‘as if the gallery space were the space of a man’s life, thus matching with time. Therefore, matter, time and space become a unitary whole, as I try to do in my works,’ he said in one of the dialogues we had. But also in churches, he recalled, the altars are divided into three, based on the verse from John 1:14: ‘And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us’.

On the path of the exhibition, the visitor is therefore greeted by about ten drawings of new production, displayed on the wall, made on Rosaspina paper – one of the supports chosen by the artist, on whose characteristics we will return to later – which interpret the VERB, whose Substance is the WORD.

This first stage of the exhibition and of the spiritual journey is followed by a second stage which interprets the phrase: SI FECE CARNE (‘Was made flesh’). Here, Milano, in the central room of the gallery, presents six works on cotton, made with a technique that makes them usable both from the front and from the back – we will return to this aspect later -, mounted in an ambient and sculptural installation: The Substance is the BODY.

The third and last phase, which corresponds to the longitudinal room and the small ‘dark room’ of the gallery, is dedicated to the motto E VENNE AD ABITARE IN MEZZO A NOI, (‘and dwelt among us’), the Substance is the SPIRIT.

Another painting will be displayed on the wall and, thus, it will only be visible from the front, and video material will be projected in the small room.

The seven paintings on cotton that the artist made for this project are defined by him as ‘faces and bodies of incorrupt Saints’: it is, indeed, about seven portraits of Saints of the Christian religion, namely six faces of St. Curé d’Ars, St. Pio of Pietralcina, St. Rita of Cascia, St. Pius X, St. Maria of Agreda, St. Veronica Giuliani, and a body, that of St. Teresa of Avila, a tribute, as a matter of fact, to Bernini’s famous sculpture.

The Saints are painted on cotton, using a painting technique developed long ago by Milano, which, thanks to the chemical processes triggered by the mixing of materials, allows an image to be printed on the back of the painting, which, over time, undergoes a rather intense process of change, dissolving and purifying the clearest and most defined traits and making it a dissolving icon, an image that has come down from somewhere else and seems to be looking at us.

Seven pictorial shrouds, six of which will be revealed in their double identity, thanks to the installation in the central room of the gallery: the visitor will be able to truly observe the face of each work, confronting the slow and complex painting of Milano, and then to be in the presence of what is not usually accessible, the back of the painting, where the process of transformation of the pictorial matter takes place.

A process that finally translates into the last room, where even the supports and materials of the painting have disappeared, giving way to the digital evanescence of the video, which, again, resumes and leads to a further exploration of the relationship between the appearance and transformation of the sacred icon.

Curated by Ilaria Bignotti

An exhibition realized by IAGA Contemporary Art

Exhibition venue
IAGA Contemporary Art, Strada Cloşca 9-11, Cluj-Napoca, RO

Visiting hours
Tuesday –Saturday 2:00-6:00 pm, and by appointment

March 21, 2024 – April 20, 2024

Thursday 21 March, 2023, from 6:00 pm


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