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Artist of the week
Marco Ronga

The sun-baked landscape of a Tuscan summer is brought to mind through Ronga's vivid and colour-soaked canvases; the natural influence of an artist based in northern Italy for most of his life. Divided between pure landscapes and painting of figures, his use of colour reflects different aims for each. Having trained as an architect, Ronga has kept an ongoing partnership with his figurative painting. For land and cityscapes, he uses his insight into the architecture of a scene by studying the various shapes and forms that emerge, and translates them with colour. From the dappled waters of Venice, where as the sun sets he paints purples and blues, condensing off the orange and yellows that represented the heat and arid nature of the midday rays, to a canopy of white umbrellas, an urban forest set against a Florentine medieval wall. These cities are known to many, but they evoke a more true sense of the place through Ronga's colour-rich expressions, such as Provence appeared under Van Gogh or the Fauves in London. It is a very expressionistic style of painting, the way the colour is used is central to the philosophy of the painting, that a landscape is more than a dutiful copy from life, and more about the energy of its components - land, buildings, water, air.

But for his painting of figures, Ronga focuses on capturing them in their sub-conscious dreamlike state, evoking the free-falling of thoughts behind closed eyelids. He groups the figures together so that they complement each other in poses and nestle peacefully together in their slumbers. They are united together in the same physical space, but Ronga implies that their minds are anything but, drifting in another level of existence. He uses colour here to firstly unite the forms of each figure; they share a uniform palette for the skin, usually yellows and browns with white highlights, composed in various vertical and horizontal dashes. Secondly colour evokes the sub-conscious states of these figures, blue is often contrasted against the yellows, the warm against the cool hinting at the two sides of the psyche, the passionate with the reflective and detachment of the blue mood. Ronga describes his painting of figures as 'a search for plastic reproduction of human form' and explains that this is why his figures are depicted asleep, as then 'consciousness is far away and onlooker's attention is more caught by their physical presence'. The colour expresses them physically as objects and emotionally as human beings.

Marco has exhibited in several group and solo shows in Venice and his native Padua, including a special mention in The Vivaldi Award of Venice, judged by Philip Rylands of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, where his work was displayed in the S. Maria della Pieta in the San Marco quarter of Venice.

To see more of Marco's work please click here

Padua: Santa Giustina
Padua: Santa Giustina
£ 1090

Autumn walk in  the mountain
Autumn walk in the mountain
£ 1260