Yamamoto Keiko Rochaix is pleased to announce 'Beyond a frame: presenting images and concepts', of Alessandro Roma and Gabriel Esteban Molina. The exhibition sheds light on various ways the contemporary artists use a scope of media in presenting images.

Alessandro Roma and Gabriel Esteban Molina may seem to embody antipodes with regard to their artistic practice at first glimpse, the first being a painter trained in the tradition of Italian art school that goes back centuries, and the other a Canadian multimedia artist with focus on moving image and experimental art forms. In contemplating the works of these artists, however, a common and possibly a vital trait across their practice may strike, which is the essential role of the image and how the image serves as vehicles of thoughts, ideas or concepts.

The works in the exhibition use various media, including hand painted books, wood frame screen, textile paintings, and video works, none of which is traditional painting or photography that is rectangular and neatly framed. For each work the media is an integral part as to how the image is presented, and how it is viewed and perceived.

About the exhibition

Alessandro Roma is quintessentially a painter, and while his practice increasingly involves three dimensional works including ceramic sculptures and installations, they are primarily informed by his practice of painting, and image constitutes the heart of his body of work regardless of media.

In the middle of the ground floor is the latest series of entirely hand-painted artist books, the testimony of the Roma's acute and almost fragile sensibilities and boundless creativity, featuring pages of not only paintings and drawings, but of collages of innumerable textiles, prints, found photos, complete with elaborate covers sometimes with unexpected material such as ceramic panels. Overlooking the precious books are three-panel, recto-verso screens, and textile paintings. The screen has particular significance for the show not only for its commanding presence with outstanding colours - the irregular shape wood frames are flame red - and Roma's signature abstract flora landscape, but it is a functional object; does a meaning of image shift when it is used as a piece of utilitarian object?

Gabriel Esteban Molina works with photography and moving image. He submits new ways of perceiving the world, by creating visuals that hover between reality and perceived reality, or analogue and digital, and how they interact and create layers of perception. In his work images are often presented after multiple interventions, resulting in complex layers of meanings. Encompassing the conceptual construct of his practice is one constant, which is a painterly visual and the resulting importance of image, possibly owing to his early training in drawing and painting.

Two videos of Molina are displayed at the basement galleries. 'Uninhibited Stimulus' captures moments at a seashore with a telephone screen showing the graphical rendering of the sound made by waves and wind. In 'Trip I - Hasta La Vista', a large rectangle with wide border of vivid reddish colour seems to float in the middle of an ordinary room. In both works, Esteban Molina presents what has happened or what is, transforms them into another form which makes it challenging for a viewer to decipher what he/she is looking at. Both works have 'screen within screen' in the literal sense, a sort of mise en abyme, extending the notion of image beyond what is framed within the smaller screen, which is a telephone or a computer monitor.

Alessandro Roma (Milan, 1977)

Roma studied and graduated from Accademia di Brera, Milan. His work has been shown in museums and galleries across the world among which: Prague Biennale (2009), Mart Contemporary and Modern Art of Museum of Trento and Rovereto (solo) (2011), Villa Croce Museum (solo), Genoa, (2016), MIC International Museum of Ceramics (solo), Faenza, curated by I. Biolchini (2018).

Recent selected solo exhibitions include: Yamamoto Keiko Rochaix (2020), Fondation Thalie, Brussels, curated by Nathalie Guiot (2019); Casa Museo Jorn, Albisola, curated by L. Bochicchio; z2o Sara Zanin, Rome (2018) Yamamoto Keiko Rochaix, London, curated by Marina Dacci (2017); Coburn project, London (2015); Sobering, Paris (2014), MAC Museum of Contemporary Art, Lissone (2014).

Gabriel Esteban Molina (Edmonton, Canada, 1989)

Esteban Molina obtained MFA at Chelsea College of Arts in London after receiving BFA at University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. He has exhibited extensively in Canada, UK and also in Iceland. Selected institutional exhibitions include those at Lattitude 53, Edmonton, Canada (upcoming solo, 2022), Southern Alberta Art Gallery (solo, 2021), Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton (group show, 2021), Outvert Art space, Isafjöour, Iceland, The Banff Center for Arts and Creativity (group show, 2018).