Andrea Barzaghi (Monza, 1988) lives and works in Milan. After attending the Liceo Artistico Statale Medardo Rosso in Lecco during his adolescence, where he was able to approach art history and thus discover his pictorial vocation while freely exploring the technical bases of his early expressive approach, his training continued at the Academy of Fine Arts in Urbino. In the central-Italian town, the artist experienced a prelude to his stylistic transition: in an atmosphere of healthy competition and mutual admiration among fellow students – a ‘continuous chasing one another’ that led to profound collective aesthetic reflections – yet also one of distrust towards the art system, his transition to the adult phase was marked by dilemmas about the figure and role of the contemporary painter. New impressions and inputs continued to accumulate, shaping and transforming Barzaghi’s style. At the end of his studies at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Nuremberg – which began during his Erasmus course in 2009–2010, one he describes as “a key event, of intense work and infatuation with the extraordinary possibilities offered” – the romantic atmospheres, typical of the mists rising from the Lombard hills where he grew up, were transformed into today’s language of dense lines and pure colour. Above all, the protagonism of the landscape has slipped away, leaving man at the heart of his images: “The starting point of all my research is Man. The human issue: viewed as a set of relationships between opposing units, between individual and society, interiority and exteriority.”
Following two more years in Nuremberg after the end of his studies, Barzaghi moved to Leipzig to develop his research under the aegis of the various generations of the Leipziger Schule; here his painting was enriched by its three-dimensional counterpart, investigating the idea of the object-frame as a sculptural element, a material feature taken to the point of spreading out into space. However, the two-year period in Leipzig did not lead to stable collaborations with German galleries – although several exhibitions may be listed here, including Superstimulus (A&O Kunsthalle, Leipzig, 2019); Malerei!Malerei! (Raum für Zeitgenossische Kunst, Nuremberg, 2017); Mit dem Raum reden (Bistro21, Leipzig, 2017) as well as winning first prize at the Nürnberger Nachrichten Kunstpreis (Nuremberg, 2014) – as has instead been the case in Italy since 2010, when the artist was discovered by Gaia Pasi of Galleria Zak, who introduced the painter to the national and international market for the first time. In the context of the group exhibition In natura (2013) at the Sienese gallery, he met the curator Stefania Margiacchi, who included Barzaghi among the artists followed by Société Interludio: a space founded in Turin in 2018 with the painter Paul de Flers. The ensuing prolific intellectual dialogue, which has remained alive ever since that first meeting, came to life in the group exhibition Vie di Fuga in 2019 and in the solo exhibition Milano-Torino in 2021.
Among the other exhibitions, we might recall the most important ones: Through Unfamiliar (Tbilisi History Museum, 2019); Dozen (Rosenbaum Contemporary, Boca Raton, 2018); and Punto e a capo (Kreis Galerie, Nuremberg, 2015). Workshops and residencies include those at Q-RATED Nuoro (Rome Quadriennale, 2019); Italia-Georgia Prize (Tbilisi, 2019); Villa Fontaine (Cap d’Antibes, 2017) and the Tyrone Guthrie Center (Annaghmakerrig, 2016).
Andrea Barzaghi has collaborated with Galleria Zak, Federico Rui Arte Contemporanea, Lunetta 11 and Societé Interludio. The latter is currently the artist’s gallery of reference.
I think I can define myself a pure painter.
For me, painting is not just a simple medium, but a specific way of relating to art, a peculiar way of thinking the artist-work relationship. It is an intellectual activity hidden behind a technical, material action. It is the connection between the intelligible world and the inscrutable one, the external and the intimate. Worlds in continuous evolution and movement, independent but also dependent on one other, always and in any case in perpetual dialogue. The starting point of my research are human beings. The human problem, understood as a set of relationships between opposing units, between the individual and society, interiority and exteriority, has always represented a large basin of inspiration for my artistic investigation. This is represented in my works, in the form of figures and elements, almost symbols, which relate to each other on the canvas or in space, creating narratives. With my works I don’t try to explain anything. Every single artwork is the crystallization of a question, of a doubt.
My art is that place in which theory and practice, form and content find their point of tangency. They are no longer two separate moments but two forces that feed one other reciprocally. I try to explore the opportunities it has to offer. I therefore try to broaden the technical, and consequently conceptual, horizon of my work with the aim of making this communication stronger, more stable, more precise.