As part of programming for Eldorado – the exhibition series that the Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea of Bergamo dedicates to the most interesting artists on the international young artists scene – GAMeC presents I’ll Meet You at the Rendezvous, the first solo exhibition that a museum has dedicated to the emerging Ian Tweedy (Hahn, Germany, 1982. Lives and works in Milan). This artist of American origin, born and raised on a military base in Germany and now residing in Italy, Ian Tweedy has made his nomadic condition central to his work. His artistic activity is rooted in themes such as the relationship between individual biography and the collective past, suggestive appropriation of recent and remote history, a quest for new meanings for concepts of identity, belonging and freedom.
Through the use of painting, collage, drawing, video and installation – techniques that are often combined with one another in an arrangement of figures, supports, atmospheres and meanings – the work of Tweedy pursues two primary research channels. The past and history are immense archives of images to be recuperated and transformed, while Street Art and Graffiti Art are experienced as creative forms that are in constant conflict with the everyday, unplanned and the frenetic succession of events in urban life. On our cities’ walls, the images are short-lived: they only last until they are covered over by another work of graffiti, cancelled by restoration or simply consumed by time. Each image thus overlays a context made up of life, rumors and signs, a context that exists prior to that same image and that survives it. Ian Tweedy carries this experience into painting, using supports that already have a memory, that bear the traces of a more or less recent past, such as the covers of old books, geographic maps worn out with use and even rags for cleaning paintbrushes. By combining the density of the archive with the crowded nature of the visual urban landscape, Tweedy creates an art of accumulation and memory, invention and survival, in which the images are the fruit of recuperation, cancellation and constant re-transcription.
This exhibition, which was expressly conceived for GAMeC and is entirely composed of original works, occupies three rooms in the museum and involves the use of a variety of media from painting to wall painting, from video to installation and drawing. What is usually the case with this artist’s work, is the images are originally photographs or, at least, betray a photographic nature that also emerges within their new role as paintings. His constant borrowing from a personal archive, betrays not just the central role of the collage and cinematographic montage in Tweedy’s art – understood as techniques and, particularly, as a means for operating and thought – but also his continuity with a painterly tradition that ranges from Robert Rauschenberg to Gerhard Richter and finally Luc Tuymans, and that finds its center in its relationship with photography.