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Federico Solmi

Federico Solmi was born in Bologna, Italy in 1973. Since 1999 he lives and works in New York. Solmi’s work utilizes bright colors and a satirical aesthetic to portray a dystopian vision of our present-day society His exhibitions often feature articulate installations composed of a variety of media including video, painting, drawing, and sculpture. Solmi uses his art as a vehicle to stimulate a visceral conversation with his audience, highlighting the contradictions and fallibility that characterize our time. Through his work, Solmi examines unconscious human impulses and desires in order to critique Western society's obsession with individual success and display contemporary relationships between nationalism, colonialism, religion, consumerism. By re-configuring historical narratives across eras, he creates social and political commentary works which disrupt the mythologies that define American society. Scanning his paintings into a game engine, Solmi’s videos confront the audience with his own absurd rewriting of past and present, merging dark humor and sense of the grotesque with new technologies. He creates a carnivalesque virtual reality where our leaders become puppets, animated by computer script and motion capture performance rather than string.

In 2009, Solmi was awarded by the Guggenheim Foundation of New York with the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship in the category of Video & Audio. Solmi’s work was included at the 100 years anniversary exhibition of The Phillips Collection, Seeing Differently, and currently at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s traveling exhibition, Outwin 2019: American Portraiture Today, and the inaugural exhibition of the Ocean Flower Museum Island in Hainan Province, Danzhou, China. His work is on view at The Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University in the exhibition "Who Says, Who Shows, What Counts” until December 5, 2022.

His work has been included in several international Biennials, including Open Spaces: A Kansas City Arts Experience (2018), the Beijing Media Art Biennale (2016), Frankfurt B3 Biennial of the Moving image (2017-2015), the First Shenzhen Animation Biennial in China (2013), the 54th Venice Biennial (2011), and the SITE Santa Fe Biennial in New Mexico (2010). Federico Solmi is currently working on his upcoming solo Museum Exhibitions at The Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University (2024) and at The Morris Museum, Morristown in New Jersey scheduled to open in September 2023. From 2016 to 2019 Federico Solmi was visiting Professor at Yale University School of Art, and Yale School of Drama, New Haven CT, Solmi has been appointed guest critic for 2022.

Last update on 10-03-2023

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Bologna, 1973


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