Roberto Panico – Soil’ Soul – 02.12.2021

On the occasion of World Soil Day, and with the technical support of the Global Soil Partnership, on 2 December 2021, Galleria La Nuvola in Rome will inaugurate the solo exhibition of artist Roberto Panico (Lecce, 1949) at 6 pm. Entitled Soil’ Soul. Contemporary Memories, the short exhibition is curated by Giusy Emiliano, independent curator of contemporary art and permanent collaborator of various Divisions of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).

“To celebrate World Soil Day, we thought of harmonising art and science inside La Nuvola Gallery to pay homage to environmental sustainability and soil protection, through contemporary art,” explains the curator. “In supporting the Decade of Action to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs – UN) by 2030, we cover a wide range of interconnected development goals, such as social inclusion and environmental sustainability. These include Roberto Panico’s project, which proposes a personal take on the theme,’ continues Giusy Emiliano.

The artist’s production consists of material canvases, earthy or everted, whose skeleton is made up of agricultural tools of various shapes and sizes, such as ploughs, rakes, hoes, pickaxes and scythes. Panico consciously researches and draws on the inherent ‘modesty’ of materials, as it is humanity and practicality that concerns him personally. His investigation stands as an ‘efestian’ exploration of what the tools of traditional craftsmanship are able to communicate to man, acting as an intermediary of contact with the earth.

“The focus is on the life force locked in their ferrous consistency, similar to a dynamic vibration that finds its emblem in the nail which, if not fixed, remains potentially destined elsewhere, remaining in a tension of its own. Every object, even though it may appear motionless, is actually made up of atoms in continuous movement, interspersed with that emptiness that Panico attempts to capture, overcoming the informal impetus,” comments art historian Alice Falsaperla who, together with curator Giusy Emiliano, composes the critical texts of the catalogue dedicated to the exhibition, with commentary by Roberto Locci.

Photograph by Domenico Flora