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Born in Faedis in the North East of Italy in 1990, Francesco Poiana attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome and then the celebrated Albicocco fine art printing workshop in Udine before studying for a Masters degree at Central St Martins College of Art in London. He joined the Royal Drawing School in 2019.
The discovery and development of new techniques in printing and painting are an essential part of Poiana’s work. His research currently focuses on painting and illustration, including commissions for museums and documentary films. Poiana has collaborated with fashion studios such as “Hermione
de Paula” and international brands like “Campari”. His work has been recently exhibited at Christie’s and acquired in the Royal Collection.
Poiana’s diaphanous and dream-like watercolours of Italy are like memories; both contemporary and rooted in history. Working since spring 2020 in the Italian countryside, his en plein air paintings are spontaneous notes on the landscape that speak to things of the past as well as something of our contemporary concerns.
One of the papers Poiana regularly uses is derived from mulberry paper trees and has a shadowy, translucence perfectly suited to the ghostly imagery of his works. ‘If you layer one sheet of paper on top of others they can look like a skin, soft and translucent and sensitive,’ he says.
It is also thanks to the encounter with Sicily that Poiana has discovered a new use of colour, in particular with the series ‘Remote Islands’ and ‘Terra di Dio’ where a new potency inherent in the forms and colour is revealing itself.
Poiana’s work represents an intimate voyage — towards the image of an intangible place, imagined only in daydreams.
In mid October we visited Francesco’s studio to see his new body of work that we are delighted to be offering in January 2021.
During the spring and summer of 2020 Francesco travelled back to Italy to record his time there, capturing the light and the passing days of lockdown, these notes on the landscape are en plein air diary entries of an immutable countryside during a very particular time.
Drawing on the paintings of Jean-François Millet, these studies on the landscape and the people who inhabit it refer back to Francesco’s own roots. They look at the narratives of people within these rural enclaves, the elemental nature of the enduring landscape and Francesco’s own life within it.
I landed in Venice at the beginning of May. The airport was a desert. Only a few passengers and some soldier standing at the gate. I started to draw from the first day of my Italian quarantine. The village on the hill side where I live was silent and full of sunlight, not many viruses case up there just an echo of fear. – Francesco Poiana