Adelaide Cioni

Color comes always first, then a line and a scissor cut

By La Galleria Nazionale

To be naked. Breasts (2020) by Adelaide CioniLa Galleria Nazionale

To be naked as an exercise of self-discipline, of self-knowledge.
To be naked – to be pink. To be vulnerable. Without needing anything but much courage.
Dreaming of being naked in a public place and feeling shame.
What is shame? How is it related to nudity?
To show your sexual characteristics.
To be direct. To be explicit.
Inevitably being sexual.
Sex as something that cannot be avoided. You can’t escape from your body. What a Burden.
It can be changed though.
Sex as a feeling.
The naked body is beyond the category of beauty.
Just as art is beyond the categories of sex.

To dress up naked
I had to get dressed first of all.
Wondering what I cover when I put on pants and a shirt.
Then undress once,
Rethink the pink of the skin
Like a fake thing
A convention, a cliché
Which can be true or false, it doesn’t matter.
I wondered what pink really is.
I thought first of all it is being exposed.
Maybe dirty, surely vulnerable.
But what a joyful color, what a sea of well-being!
Being in the skin. Then maybe sex is the shame.
It is red, it is black. Those are indeed violent colors.
There is really fight. You get injured. You become fierce.
After, the shyness.
And I thought how
We are all naked under our clothes.
Sometimes even above.

Adelaide Cioni

To be naked. Legs (2020) by Adelaide CioniLa Galleria Nazionale

Adelaide Cioni
(Bologna, 1976. She lives and works in Bevagna, Perugia.)

Color comes always first in Adelaide Cioni’s work. A color which is never composed, but used as it is, we could say in the way it meets her.

Color is then delimited by a line, if the artist is working on paper, or by a scissor cut, if the color is that of a fabric (and then things get tricky, because in addition to the chromatic values, also tactile ones determine the subsequent choices. A fabric can be rough, soft, smooth, silky. These qualities refer to sensations.)

The line delimiting the shape, separating the image from the background, which is always neutral, is just as important as color: “The act of contouring... is a biological need even before a cultural one, aimed at forming the concept of singularity and of identity, for which appearing is not separate from being.”

The line gives an identity to the shape. It tells us where something ends and where it begins.

We recognize these things, which stand out with the power of an emblem on the canvas, without layering them with a specific meaning: they are available images – stars, lines, chessboards, which we often associate with decoration and which, while continuing to emerge over the long period of the history of art, never have a prominent place.

To be naked. Breasts (2020) by Adelaide CioniLa Galleria Nazionale

They are secondary images, as the artist defines them, they are not the core of the picture, but exist at its edge, and the eye records them, the memory preserves them. They are commonplace, and even perfect, like an egg, a flower and a leaf.

Or a body, too.

To be naked. Legs (2020) by Adelaide CioniLa Galleria Nazionale

Each image of the previous series became a body through its incarnation into a color, but in these canvases, in which fragments of the body appear, identity is the one that hangs between a real datum – this is my hand – and a subjective datum – is this my hand?

Or rather, am I this hand? These legs? Am I this or something else? This and more?

The point of observation in this case is that of the artist on herself, a woman’s body – available subject, secondary image – also a form through which gaze, gestures, desires inevitably emphasize a difference.

Credits: Story

Adelaide Cioni and Cecilia Canziani
Work cited:
C. Franzoni, P. Nardoni (eds), What a Wonderful World. La lunga storia dell’ornamento tra arte e natura (Milan: Skira, 2019).

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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