Lorella Paleni

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Artist Statement

For some time animals lived at the borders, obscured by the darkness of the bushes and human shadows. With time, slowly and increasingly they asserted themselves back into the realm of my imagination. Slyly they groveled into my images, leaving traces like footprints on the damp earth. They grew to be companions and soon became necessary subjects of my thinking and being–the other, the animals, where language loses its primacy and reveals its fallacies.

In a humanity ruled by normative systems, where the rational is the only accepted possibility of reality, painting can become a place that lives outside of socially constructed formats, a playground of exchange and multiplicity. I think of painting as play, a language without grammar, a space for possibility, a ludic excess. Making through intuition, a thinking-doing act, a making in favor of instinct, a thought-gesture that bases itself on empathy, on being outside itself.

In painting I am always dealing with a materiality, an otherness, which I attempt to understand through the struggle of the encounter on the abstract field of a painting surface. The painting becomes a body, a place of transit, a battlefield, and living other. An event, trace of an accident; but also testimony of its own happening.

Paint is a fluid matter; it can bleed past the canvas surface to take new lives and forms, it is with this fluidity in mind that I started working with animation. Animation requires the use of repetition and constant change, the making of hundreds of drawings/paintings in an almost ritualistic manner. Activity with a seemingly highly structured process, it is on the contrary completely open, and chance has a critical role in its realization. In animation the process of change, transformation and transience is more visible to the viewer. In both cases, painting and animation, there is no regularity in the outcome or linearity in the narrative.

The disintegration of otherwise recognizable images and the contamination of diverse visual languages is one of the ways I use to overturn traditional value ranks, to quietly contaminate the viewer’s sight. This happens through a literal transmutation of the subject matters from their original state to something different I had not initially planned. It is an attempt to create a language beyond logocentrism, beyond the signifier, something you can experience before you can recognize and name it.




2015_ MFA, Visual Arts, Columbia University School of the Arts, New York, NY (USA).

2010_BFA in Painting, Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia (IT).


2012_Advanced Painting Intensive: NYC, Columbia University School of the Arts, New York (USA).

2011_Summer residence, SVA, School of Visual Arts, New York (USA).



Floating Point, Judith Charles Gallery, New York (NY).

MFA Thesis Exhibition, Fisher Landau Center for Art, Long Island City (NY).


The Portrait Show, The LeRoy Neiman Gallery, New York (USA).

Biennale d’Arte Giovani, MAM museo d’arte moderna e contemporanea, Gazoldo, Mantova, (IT).

MFA First Year Show, Miriam & Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, New York (USA).

“Networking Tips for Shy People”, Livingston Street Gallery, Brooklyn, NY (USA).


Out loud, Kunstalle 1, HB55 Kunstfabrik, Berlin (DE). (SOLO SHOW)

OCEANS – under the skin of the sea, kunstfabrik HB55, Berlin (DE).

A.I.R. (Art – Industry – Recycling), Pescheria Nuova, Rovigo (IT).

“Me, My Sphere, and I”, Fellini Gallery, Berlin (DE).

Run, Rabbit, Run, SVA’s Westside Gallery, New York (USA).

Tarptautinio Tapybos Plenero Paroda, Communications History Museum, Kaunas (LT).

Summer Show – Generazione anni ottanta, Federico Rui Arte contemporanea, Milan (IT).

Lost in Chaos, Institut français Milano | Palazzo delle Stelline, ArtGallery, Milan (IT).


Memorie, WhiteLabs, curate by Nicola Davide Angerame, Milan (IT).

Premio Francesco Fabbri, Francesco Fabbri Foundation, Villa Brandolini (IT).

W.A.C. Wells Art Contemporary Prize, Wells & Mendip Museum, Wells (UK).

Return to Rattlesnake Mountain, Maxon Mills, Wassaic Project, Wassaic, NY (USA).

“Inside Me” PulsArt, Palazzo Fogazzaro, Schio (IT).

ArtGallery Prize 2012, Galleria Campari, Milano (IT).
Combat Prize, Museo Civico G. Fattori ex Granai di Villa Mimbelli, Livorno (IT).

“I”, No Title Gallery’s project, A+A – Slovenian Exhibition Centre, Venice (IT).

Cloud Nine, Front Room Gallery, Brooklyn, NY (USA).

UP_nea ’12 – FABULA, Fabbrica Borroni, Bollate, Milan (IT).


Premio Internazionale d’arte Citta’ di Bozzolo, curate by Stefano Zenchi, Bozzolo (IT).


ONELAWFORALL – UNIT 24 Gallery, London (UK).

Archiviarti 2010, Fabbrica Borroni, Milan (IT).

Il mito del vero_il ritratto, il volto, Arcadia Association, palazzo Guidobono, Tortona (IT).

Il mito del vero _ il ritratto,il volto, Arcadia Association, palazzo Durini ,Milan (IT).


Krossing, Nuove Figure 3, Academia di Belle Arti & Magazzino 35, Forte Marghera, Venice (IT).

Atelier F, New Figures 3, Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia, Venice (IT).

Transfiguration, Galleria San Vidal, Venice (IT).


Spaces of post-modernity, Accade 2008, Galleria Ravagnan, Venice (IT).

Re: public, by Ibrida & Momos, tese di St. Cristoforo, Arsenale of Venice (IT).

Celeste Prize 2007, Gallery SACI, Florence (IT).


_ TOMS Visual Arts Scholarship – Columbia University, (USA).
_ Robert Gamblin Painting Grant

_ Visual Arts Graduate Fellowship – Columbia University, (USA).
_ Italian Cultural Institute Residency Grant, Vilnius, (LT).

_ Art Takes Times Square – Cut&Paste Pick and Finalist, Artists Wanted, New York (USA).
_ Special Mention – ArtGallery Prize, Milan (IT).

_ Public Jury Prize – International Art Prize Bozzolo (IT).

_ Finalist – ONELAWFORALL _ UNIT 24 Gallery, London (UK).




2014_ AZ West – Institute of Investigate Living, with Andrea Zittel, Joshua Tree, CA (US).

2013_Menas senuosiuose Lietuvos dvaruose residency, Kaunas, (LT).

2011-2012_Wassaic project, winter resident, Wassaic, NY, (US).


2015_ Adjunct Professor, Basic Drawing, Columbia U. School of the Arts, NY _ Basic Drawing

2014 (fall)_ Teaching Assistant, Columbia University School of the Arts, NY _ Figure Drawing

2014 (Spring)_ Teaching Assistant, Columbia University School of the Arts, NY _ Figure Painting


2014 _ Works in Progress, The Shape of Time: A Panel on Temporality, Columbia University, New York NY.