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Eduardo Guelfenbein

Matteo Sbaragli


Preface In a fusion of technique and styles, Opera Gallery Dubai presents an exhibition that will appeal to most, delivering the first ever face to face between abstract painter Guelfenbein and figurative portrait artist Sbaragli. Loyal to the abstract genre, Eduardo Guelfenbein displays an overflowing passion with his fluid lines and swirls filled with explosive energy. In doing so, he conveys the deepest parts of one’s nocturnal dreams and how they influence us as an engine that drives our natural instincts. It is not rare for us to observe viewers and visitors lose themselves inside the elaborate shapes and spins that he depicts through the thickness of paint. Guelfenbein, whose style has much evolved over the years, admits that his soul finds instant expression in the latest “liquid abstractions” paintings. Facing him is Matteo Sbaragli, born in 1980, who paints almost exclusively large-scale portraits. The latest years of his young career have seen him paint on aluminium and other metals, which only brings added depth to the expressiveness of his portraits. Sbaragli says that his artistic research is all about finding the balance between reality and imaginary: “it’s not the subject which has to have strength in itself, but the art of painting”. Sbaragli also states that he paints “heads not portraits”; and his complex work on flesh and surface makes this statement a certainty. Placing Guelfenbein and Sbaragli face to face allows the encounter of abstraction and figuration. And by listening to what each artist has to say about their inspiration and artistic research, it becomes clear that the association is a collaboration and not an opposition of two different genres: Sbaragli depicts the flesh, the head, the surface of the human; while Guelfenbein represents the dreams and deep thoughts within the individual. We are proud to give our clients and visitors an opportunity to discover the works of two very talented artists; and we are pleased that the association of these artists takes us all a step deeper into the understanding of how artistic genres challenge and complete each other. Gilles Dyan Founder and Chairman Opera Gallery Group

Mariam Thani Hodge General Manager Opera Gallery Dubai


Eduardo Guelfenbein

My soul has instant expression in my latest liquid abstractions. The creative emotional satisfaction brought by the liquid technique, is always a new experience, much is a process of discovery, whilst carving through thick textured acrylic, and letting myself flow with music, the joys of the inner child emerge whilst brushed lines travel across the canvas, morphologically binding colours. Technically I have evolved over the years, but my aim today is to create interesting acrylic texture, where light refracts strongly, with contrasting carved gestual strokes, and mostly, a full colour palette. Potentially the liquid transformations and twisting patterns are infinite, much like a cosmic creation, generating different feelings and never-ending forms.

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Whilst as a figurative painter, I was painting abstractions within the figure, today freed from the silhouettes, the liquid abstractions create in me the same emotional feelings of Love, Beauty, Truth and Goodness, infinite emotions that have no limit, like an abstract painting open to the imagination.

Delice, 2011

Acrylic on canvas 162 x 130 cm - 63.8 x 51.2 in.


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Wishful, 2011

Acrylic on canvas 80 x 60 cm - 31.5 x 23.6 in.

Sudden, 2011

Acrylic on canvas 81 x 100 cm - 31.9 x 39.4 in.


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Land, 2010

Acrylic on canvas 100 x 81 cm - 39.4 x 31.9 in.

Sol, 2011

Acrylic on canvas D: 160 cm - 63 in.


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Andante, 2011

Acrylic on canvas 130 x 162 cm - 51.2 x 63.8 in.

Foresight, 2010

Acrylic on canvas 162 x 130 cm - 63.8 x 51.2 in.


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Urbano, 2010

Acrylic on canvas 162 x 130 cm - 63.8 x 51.2 in.

Scent, 2009

Acrylic on canvas 73 x 60 cm - 28.7 x 23.6 in.


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Depth, 2011

Acrylic on canvas 100 x 81 cm - 39.4 x 31.9 in.

Probable, 2011

Acrylic on canvas 114 x 146 cm - 44.9 x 57.5 in.


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Mankind, 2011

Acrylic on canvas 89 x 116 cm - 35 x 45.7 in.

Luminous, 2011

Acrylic on canvas 146 x 114 cm - 57.5 x 44.9 in.


Biography Eduardo Guelfenbein Born in Santiago, Chile, in 1953 Lives and works in Paris, France Education Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, Milan, Italy Selected solo exhibitions

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2008 ............. Liquid Portraits, Galerie Sit Down, Paris, France 2005 .............. Retrospective, University of Brest, Brest, France 2004 ............. Pavillon de la Faisanderie, Chantilly, France Portraits d’Attitudes, Espace Hérold 07, Paris, France 2003 .............. Parsons School of Design, Paris, France 2002 .............. Col di Lana, Milan, Italy 2000 ............. French Cultural Centre, Milan, Italy 1998 .............. Collages, Instituto Cultural de Israel, Santiago, Chile 1997 ............. Revelación, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Santiago, Chile 1994 .............. Galleria Kennedy, Santiago, Chile 1991 ............. Galerie Michel Reymondin, Geneva, Switzerland 1990 .............. Australian Embassy, Paris, France 1987 ............. Galerie Suisse de Paris, Paris, France 1986 .............. Zeus-Trabia Gallery, New York, USA 1981 ............. Hogarth Galleries, Sydney, Australia 1976 ............. Galleria Boccioni, Milan, Italy Selected group exhibitions 2011 ............. Viviane Cisinski & Eduardo Guelfenbein, Opera Gallery, Singapore 2010 .............. Thierry Bisch, Mauro Corda & Eduardo Guelfenbein, Opera Gallery, Singapore Crazy Colours, Opera Gallery, Paris, France In the Mood for Art, Opera Gallery, Hong Kong 2009 ............. Johanne Corno & Eduardo Guelfenbein, Opera Gallery, London, UK 2004 ............. The Coaster Project, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France 2000 ............. Artisti Cileni, Instituto Latinoamericano, Rome, Italy 1996 .............. Galerie du Musée, Geneva, Switzerland

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1992 ............. Paris Biennial, Palais Royal, Paris, France 1989 .............. French Revolution, Australian Embassy, Paris, France 1980 .............. Street Art, New York, USA 1977 ............. Venice Biennial, Parasit Art, Venice, Italy 1975 ............. Galleria Fiori Chiari, Milan, Italy Others 2006 ............. Artvideo ‘The pArt’ 7 minutes (eco-social animation) 2001 .............. DVD ‘My painted life’ 1999 .............. Artvideo ‘Inner Life’


Matteo Sbaragli Although my paintings depict faces almost exclusively, my intent is to go beyond the portrait, transcending the classic portrait format. I believe it is more appropriate to refer to them as heads rather than faces. In fact, this definition, more clearly represents their value as a vessel. Furthermore, describing the work as a ‘head’ connotes more of a three-dimensional visual, rather than simply a surface. As simply a face, or a portrait, there is a limit to what can be represented. The ‘head’ allows for an entire interpretation, interconnected with its external environment. Without the three-dimensional references, the portrait only allows one to construe a limited aspect of the face. 19

My fascination and torment of the task, in this case, is the inability to understand the corresponding interpretation that the spectator, the viewer, attributes directly to the painting. Clearly my attempt is to convey, as much as possible, my point of view on the image I create through painting, but I am aware of the narrative limit in a single painting: it would be like trying to fit an entire movie into a single frame. For this reason, I have created series of ten to fifteen paintings which are not exactly alike but have the same intent. The history of art and painting has been a slow process. Especially, when one goes into the specific and individual cases, it takes time for great changes to transpire. Sometimes those changes are so minute, they are insignificant to the external eye; therefore you have to dedicate yourself entirely to it.

Portrait of porcelain no. 4, 2010 Oil on brass 50 x 44 cm - 19.7 x 17.3 in.

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Keep on sleeping, I will wake you up when it is the right time no. 4, 2012 Oil on aluminium 220 x 170 cm - 86.6 x 66.9 in.

Keep on sleeping, I will wake you up when it is the right time no. 6, 2012

Oil on aluminium on wood 66 x 49 cm - 26 x 19.3 in.


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How wavering are these praying hands, 2010 Oil on plexiglas 130 x 100 cm - 51.2 x 39.4 in.

Burns more quickly than a straw no. 2, 2009

Oil on aluminium 180 x 150 cm - 70.9 x 59.1 in.


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Portrait of any woman saint after having cried no. 3, 2010 Oil on aluminium 220 x 160 cm - 86.6 x 63 in.

Onsen, 2009

Oil on wood 90 x 80 cm - 35.4 x 31.5 in.


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Where are you thinking to go? 2010 Oil on plexiglas 50 x 70 cm - 19.7 x 27.6 in.

Now it is my turn to live under your shadow, 2010

Oil on aluminium 180 x 150 cm - 70.9 x 59.1 in.


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Keep on sleeping, I will wake you up when it is the right time no. 8, 2012 Oil on aluminium 66 x 49 cm - 26 x 19.3 in.

Keep on sleeping, I will wake you up when it is the right time no. 5, 2012

Oil on aluminium on wood 180 x 150 cm - 70.9 x 59.1 in.


Biography Matteo Sbaragli Born in Forlimpopoli, Italy, in 1980 Lives and works in Forlì, Italy Education Fine Arts Academy, Bologna, Italy Selected solo exhibitions 2004 ............. Matteo Sbaragli, Graffio Gallery, Bologna, Italy 2003 .............. Matteo Sbaragli, D.I.D Club, Rimini, Italy Selected group exhibitions 2010 .............. Yim Tae Kyu and Matteo Sbaragli, Opera Gallery, London, UK 2009 ............. La Materia del Segno, Grafique Art Gallery, Bologna, Italy 2008 ............. Roncaglia Biennale d’Arte, XXX Edizione, Modena, Italy Arte Fiera, Bologna, Italy 2007 .............. Artverona, Modern and Contemporary Art Fair, Verona, Italy 2006 ............. Contemporanea Art Fair, Forlì, Italy Nel Cibo, Castrocaro Terme, Forlì, Italy Transiti Orizzontali, Santa Sofia, Forlì, Italy Racconti della Sedia, Castello Agolanti, Rimini, Italy 2005 .............. Interazioni, Galleria Baricell’Arte, Baricello, Italy Gemine: Muse - Young Artists in European Museums, Oratorio San Sebastiano, Forlì, Italy Premio Giorgio Morandi, Giorgio Morandi Museum, Bologna, Italy Dovadola e i Giovani Forlivesi, Dovadola, Forlì, Italy River, Palazzo Albertini, Forlì, Italy 2004 .............. ARTE, Padiglione dei Congressi, Castrocaro Terme, Forlì, Italy Giovani Proposte, San Rocco Gallery, Cento, Ferrara, Italy River, Palazzo Albertini, Forlì, Italy Premio Felice Castrati, Pavarolo, Torino, Italy 2003 .............. Vernice, Art Fair, Forlì, Italy Anteprima G.A.M, Fine Arts Academy, Bologna, Italy Tecnomorfismi, Baraccano Museum, Bologna, Italy 2002 .............. Anteprima G.A.M, Fine Arts Academy, Bologna, Italy 2001 .............. Sguardi Anomali, Russi, Ravenna, Italy Allucinazione Perversa, Diagonal Club, Forlì, Italy 2000 ............. Paradisi Artificiali, Rocca di Ravaldino, Forlì, Italy

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Portrait of any woman saint after having cried no. 1, 2010 Oil on aluminium 220 x 160 cm - 86.6 x 63 in.

Special projects with Mandra Collective Group 2012 ............. Versus - I dubbi dell’occidente, Box Shock - Self Storage, Forlì, Italy Il mio curatore è il mio dottore, Ipercorpo Festival, Ex Warehouse ATR, Forlì, Italy 2011 ............. Quanto la sera, Ipercorpo Festival, Ex Warehouse ATR, Forlì, Italy 2010 .............. Quando la neve diventa latte, Ipercorpo Festival, Magazzini Interstock, Forlì, Italy Itigno Male, Contemporanea Art Fair, Forlì, Italy 2009 ............. Sonni Tranquilli, Human Rights Festival, San Domenico Museum, Forlì, Italy Inmenteniente, Small Festival of Contemporary Art, Fabbrica delle Candele, Forlì, Italy

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Gate Village Building 3 - Dubai International Financial Centre PO Box 506737 - Dubai T. +971 (0)4 323 0909 • dubai@operagallery.com The Dubai Mall - 1st floor #FF109 PO Box 506737 - Dubai T. +971 (0)4 330 8262 • dubaimall@operagallery.com www.operagallery.com

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