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Francesco Simeti
Brooklyn, NY

ARTIST STATEMENT: I am interested in the relationship that we have with our natural environment and our surroundings and what role the media might play in such relationship. I have been increasingly exploring the idea of wilderness and how we often consider ourselves other than nature rather than part of it. Through research over the years I have accumulated an archive of historical botanical iconography that I collage into fictional landscapes where nature seems to be prevailing rather than succumbing. These landscapes are occasionally context specific, iconographically based on indigenous plant life, local cultures and art history. In this work I question the general assumptions we make in our relationships with nature, not seeking to find answers, but rather to suggest questions and invite reflection. Through intricate decoration and often dreamlike landscapes culled from archives and libraries, I strive to create a tension that gently prompts the viewers into diving deeper and creating their own line of inquiry. I consider Art a learning tool, a more instinctive approach to understanding and perhaps critiquing the environment we live in. Through complex visuals, rich in information and aesthetic appeal, I hope to jumpstart critical thinking and active participation. Over the years the work has taken many forms originating from stone carving that I studied in Art School, to printmaking and digital collages often outputted as wallpaper environments, to site-specific installations, to ceramic sculpture.?Whatever the form, the work is ultimately project based and tends to be a direct result of its time and its context and sometimes it is as a response to an invitation or commission. For example, in “Accordant Landscape”, my project for the County Health Department in Portland, Oregon, I have utilized a variety of materials, including mosaic, printed tiles, glass, textile, and 3D printed sculpture and have interpreted the regional Oregon landscape and its endangered flora. The building itself has been designed to provide a calming atmosphere for those it serves: individuals facing addiction, mental health challenges and the large homeless population in Portland. My public art installation works in service of these goals, while simultaneously questioning and investigating human engagement with and impact on nature. In my 2012 installation for the Bensonhurst station on the NYC subway, I took inspiration from flora that is culturally significant to the Chinese and Italian communities that make up the neighborhood fabric and created a fictional landscape relevant to both cultures. A central role was allotted to the rose and the lily, traditional attributes of the virgin Saint Rosalia, the patroness of my home city Palermo, who is celebrated each year with great emotional involvement by the Italian community. For Open Source Gallery, Swell (2017), I presented a site-specific, kinetic installation that engaged with the history of the Gowanus Canal, a local, polluted waterway in Brooklyn. I worked with local historian Eymund Diegel to collect historical and contemporary images related to the canal. To create the moving parts of the installation, I collaborated with local resident and artist Jeff Leonard. During the exhibition, I worked with the Brooklyn Urban Garden Charter School and the Gowanus Canal Conservancy on a children’s workshop that took inspiration from my exhibition, encouraging the children explore the history of the Gowanus Canal and reflect on their relationship with their local environment in Brooklyn.

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Francesco Simeti

1968, Palermo, Italy
Works and lives in Brooklyn


1991 Diploma in Scultura (BA), Accademia di Belle Arti, Bologna, Italy
1990 Erasmus Project scholarship, École d'Art, Marseilles, France

Public Art:

Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago, IL (installation phase)

Multnomah County Health Department Headquarters, Portland, OR
MCC Theater, New York, NY
Plunged into Gullies, Entangled in Orchids, curated by Federica Sala - PS Design Consultants, a project by Airbnb in cooperation with Comune di Civita di Bagnoregio
Carcere di Bollate, Bollate, Italy
Bensonhurst Gardens, MTA 18th Ave on the D line Bensonhurst, Brooklyn
Whole Wheat, A 6-month-long wrapping of Pastificio Cerere, Rome
Tumbleweed, a collab. with Andrea Sala, MOROSO, Salone del Mobile, Milan
Animality, PS/IS 44R Lobby Mural, Staten Island NY
Proscenio, a temporary installation on the façade of Palazzo Riso, Palermo
Stradarte, wallpaper installation on the façade of Via Massimiano 25, Milan
Hawks & Caves, a year-long-wrapping of a public building in the city of Milan

Design and industry collaborations:

2016 - ongoing
Fabscarte, Milan
Metri d’Arte, Miroglio Group, Alba
Mother of Pearl, London
2011 – ongoing
Maharam, New York

Grants and Awards:

2018 Museo Carlo Zauli residency, Faenza, Italy
2017 Materia Montelupo residency, Montelupo Fiorentino, Italy
2012 Civitella Ranieri fellowship, Umbertide PG Italy
2009 Premio Terna, connectivity NY, Rome
2004 Fabric Workshop Museum artist residency, Philadelphia
2003 Trebesice 2003, Futura, Prague
2002 Prototipi, Fondazione Adriano Olivetti, Rome
2000 Premio Fiumara d'Arte, Genio di Palermo
1999 Art/OMI International, New York
1998 Bronx Museum, Artist in the Market Place, Bronx, NY

Public Collections:

Civiche Raccolte Musei di Milano, Milan
The Cooper Hewitt, National Design Museum, New York
The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia
GAM, Galleria d'Arte Moderna, Palermo, Italy
Palazzo Belmonte Riso, Contemporary Art Museum, Palermo, Italy
The Philadelphia Museum, Philadelphia
The RISD Museum, Providence
The Victoria and Albert Museum, London
The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester

Solo Shows

Francesca Minini, Milano (upcoming)
Refugium, curated by Yulia Topchiy, Assembly Room, NY
Francesco Simeti: Uncinata, Museo Carlo Zauli, Faenza
Swell, Open Source Gallery, Brooklyn?2016
Armed, Barbed and Halberd-Shaped, curated by Nicola Ricciardi, Francesca Minini, Milan
Dazed and confused & Shambles, a project in two chapters curated by Davide Quadrio, Yi Ou Lai, Suzhou Village, China
Bulletin Board: Indexing, curated by Nicola Ricciardi, Center for Curatorial Studies and Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York
Billowing, PRIMOPIANO / Diego Cassina, Lugano, Switzerland
An Artful Confusion, curated by Laura Barreca, Galleria d'Arte Moderna, Palermo
A seahorse, a caravel and large quantities..., curated by Flaminia Gennari-Santori, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Miami
Along the Riverbank, Galleria Francesca Minini, Milan
SUNDAY art fair, London,
Scene di Disordine e Confusione, curated by V. Ciarallo and P. Pancotto, Santo Spirito in Sassia, Rome
Esercizi e Simulazioni, curated by L. Barreca, Fondazione Cerere, Rome
Aviary, curated by J. Del Pesco, Artists Space, New York
Acrobazie#4, Atelier Adriano e Michele, San Colombano al Lambro, Milan
Plastic Eden, Galleria Francesco Pantaleone, Palermo
No Place Like Home, Galleria Francesca Minini, Milan
Weedazin, Casa Musumeci Greco, Rome
Woodsy, Italian Academy, Columbia University, New York
Garlands, Vitamin Gallery, Turin
Shaggie, Futura, Prague
Galleria Massimo Minini, Brescia

Group Shows:

Eco-Urgency: Artists Make the Case, Glyndor Gallery, Wave Hill, New York (upcoming)
Rosso e Grigio, curated by M. Meneguzzo, Studio La Città, Verona
HOMEMADE, Magazzino Italian Art, New York
Migration, curated by S. Anna, L. Marreca, R. Zommer-Tal, Museo Civico di Castelbuono, Palermo
Eruzioni: Pompei e Santorini, Scuderie del Quirinale, Roma
Supercolla, curated by G. Musante and M. C. Valacchi, Martina Simeti, Milano
Fango Vol.2, Grimmuseum, Berlin
Même pas peur, Martina Simeti, Milan
Modes of Mapping, curated by L. Panzera, Shirley Fireman Art Center at BMCC, New York
Festival del Paesaggio, curated by A. Rosica and G. Riccio, Museo della Casa Rossa, Anacapri
Hortus (in)conclusus, curated by Pierre Dupont, MACA- Museo d’Arte Contemporanea di Alcamo, Alcamo
The Mega View, Giardino di Villa Garibaldi - Piazza Marina, Palermo
Signori prego si accomodino, Lia Pasqualino Noto, curated by G. Blais, Palermo. Italy
Big Towers, curated by C. Riva, La Salle, ICA Singapore
I Sette Messaggeri, curated by I. Marotta and A. Baccin, Marselleria, Milan, Italy
domestic affairs, curated by H. Gault, Platform Arts Belfast, Belfast, North Ireland
Back to the Land, curated by A. Lerda, Studio La Città, Verona, Italy
Why Wallpaper, co-organized by E. Styles and J. Junco, Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum, Milwaukee
The King and I, curated by Davide Quadrio and Massimo Torrigiani for Alcantara, Apartment of the Prince, Palazzo Reale, Milan
Curtains, curated by Sarra Brill, Kristen Lorello, New York
Dimensions variable, curated by Gregory Lang, New York
Faire le mur. Quatre siècles de papiers peints, Les Arts Décoratifs, Paris, France
Future Fossils, curated by T. Thackara and Y. Topchiy, Dutton, New York
Ce l’ho/Mi manca, curated by A. Polizzi, Museo Mandralisca, Cefalù, PA, Italy
Past & Present, Francis M. Naumann Fine Art, New York
Innatural, curated by Alessio di Girolamo, Made in Filandia, Pieve a Presciano, AR, Italy
Portrait of the Artist as a Young (Wo)Man, curated by Marcella Beccaria, Castello di Rivoli, Italy
The Art of Living, curated by Living-Corriere della Sera Interiors Magazine, Triennale di Milano, Milan, Italy
Quarantanni d'artecontemporanea - Massimo Minini 1973 - 2013, Triennale di Milano, Milan, Italy
Metri d'Arte II, in collaboration with Loris Cecchini, Miroglio Textile, a project curated by Trivioquadrivio, Galleria Continua, Beijing, China
Wanna be a masterpiece, curated by Ilaria Marotta, iscp gallery, New York, USA
Common Interests: mobility and transformation of public life, Rowan University Art Galley, Glassboro, New Jersey, USA
The Discreet Charm Of The Bourgeoisie- Contemporary Visions Of China, curated by Le Dadou, Li Yanzhen, Zeng Wenquan, Yi&C, Taibei, China
Palermo Felicissima, curated by Laura Barreca, Shanghai Biennial, Shanghai
Invisible Cities, curated by Susan Cross, MassMOCA, North Adams, Massachusetts
The God of Small Things, curated by Rowan Sexton, Rubicon Gallery, Ireland
EVERY EXIT IS AN ENTRANCE: 30 Years of Exit Art, curated by Rachel Gugelberger, Exit Art, New York
Deep Surface: Contemporary Ornament and Pattern, CAM, Raleigh, North Carolina
Animate, curated by Anna Daneri, Pori Art Museum, Finland
East Wing X: Material Matters, The Courtauld Institute of Art, London
Scene di disordine e confusione, FIAC, Paris
Wunsch Ordung / Desiderio Ordine, curated by Cécile Hummel, F. Pantaleone, Andrea Roca, Ausstellungsraum Klingental, Basilea
Gehen blühen fließen, curata da Frank Wagner, Stadtgalerie Kiel
Face au Mur, Mudac, Lausanne and Musée de Pully, Pully CH
12345 Acrobazie, curated by Elisa Fulco, UniCredit Kunstraum, München,
La Scultura Italiana del XXI secolo, Fondazione Pomodoro, Milan
Defrosted: a life of W. Disney , Postmasters Gallery, New York
Alla Gloria Militar , Aircraft Gallery, Bratislava
Pagine da un Bestiario Fantastico, Galleria Civica, Modena
The Walls are talking, curated by Christine Woods, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester
Here and Now, curated by Julia Draganovic, Archiginnasio, Bologna
Venti Pazzi , Galleria Francesca Minini, Milan
Premio Terna, Tempio di Adriano, Rome
Premio Cairo, presented by Cristiana Perrella, Palazzo della Permanente, Milan
War at a Distance, curated by K. Sandlos, Gallery TPW, Toronto
Up against the wall, curated by Rita Pinto, Ileana Tounta, Athens
Invisible Dog, curated by Julia Draganovic, No longer empty, Brooklyn NY
Pastiche, Macro Museum, Rome
Passaggi in Sicilia, Palazzo Riso, Palermo
I paesaggi e la natura dell'arte, curated by D. Eccher, Arcos, Benevento
Fantopia, Mother's TankStation Gallery, Dublin
XV Quadriennale di Roma, Palazzo dellle Esposizioni, Rome
Notebook numero zero, Fabbrica del Vapore, Milan
Love/War/Sex, Exit Art, New York
PAN Screening, PAN Palazzo delle Arti Napoli, Naples
House Trip, Art Forum Berlin 2007
Popcentric, Gering Lopez Gallery, New York
System Error, War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning
Palazzo delle Papesse, Siena, Italy
Beautiful Nature, Castel S.Pietro Terme, Bologna
Premio Biella per l'Incisione 2006, Biella,
Home, Cork 2005, Cork
Alice nel Castello delle Meraviglie, Castello Sforzesco, Milan
Framing Exposure: Process and Politics, ICA, Philadelphia
XIV Quadriennale di Roma, Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, Rome
Channel Zero, Netherland Media Institute, Amsterdam
Polvere D'Arte, Assab One Milan
Specie di Spazi, Vitamin Gallery, Turin
Homeland, Whitney Museum Independent Studies Program, New York
Prototipi 02, Fondazione Olivetti, Rome
On the Wall, The RISD Museum, Providence and The Fabric Workshop and Museum,Philadelphia
Belluard Bollwerk International, Fribourg Switzerland
Socle Du Monde, Herning Kunstmuseum, Denmark
Officina America, Galleria d'Arte Moderna, Bologna
Understatement, OpenSpace, Milano
Cache Cache Camouflage, Mu'Dac Museum, Lausanne
Rooms with a view, Landscape and Wallpaper, Cooper Hewitt Museum, NY
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