Ivan De Menis is an Italian artist. He was born in Treviso in 1973. Ivan attended the graphic arts course of the Bruno Munari institute of Art in Vittorio Veneto then he got his degree in painting from the Venice Academy of Fine Arts in 1997. Ivan lives and works in the countryside, close to Treviso.
The wooden panels by Ivan De Menis are only apparently simple; actually they encapsulate complex systems and thoughts. In his more recent works, for which he uses polystyrene and airball, it is a process that reveals the most intimate part of the work, as if he wanted to pull the viewer into the beating heart of what is happening before his eyes. The materials are usually used for packaging but here they become protagonists. Content and container are identified.
Traditional painting is superseded to reach a broader, more complex concept. The materials used by the Veneto artist for his works are designed to protect, contain, to block matter in a way: here the game is on another plane. The block is not only physical, but resins make it temporal too. Time is marked by matter itself, by its peculiarities. It is a reference with a conceptual matrix, which makes even more sense in an age of high speed like ours.
In the past his works comprised tesserae, here itís as if the tesserae, reminiscent of museums, have enlarged and acquired individual independence. This harks back, needless to say, to the historic art traditions of our country. Mosaics in his previous works created a sort of geometry which over time has been gradually suppressed. Many of the materials currently used are not artistic, they are the working materials that surround us: some come from the building trade.
Color is poured in a way that may appear casual. This is not so. The artist is always the director of everything. Each picture is arranged, refined, cleaned of anything not deemed necessary for the overall effect. Here the language of painting is superseded. The wooden panels we are dealing with present a clear three-dimensional consistency that leads us to speak of sculptor.
De Menis is interested in the volumetric sense, a prospective key of classical origins, for the things he creates. What is found round the edges is also fundamental, poured colors that reveal the different landscapes and tell of moments as in a sort of pictorial diary. His research is an attempt to grasp the different aspects of reality, even highlighting shapes that are antithetic to each other.
All this implies taking time to read, a trend that goes against the consumer speed we are used to and is required of us every day: itís not important to understand, itís enough to cast a glance, memorizing what you can and going quickly on to something else. In all works by De Menis there is the excitement of discovery, which can only be the consequence of a poetic emotion. Each picture is a unique specimen, no type of serial sequence can be made. With the aid of a chisel De Menis creates gaps through which our eyes can reach the soul of the work in a neoplatonist type of liberating action, as if he wanted to let out and reveal the most recondite parts, which are the purest ones. In this way we can perceive different times. His research is in many ways autobiographical, where unhurried daily in-depth research into color and matter in relation to space become a purely existential experience.
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