Paolo Molinari at ArtSpace Gallery, London N1

The works in this one-man show, Mountain Language, by Anglo-Italian painter Paolo Molinari are all produced by making a heavily-worked painting on one side of the canvas and then turning it over and using the embossed shapes and marks from that first painting as the beginning of another more lightly worked paintings.  This is a rather prosaic description of a process that creates an ethereal and evocative kind of layering. In many of the works, the embossed image is of a house, in particular Molinari’s family homes in Emilia-Romagna which represent legacy and continuity.

160225 Paolo Molinari at ArtSpace 01 La Casa dei Morti 160225 Paolo Molinari at ArtSpace 02 Vuota

The press notice says ‘he is confronting ‘nostalgia’ in its true meaning: of returning home to things known and unknown.’ What works for me is that the things left undefined – the things unknown – leave space for the viewer’s imagination, even for dreaming.