London, 7-11 Nov 2019

Sotto Sale Projects presents LACUNA, (“I wouldn’t see anything at all, but then I’d see it in joyful fragments”). A group exhibition featuring the work of Yulia Iosilzon, Matete Martini, Barbara Alegre


Conceived as an analysis of the tension between the individual and society, the artists explore the blurring boundaries between the imaginary world and their tangible obsessions. Opposing notions of collectivity and isolation are scrutinised, leading to a virtual expansion of Time. 


The exhibition opens a dialogue between the three artists, raising questions about time, identity and memory. Transcending lines between the real and the virtual, and revealing the fragility of a society rooted in individualism. Opening a spectrum of new possibilities where “we can do lots of things…” 


Diverse mediums - sculpture, painting, sound and video - take the viewer to new layers of meaning beneath the superficial and the obvious. Matete Martini (Francesca Martini’s paintings, saturated with associations to 20th century Italian futurism and pittura metafisica carry deeper narratives and criticism towards male privilege in society. Meaning is subverted in Iosilzon’s work through persistent duality between text and subtext, clarity and opaqueness. Often painted directly on silk or thin cotton or linen, the artist’s approach is thoughtfully communicated through materials that point to weightlessness and delicacy. Yet these surfaces, which suggest the “looming, conscious fragility” of narrative thread, reconfigure themselves as a ploy to create distance, with the artist likening her choice of medium to a “mosquito net”, at once offering transparency and impenetrability, courting the parasitic viewer but frustrating ultimate consummation. Alegre’s work talks about Time as a prompt to raise questions of memory, parenthood, genealogy, identity, origin, presence-absence, human concerns, universal and standardised social decisions. Humans have always been interested in measuring time in order to understand fate and exert some control over it.


Maria Valeria Biondo

About the Artists


Barbara Alegre (Barcelona, 1976) Barbara Alegre’s three groups of works portray Time as a prompt to raise questions of memory, parenthood, genealogy, identity, origin, presence-absence, human concerns, universal and standardised social decisions. Background (2014) aims to bring visibility to the silent and selfless endeavour of transmitting generational value. Now, scream (2013) distances itself from the traditional male gaze of child-bearing and challenges art perceptions of the patriarchy. Mother (2013)  simbolises the way mothers - even when feeling tied up to their responsibilities - unfold in order to assume the demands of their children.


Francesca Martini (Pordenone, 1994) Francesca Martini uses painting as the medium to show  her obsession with the human body and its movement. Her canvases are the result of a thoughtful research methodology, using photography and video as the primary source. Martini's practice is inspired by Italian futurism and the pittura metafisica movement, as well as the national film movement neorealismo (neorealism, also known as the “Golden Age”). 


One of the most notable projects is, an initiative, created in 2019 to create a series of workshops and collaborations with FYT (Future Young Talents) students. She is currently also collaborating with Adem B, a figurative artist, the italian actor Bernardo Casertano, and the designer and ceramist Iris Roth. 


Yulia Iosilzon (Moscow, 1992) Yulia Iosilzon draws on children’s illustration, fashion and theatre to posit fragmentary narratives in large-scale works.  An initial readability in her work is thrown into question by the persistent use of techniques which serve to interrupt the image and break down earlier impressions of visual plenitude. The circular approach to Iosilzon’s narrative is leavened with her lightness of touch. This is seen primarily through the artist’s own deployment of burlesque, the grotesque, irony and humour in images which use everyday scenes as the starting point. 


Iosilzon received her Bachelor's Degree from Slade School of Fine Art, UCL in 2017. She subsequently enrolled at the Royal College of Art, Painting, to complete her Masters Degree. In 2019, she was awarded with the Audrey Wykeham Prize and the Bloomberg New Contemporaries Prize.