Presence and Absence: A solo show of new works by Daniela Gullotta

1 March to 8 April 2022

I first met Daniela Gullotta nearly 20 years ago at the opening of her first solo show at Marlborough Fine Art in London. An artist of remarkable talent, her work combines enquiring intellect, technical craftsmanship and a desire to let the viewer create their own stories. I have since bought seven of her works, each of which continues to give great pleasure – and receive a steady stream of enquiries from friends and collectors.

The works in Presence and Absence are filled with the entropic romance that characterises Daniela’s art. Each image is suffused with the poetry of memory, with the trace of those past, and with the expectation of those to come. From the empty urbanscapes to the silent statues, she hints at the passage of time on both a majestic and everyday level. Through the physical absence of people – an essential, recurring feature of Daniela’s work – the presence of history is all the more felt: the daily existence of generations of men and women whose lives and stories now lie dormant in these spaces.

Imbuing her art with an eerie reality, Daniela paints in thrall to the photographic process. Each work begins with a search for a location: a vacant antiquity, an abandoned church, a disused staircase, or more a more intimate space. These photographs are sometimes pasted onto her canvases, and each of her paintings are characterised by the use of mixed media including oil, acrylic, charcoal, pencil and sand.

The multi-layered, mixed media effect of this process contributes to Daniela’s artistic aim: ‘to use the real space to create another one, or to suggest a new way of looking at what is already there.’ Inviting the viewer to project their own private stories or fears onto the final image, her art is one of constant reinterpretation.


- Nick Crean