Biographical note

Carolina Italiani was born in 1977. She lives and works both in Genoa and Venice.

A painter, an illustrator, a designer since her childhood she loves drawing and begins her first studies at the School of Art “Santa Dorotea” in Genoa under teachers such as Luigi Sirotti and Paola Ginepri. These artists will teach her the painting technique called “en plein air”  which  consists of   the study of the light  in the Liguria landscape. At the end of this  high school  cycle, around the ’90s,  she starts to exhibit in some collective exhibitions in her town while participating to several competitions. At that point she decides to complete her Art studies and enrols in the Painting courses organized  by Guido Zanoletti  at the Accademia Ligustica of  Fine Arts in Genoa, wich include etching and photography. In 1998 she wins a scholarship granted by the Universidad Complutense in Madrid where she engages in the study of the engraving and illustration techniques This. approach will be the subject of her thesis discussed in February 2000 in Genoa. Her love for the sea starts in 1992 when she enrols in the sailing courses organized by the Italian Yacht Club, first as a student  and later as an ordinary member.. The love for the sea is part of her DNA as her great-grand father had been an Ocean Liner Commander. 

The sea as a subject of her painting appears in 1995 when she wins a competition organized by the Italian Naval League. Aroud the year 2000 she wins for 3 consecutive times the contest “Almirante Conde de Barcelona” organized  during the  the summer regattas  called ” King of Spain Cup” in Majorca. In 2004 she  takes part in a Master course organized by the Academy Ligustica in Genoa . The course deals with the history of theatrical costumes and ornamental fabrics organized  by the Academy.  Having completed the course she is engaged by the  Teatro Alla Scala in Milan where the opera called “Europa Riconosciuta” by Luca Ronconi.is being staged. In 2004 she is invited to participate in a competition for the creation of a new “mezzaro”  organized by the firm Giglio Bagnara, as well as by the local newspaper “Il Secolo XIX” and by “Genova 2004″ the Organization for Culture founded in that year.   She wins the competition with a  work called ” Il Mezzaro del Melograno” (the Pomgranate Mezzaro) an event which marks the beginning  of a fruitful cooperartion with this company for many years ahead

In 2019 she realizes a new ” mezzaro”   to celebrate 150 years of  Giglio Bagnara company’s activity. entitled” Il Mezzaro Portu de Zena” (the Port of Genoa Mezzaro”    This experience gives birth to a new interest dealing with the creation of fabrics and applied art.   In 2010 she organizes her first “personal” exhibition  in cooperation with the Arte e Studio Gallery  an event which  gives birth to an active collaboration which is  still present today.

In addition to the many exhibitions organized in her town, Carolina exhibits in other italian regions such as Venice, valle d’Aosta, Piedmont, Lombardy as well as in collective exhibitions abroad .Since 2018 she teaches at Arca Formazione and her name appears in the Dicyionary of Ligurian Artists published by De Ferrari and edited by Leo Lecci and Paola Valenti.

Janua , a door open to the sea

The painting of Carolina Italiani transmits quiet and serenity. May be because of the harmony it conveys. Or, perhaps, because of the lightness with which shape and color are created through the drawing. Her painting invites me to step into the square, harmonizing my hurried walking with the calm rithm suggested by the image.

Carolina loves open skies that she paints high and bright on a shining white paper crowded with dusty blue clouds. In her urban subjects or in her harbour scenes, almost always christallized, the interconnection of the reflected lights becomes thicker: such as on the shining hull of a docked ship or on the rough surfaces of the two stone giants flanking the entrance of an ancient building in the trafficated XX Settembre street, as we see in another work.

Here she is captured by one detail that she isolates and carefully shapes, there she favours the whole composition within an enlarged glance. In another work the same XX Settembre street seems to roll down swallowed by the night atmosphere. Here the light, an artificial light which is not bestowed by the sky but rather delivered by the artificial,suspended brightness of the urban night, coagulates in a clot between earth and sky similar to a star. But the clot is more violent than a star, it is heavier and almost pushes the shapes and the perspective foreward towards the the Monumentale bridge, precipitating between the cobalt of the sky and the reds of the facades.

Other times Carolina plays with a sense of roundness or flatness, like in the watercolour where a sailing boat is moored in front of the Genoa Yacht Club. The Prussian blue of the hull, the yellow of the building, the light blue of the glass windows and the green of the trees, all merge together on the same palette. And then, the pink of the palaces languishing in the air against the grey roundness of the sky.

The light expands, spreads towards the ground and reproduces shapes and shadows. Both here end there the light acts by melting edges and shafts, and the shapes descend by gravity like the wax of a candle.

Genoa, contrary to Venice, is sharp and shining. In the canvas that Carolina dedicates to Genoa of which she paints the portrait as  if it were a lady of ancient beauty, the colors are clear and intense. The tones are full and pure, Genoa composed and executed like a string quartet in C major. Lines that do not swing, geometrical feelings, industrial shapes. Genoa swept by the north wind, with flying clouds rotating in the sky. The skys of Genoa and Venice that I am looking at are different :  Genoa’s skies are almost always lighter and , when open on the sea, they become oceanic, almost high seas skies. In Venice they are more humid, lazy, unable to detach from the profound contact with the shapes of which they seem to be part. I see a line of houses, the ancient Ripa whose contours are shaded and attenuated in their hardness, against the vibrant water . Colors are dense and joyful. Colors blare on the white paper , almost making the prevously sharp lines of the buildings blurred and shaded. Perhaps, the place, well known and loved, becomes a colored curtain where present and past merge and live together.

Sometimes Carolina feels the need to use a pictorial sign, but not always. More often she draws swinging shapes, revolving clouds, dripping light. She looks at the corners of the buildings., at the posts of street lights, at the windows squared glasses with intense attention. To be able to reproduce the solidity of volumes on the canvass, from tridimension to bidimension, is a flattering challange. Therefore here is the stretch of roofs that, in the case of Genoa, converge into the superb limit of the Lanterna, strong and powerful even when shaded off in the evening sky.

Her boat paintings, born from her desire to extract from the real landscape a geometry of pure lines, show strings of masts, all parallel or tilt, on hauling bowlines, either competing or resting on a motionless sea surface. We are attracted by the trembling reflecfted light wich moves towards us. Lines which are present everywhere in nature as the result of man’s made mark: the Canal Grande banks or the furrow of the plough between the vines.

In her more recent works, Carolina goes back to watercolours, precise and well designed, and yet watery as it should be when the intention is to reproduce on paper the dance of shadows and lights on a Venitian floor. While her pastel drawings remind us of Sirotti and Ginepri , her oil paintings,  whose texture is made thicker by adding sand or salt grains, acquire a corrugated look and confer a more vibrant essence to the light. Different techniques and different subjects mastered by the same hand. The harmony is always there. As in music ,the harmony goes from the gesture, to the form and colour. The pleasure of the representation conveys a long lasting intensity as well as the desire to persevere in looking and discovering.

Stefano Termanini