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Italian Jazz Musicians Laud Francesca Amalia’s Exhibition in Delhi

In Arts, News
March 02, 2024

Italian painter Francesca Amalia Grimaldi’s debut show in India won the appreciation of a famed jazz trio when her compatriots Paolo Fresu and Rita Marcotulli along with Indian percussionist Trilok Gurtu visited the five-day ‘Metamorphosis’ in the capital at Bikaner House in Delhi.

For the visual artist, the musicians’ visit bore particular significance, considering that her own abstract works on the canvas have been inspired by her deep familiarity with melodies rooted in blues and ragtime as well.

Francesca revealed that much of her abstract compositions draw inspiration from music, particularly classical and jazz. This fusion between jazz music and abstract painting is profound, leading her to name one of her paintings after compositions by Paolo Fresu, a member of the esteemed trio set to perform in Delhi on the 29th at India Habitat Center, Lodhi Road. The painting, ‘ Mare Nostrum’ was created as Francesca Amalia found her hands moving freely on the canvas, synchronising with the music’s rhythm and essence.

She also has a profound love for the piano, expressing a deep connection with this musical instrument, reminiscent of her father’s influence, who played classical music at home, shaping her early artistic journey. Consequently, she delighted in the compositions of Rita Marcotulli, recognizing her as a fabulous musician and composer.

Furthermore, the music played by Indian musician Trilok Gurtu with his percussion instruments evoked imagery of a primal force emanating from the depths of the earth, which can arrive at the centre of the heart and culminate in a magnificent explosion of nature’s colours—a theme recurrent in many of Francesca’s abstract works. This kaleidoscopic interpretation of emotion, atmosphere, and nature’s beauty resonated deeply with her artistic expression, capturing the essence of her creative vision.

“Much of my abstract paintings draw energy from music, particularly classical and jazz. I was drawn to them right from my childhood,” reveals Francesca, whose 32 latest works were on display at the February 23-27 show in LTC, Bikaner House. While painting, she listens to masters, besides impressionist composer Claude Debussy and jazz virtuosos.

The exhibition, curated by author-scholar Uma Nair, was hosted by Masha Art Gallery. The row of visitors, comprising academics, artists, art students and other enthusiasts became momentous for the artist.

Other notable visitors at ‘Metamorphosis’ were a group of 25 students and teachers from Jamia Millia Islamia, led by the university’s Dean (Fine Arts) Prof Bindulika Sharma. “Francesca’s works emerge from deep thought as well as a fine handling of techniques,” she said, particularly praising ‘Goa Beach’ and the Ladakh abstraction.

Curator Uma Nair notes the importance of the vitality of an exhibition when it is visited by young crowds. “They will carry the imagery in their album of memories,” says Uma, who always invites college students for her curatorial walk steeped in educational value.

Masha Art founder-CEO Samarth Mathur said the exhibition of veteran Francesca Amalia Grimaldi has further prompted the gallery to host more such shows by artists of international repute.