Juliana Romano – Dark before the bright exit

September 22 – October 29, 2011
Opening: 22 September, 6.00pm-9.00pm
Brand New Gallery - Via Farini 32, Milan

Dark before the bright exit is the first European solo exhibition by the American artist Juliana Romano (1982). Based on the poem “Orpheus. Eurydice. Hermes” (1904) by Rainer Maria Rilke, the title recalls the story of Orpheus and Eurydice which Juliana Romano compares to artistic practice. Like Orpheus, the artist must never turn back or analyse each single movement but must follow his or her own instinct. Romano’s paintings explore moments of introspection suspended between reality and imagination.  The subjects portrayed, based on characters from films, novels or ancient paintings, are decontextualized; the spectator is given no access to a concrete narrative. Immersed in a deeply personal atmosphere that heightens the melancholy state, the young women depicted seem to belong an elusive universe where the complexity and intensity of emotion is amplified through the paintings’ chromatic richness and formal tension. The figures are set in spaces which seem familiar and specific yet vague and distant at the same time. Through pictorial processes the artist builds empathy with the subjects’ identities, capturing their spirit, their elusive beauty, and investigating their need for emotional certainty. In the new series of works this imaginative world is used to delve deeper into pictorial processes.  As she is interested in the fragility of realism and the manner in which a few signs can create an image issuing from simple pictorial matter, Juliana Romano creates an elusive balance of realism and abstraction which is completely in tune with the romanticism of her work.

Image above: Bright white face, 2011 – Oil on panel / Olio su tavola - 35.5×28 cm


Girl lying on her back and turning her head, 2011
Oil on panel / Olio su tavola
35.5×28 cm


Oil on canvas / Olio su tela
35.5×28 cm