Connecting Contemporary Artists
Empty Walls, Art Collectors & Art Addicts 

The list of Contemporary Artists selected by 

Roberta Pinna

Be Inspired

“Creativity takes courage”
Henri Matisse

Nigel  Cooke 

Nigel Cooke is a British painter currently living in Kent, UK. He is represented by PACE Gallery, New York.
Nigel is one of my favorite contemporary artists and also a friend. He has generously selected the two paintings below and has described what they represent for him and for his work as an artist.
The first time I saw his paintings I felt totally captured  and tangled by the vortex of lines depicted in his recent series of works. A special thanks to him for having shared  his personal emotions.

Artist Nigel Cooke in his studio. Photo by  FADMagazine

By Nigel Cooke

"The myth of Acteon makes me think of being misunderstood, condemned. About irreversible consequences, of punishment and judgement. But his transformation also calls to mind coming closer to nature, in his case at the cost of how he considered himself human, cultured, separate, and a predator. Maybe there’s an ecological thought in here, but also one about what it feels like to be a painter, balancing 2 kinds of inner nature".  Nigel Cooke

Oil and Acrylic on Linen

by Nigel Cooke

"Love - it’s a centrifugal image of two figures colliding, coming apart, merging. The colour started low key but became intense, ending in touches of magenta and hot pink. The implosions of love and desire mean something to most people. Paintings can flicker to life this way too"

Oil and Acrylic on Linen 

© Artist Julie Mehretu

Julie Mehretu

Julie Mehretu is an American artist born in 1970 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, she lives and works in New York City. She received a B.A. from Kalamazoo College, Michigan, studied at the University Cheik Anta Diop, Dakar Senegal, and received a Master’s of Fine Art with honors from The Rhode Island School of Design in 1997. On September 2021, The National Academy of Design has elected Julie Mehretu as National Academician for her contribution to contemporary American Art.
Julie Mehretu’s paintings are structured through layers of clear acrylic, architectural tracings, drawing, ink, graphite, erasure and mark-making. The works are built up in stages with additive elements generating, erasing, or re-inscribing the previous.
I saw Julie Mehretu's work at the Marian Goodman Gallery in 2013. LIMINAL SQUARED was the inaugural exhibition at the gallery's New York space.
What fascinates and inspires me the most  of Julie's work, is the ability to describe humanity  as an anthropologist would do, and then translate  the many different aspects of the human experience into memorable and mesmerizing masterpieces.  

©Julie Mehretu - Courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery

Julie Mehretu

Conjured Parts (eye), Ferguson, 2016

"I am interested in the potential of ‘psychogeographies’, which suggests that within an invisible and invented creative space the individual can tap a resource of self-determination and resistance." Julie Mehretu 
©An Interview with Julie Mehretu: Drawing into Painting. By Olukemi Ilesanmi. 2003

Image ©Julie Mehretu - Courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery

Ink and acrylic on canvas,
84 x 96 in - 213.4 x 243.8 cm
The Broad Museum Collection, Los Angeles, CA

Julie Mehretu

Fugitive Breath Drawing, 2018

"One of the reasons I have always been interested in working within the limits of abstraction is because there is the capacity of chance, possibility, and opacity. There is a deep history of the semiotics of representative work, and the cultural specificity in it is undeniable." Julie Mehrethu.
© An Interview with Julie Mehretu: The Mark of an Artist.By Mark Benjami.2020 

Image ©Julie Mehretu - Courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery

Ink and acrylic on paper
Paper: 26 1/8 x 40 in -66.4 x 101.6 cm 
Frame: 29 1/4 x 43 x 1 1/2 in. (74.3 x 109.2 x 3.8 cm)

©Artist Michael Wolf

Michael Wolf

Michael Wolf is an NYC area artist whose work encompasses sculpture, installation, and drawing. Architectural spaces and forms inspire Wolf's artwork. He uses these forms as a metaphor for the human experience. The human need for shelter both physically and psychologically permeates his work. The artist primarily uses wood, stone, metal, and gold leaf, creating contemporary art with an ongoing dialogue with history.

Palladian Dream © Michael Wolf

Michael Wolf

Palladian Dream, 2021 

"Palladian Dream was inspired by my travels in Italy and Greece. While traveling, I noticed many sculptural niches incorporated into the architecture, some of which housed and sheltered sculptures, and some were left empty. I was particularly attracted to the empty niches, they fueled my imagination of what they could contain and protect. Palladio was, of course, the Italian renaissance architect known for his use of symmetry and harmonious proportions." © Michael Wolf - Courtesy of the artist

Palladian Dream:

Wood, 24k gold leaf, oil paint 13 x 15.5 x 2.25 inches

Sanctuary in Fairyland - © Michael Wolf

Michael Wolf

Sanctuary in Fairyland, 2021

"I started the series Sanctuary in Fairyland during a residency sponsored by the Eileen S. Kaminsky Family Foundation during the early days of the pandemic. The title comes from a social media post by an English museum director who had been taking rides into the English countryside to escape the monotony lockdown. Once, he stopped at a medieval church in an area of England known for its stories about fairies. It began to rain, and he took refuge in the church. During the brief shower, he "spent what felt like an enchanted time watching through the doorway as the rain lashed down on the Downs." I was also taking trips into rural areas near me in the same period, discovering new and unusual places. My drawings and sculptures attempt to capture the feeling of that unique period." © Michael Wolf - Courtesy of the Artist

Sanctuary in Fairyland:

Wood, 24k gold leaf, oil, and acrylic paint 30 x 24 x 2.25 inches

© Artist Susanna Costantini

Susanna Costantini, Italian textile artist :

“My great grandmother was a weaver. She used to cultivate, to spin linen threads, to dress the loom and then to weave for crafting sheet towels or fabrics to be used every day. I still have worn out rags and incredibly fresh linen sheets which are over 100 years old. The fascinating irregularities of hand-spun threads and the narrative of hand weaving is mesmeric. Those antique and textured fabrics keep on teaching and telling me about the wisdom of her hands. Hand weaving seems an extreme analog practice nowadays but it could be considered a contemporary media language in some respects. Warp and weft are like a binary system that offers many possibilities of coding, mixing materials and techniques. Weaving is also a way to explore visual art and communicate”.

© Courtesy - Susanna Costantini 

© Susanna Costantini Flag III

Susanna Costantini
" Flag III " 

"The Flag series is a homage to the archaic nature of Abruzzo with its wide and still wild spaces. These Flags are like banner of those lands whose nature is harsh but at the same time fragile. Flags are mainly made of wool, the soft, warm and generous material used by shepherds to protect themselves from the cold temperatures of prairies. Flags hand woven works are crafted by using mainly Abruzzo-sourced organic wool from grazing sheep in the Campo Imperatore, an area at over 2000 metres of altitude".

Limited Edition of 5

Size: 62 cm x 4 cm x 62 cm
Oak framed

© Susanna Costantini Opus V

Susanna Costantini
Opus V

"Opus V is a handwoven tapestry part of a series inspired by the ancient construction techniques of the stone huts, ancient rural shelters of shepherds in central Italy in which stones were carefully chosen and carefully superimposed without the use of bonding material. Opus V has been woven mainly by using natural sheep wool from sheep grazed in Abruzzo, cotton for the warp, hemp and linen for geometric insert in the weft"

Size : 61 (h) x 4 (d) x 61 (w)

© Susanna Costantini Gleaning IX

Susanna Costantini 
Gleaning 9

This tapestry is part of the Gleaning project, a series of weavings inspired by Agnes Varda's documentary Les glaneurs et la glaneuse. 

These hand woven works are indeed the result of a "gleaning" process. By using remnants of warps and other weavings, small quantities of found or donated yarns, Susanna Costantini creates weavings where materials and stories intertwine. The variations in the weaving are the traces of an emotional elaboration process in which multiple narratives take shape, small stories from the past are interwoven with the present and the lived experience during weaving. “The activity of gleaning is something necessary that we practice every day and has to do with recovering both material and emotional value. The practice of gleaning brings with it a moment of choice; one evaluates, decides whether to let go, recover or process.” 

© Courtesy - Susanna Costantini 

This work is unique.

Size: 63 cm x 4 cm x 75 cm

Composition: cotton, wool