March 7th, 2011 by Leo Plaw

Isterie Plutoniche – Agostino Arrivabene Solo Exhibition

"Ornitophobic Proserpina" Agostino Arrivaben

"Ornitophobic Proserpina" Agostino Arrivaben

After the 2010 summer exhibtion “Delusions” curated by Vittorio Sgarbi, Agostino Arrivabene provides further new artworks for his “Isterie Plutoniche” (Pluto Hysteria) exhibition at Galleria di Antonia Jannone in Milan.

This exhibition opens with the beginning of Spring, the day Persephone returns from the Underworld to the land of the living, presenting us with a searching chthonic, a plumb line to the darkest mysteries of the myth, dissecting the codes of arcane Eleusinian mysteries while lyrically evoking Homer’s Hymn to Demeter.

The protagonist of this latest body of work is Persephone or Proserpine, who for the ancient Romans, was a mystery being an intimate part of Greek myth. The secrets and rituals of her cult that were held at Eleusis and  were known only to a select few.

Arrivabene bravely turns his visionary gaze to the past, producing an alchemical distillation of images starting from a primordial soup which then turn into shapeless gold, searching the coded language of ancient iconography. Random spots of hyper magnification, borrowed from pre-existing paints present a sideshow of freaks who gaze into the shadows of the kingdom of Hades with astonishment, horror and surprise, seeing an innocent young girl kidnapped by a hysterical and “sex maniac” god of the underworld.

So Persephone stands before them all, as a horror, but also as a wonder, as the film director Darren Aronofsky said of his film “The Fountain“, “Death is the way of wonder”.  This sentence encapsulates, perhaps, the whole secret of the Eleusinian mysteries, starting with a simulatedt death to be reborn and to discover a new awareness, a new wisdom.

This new direction in Agostino Arrivabene‘s painting a new steps on to the shores of a sea of ​​possibilities in the coming years, providing him with a  kaleidoscopic visionary language of transmutation.


 Isterie Plutoniche

 Duration: 21st March – 30th April 2011

Galleria di Antonia Jannone
Corso Garibaldi 125

Tel: 0229002930

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