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In the year of UniTS Centenary, the Art relationship project continues the university’s commitment to enhancing its artistic heritage and creating a closer bond with the Friuli Venezia Giulia territory. The project is organised by the University of Trieste in collaboration with the University Museum Services (SmaTS) and the Cultural Heritage of Friuli Venezia Giulia (ERPAC).

Following the success of the artist in residency programme Shine Bright Like a Diamond in 2023, which involved the Departments of the University of Trieste in an unprecedented collaboration between lecturers, artists and students, Art Relations focuses on the relationship between important artists and the University and the city of Trieste.

The project kicks off on 18th June with exhibitions of internationally renowned artists Serse Roma and Manuela Sedmach and will continue in the coming months with Antonio Sofianopulo and Elisa Vladilo.

The six graphite drawings that make up ‘Serse. The ambiguities of representation’ will be exhibited in the right and left wings of the central building of the University of Trieste, Piazzale Europa 1.

“The form is that of still life, of the object arrested in its natural process. The figure, on the other hand, is linked to the dynamic continuity of the living being. In Serses' work, all things, even an isolated object in the most stable of configurations, are brought to life by this dynamic continuity. And it is thanks to the technique he has adopted and defended over all these years; drawing,” said art critic Alessandro Del Puppo.

The exhibition ‘Manuela Sedmach. Al di sotto della sostanza cromatica, nell'intercapedine della pittura' (Underneath the substance of colour, inside painting’s cavity wall) will instead be on display at the UniTS Department of Humanities in Via del Lazzaretto Vecchio where some twenty of the painter's works will be on display.

“It was no accident, but rather a purposeful choice by Sedmach to distribute her works in the Library of the Archive of Writers and Regional Culture of the University of Trieste in order to relate them to a cultural heritage intimately perceived and experienced over the years. Alongside the development of shelves that preserve and protect the ‘written memories’, making them available to the 'gesture' of consultation, the 'pictorial-narration' offers itself to a visual reading characterised by development within the same space, sustained by a 'stabilised wind' that intersects the top and the bottom, from the centre to the borders of the canvas, now reinforcing itself on the left with a mass moving to the right, now stabilising in a depression, and then extending horizontally, revealing itself only to a careful gaze,' stresses art critic Andrea Del Guercio.

Serse Roma

Born in San Polo di Piave on 14 November 1952, Serse has lived and worked in Trieste since 1980.

Serse Roma focuses exclusively on graphite drawing on paper. Over the years, the artist, an adopted Triestine, has produced a considerable series of images that have earned him inclusion in the volume Vitamin D, New Perspectives in Drawing, published by Phaidon Press, London (2006), and a chapter in Lorand Hegyi's new essay ‘Drawing in the Age of Uncertainty’, Silvana editions (2021), as well as participation in major international exhibitions like Pastels du 16°au 21°siecle at the Fondation de L'Hermitage in Lausanne.  His work is characterised by a consistency and recognisability that make it unique in today's national panorama. In Serse’s case, drawing is not a merely a classical tool for sketching out the invisible scaffolding of a painting, nor does he use it, like many contemporary artists, as a precarious and fragile visual note. In Serses Rome, the work in its absolute completeness is due to drawing alone. Drawing represents 'no more than this'. It is an instrument subjected to a vertiginous analysis that probes its full potential. From Serse Roma's graphite has sprung one of the most intense re-readings of landscape in contemporary art: Seas, Cloud Skies, High Mountains, Snowy Woods, Reeds, Reflections of Water. In other words, the non-human, sublime dimension of Earth in its elementary condition of first and ultimate things. Almost as if it were possible to probe, through the concrete materiality of graphite, the mineral soul of the earth, whose transformations occur on a time scale other to our anthropological one. In recent years, Serse Roma has delved even deeper into what could be included, or at least brought back, to the graphite that has marked his career. The reference to the minerality of graphite is captured in his astonishing series Diamonds, whose perfect and unalterable form recalls the crystallographic origins of the primary forms of geometry and building. We thus return to Serses' reflection on his instrument, graphite, a material that by its very nature recalls the minerality (graphite and diamond are allotropic forms of carbon) behind a not-only-human geometry of the constructed.

Manuela Sedmach

Born in Trieste in 1953, she began exhibiting in the 1970s after attending the "E. Nordio" State Institute of Art in Trieste with teachers such as Ladislao de Gauss, Maria Campitelli, and Enzo Cogno. But her most heartfelt activity began in the 1980s with Officina in Trieste, Avida Dollars in Milan, Rasponi in Ravenna, Fuxia Art in Verona, Emporium in Ivrea and Arte3 in Trieste. In 1991, she was part of the Art exposition in Chicago where she featured in an exhibition of 5 Italian artists at Navy Pier. She also received the important Pollok - Krasner Foundation Grant, New York. In the 1990s, more precisely in 1992, she began her relationship with Galleria Continua, which was at that time based in a small but precious space near the Cathedral of San Gimignano.

Manuela’s relationship with Galleria Continua continues to this day with exhibitions, international fairs and exhibition relationships with other galleries such as Van Laere in Antwerp, Schroeder in Cologne, Dina Carola in Naples, G7 in Bologna, Jaqueline Arets in Knokke in Belgium. In 2003, a beautiful underwater installation 'Occhi bianchi' (White eyes) in the Ponterosso canal followed a personal exhibition at the Revoltella Museum in Trieste in Palazzo Gopcevich, kindling an important relationship with Galleria Torbandena in Trieste.

In 2009, she exhibited at Le Moulin-Boissy le Chatel (Paris) and 2005/2010 Beijing 798 Art Zone (both extensions of the Continua gallery), studio G7 in Bologna, 3G Artecontemporanea in Udine, Plurima and GAMUD – also in Udine. Her series ‘Passare al Bosco’ (A Walk in the Woods)  inspired by ‘The Rebel's Treaty’ by Ernst Junger, was developed from 2015-2017 in Tellaro (SP), in the oratory Santa Maria Telaà, in Galleria Continua, in ARCA-ITIS in Trieste, and Colonos in Villacaccia di Lestizza, before it arrived at its current title ‘Dubito ergo Cogito’,(I doubt therefore I think)  inspired by a docufilm by Werner Herzog in which he finds the characters that accompany him in his work: slowness, fatigue, doubt and many more. In 2020, she moved to Portugal in Braga where she continued her activity with an important collaboration with the Nuno Centeno gallery in Porto. The meeting with two particular artists Pedro Vaz and Filipe Cortez was especially important. In 2023 she put on the exhibition ‘Nunca pare de ver – N'arrête jamais de voir’ (Never stop seeing) with Galleria Continua. In recent years, Manuela Sedmach has brought the Portuguese atmosphere into her work.