Text by Ilaria Bonacossa

Grand Opening
(Summer Rhapsody)

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After FILM#, Roberto Coda Zabetta’s practice has moved from the series of canvases hanging on the wall to actual space. The spaces in which his actions have developed are far from minimal white cubes, inhabiting instead complex environments loaded with history and natural elements. His practice, that is both macho and poetic, tries to find an original way of occupying and transforming space by both neutralizing its presence and at the same time completely transforming its perception.

To take the cinematic metaphor further, Coda Zabetta has used monumental environmental paintings to create ‘sets’ in which visitors, art lovers as well as passers-by are turned into actors who have to interact or better act out themselves. Related to Land art more than to Action painting, these works continue to develop the idea of transparency linked to Coda Zabetta’s practice, as well as the desire to talk to non art experts as well as to passionate curators, critics or artists.

In the last year his practice has undergone a radical shift occupying public space, or better has invented a participatory form of pictorial practice as a way of reclaiming spaces either forgotten or devoid of contemporary creativity.


This experimental endevour started in the fall of 2017 with Cantiere 1 / Terrazzo, a project developed in Naples in the abandoned complex of SS. Trinità delle Monache (converted in a Military Hospital in the 19th century) for MADRE Museum, where the artist completely painted the gigantic flat surface of the building’s roof. The project has recently seen its second episode (May 2018) in France, where Cantiere 2 / Harbour was activated on the waterfront of Portivy, St. Pierre Quiberon in Bretagne. In this second experiment the natural landscape has called for a more subtle yet transformative intervention with natural pigments on the actual walls and rocks of the bay, transforming the landscape in a canvas that will slowly but surely be erased by the sea tides as well as by the coastal violent storms.

Here, for the opening of KURA. in Milan, Coda Zabetta has created another phantasmagoria of light and color that will occupy the space of the courtyard, transforming the viewers way of moving through it. Coda Zabetta has given life to a new landscape/space in this post-industrial turned-artistic environment: again the power of air (through a specific technique born by using pigments that are mixed and removed by an air-compressor) seems to have pushed matter to create vectorial as well as concentric movements of color and light. What I find fascinating is how the element of chance is balanced by an artistic premeditation of composition and form, where enamels, pigments and different types of natural and industrial paints merge in a space of pure energy. Similarly western and eastern traditions and techniques seem to merge in a space of pure abstraction that is both a tent, a roof and the sky of an oneiric space of creativity.


Cover Photo by T-STUDIO
Slideshow Photos by Henrik Blomqvist

What will we see (or not see) at the exhibition? I think life is better than art. But art makes life better. The only thing i can say is that we will see a representation of something interesting and we will know that this is impossible to represent. KURA. c/o Fonderia Artistica Battaglia, Milan
Text by Déborah Laks
Text by Costanza Paissan
Text by Martha Kirszenbaum
Text by Lorenzo Benedetti
July 5 – Sept 10, 2018
Designed by David Reinfurt