Andrea Francolino (Bari, b. 1979) lives and works in Milan.
At the centre of his reflections is the “crack” – as in cracked surfaces – in all its universality and its “infinite variants”, without criticism and prejudice. “Looking at a crack is like looking at the universe, I reflect on the meaning of life and the meaning of things”, says the artist. Taking a multidisciplinary approach spanning aesthetic, ethic and ecology, Francolino tries to honour Nature in his works and has coined the term econcrethic, a combination of the words eco (eco), concreto (concrete), etico (ethical), to describe his work with natural materials.”
In 2013 he wins the “San Fedele” Prize with Et onne Tempo, an ephermeral installation in concrete’s dust that traces the floorplan of the largest shopping centre in the world. The work is a reflection on the exasperation of contemporary consumerism and human vanitas. The relationship between man/product and nature/universe is instead at the basis of Performance di una pianta (Performance of a Plant), 2013-2015, heap of rubble of destroyed works from which a plant spontaneously grows: it is Nature that reaffirms itself and gives new life to what used to be inert and abandoned.
From 2015, Francolino has been working on Percorsi (Pathways), a series of casts of cracks in cement dust imprinted on paper. The title of each work reports the day, time and satellite coordinates of the place where they were created, recording the precise localization of each artistic intervention.
In the series A-Biotic, where the anthropic representation of nature is shown through a continuous association with plant forms. It investigates the paradox of competing with nature by trying to imitate or replace it.
In 2018, the crack becomes the total protagonist of a work that bears its own name. On a wall of Spazio Aperto San Fedele (Milan) appears a fissure coated and filled with 22k gold leaf. As Fracolino affirms, “the crack, on objective manifestation of a process of becoming, evokes and sometimes reveals a link between opposites, generation an infinity of reflections.”
From 2022, Francolino has started the so-called “water series.” In the works from 2019-2020, Limiti (Limits), he used to use concrete or earth dust to imprint on paper the cracks found in specific places between nature (meadows, rivers) and manmade (roads, buildings). In these new 2022 works, the results are a series of sculptural positive of cracks in the soil, where the support “absorbs” their three-dimensionality.
Francolino is among the four founders of The Open Box, non-profit art space opened in 2015 in Milan.
Among the most important solo shows are: Mazzoleni, Turin (2022); Museo Novecento, Florence (2020/21) with performance between Palazzo Vecchio and Museo Novecento; Spazio Contemporanea, Brescia (2020); Spazio aperto San Fedele, Milan (2018); The Open Box, Milan (2018); nm>contemporary, Monaco (2017); Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London (2016); Galleria San Fedele, Milan (2015); Spazio Testoni, Bologna (2013).
Among the numerous collective exhibitions are: The Open Box, Milan (2022); Church of the Saints Giusto and Bartholomew, Peccioli (Pisa), site-specific work (2022); Woolbridge Gallery, Biella (2021); Embassy of Italy in London, London (2021); Austrian Cultural Forum, Rome (2021); Palazzo Barbò, Torre Pallavicina (2021); Mazzoleni, Turin (2021); CAMERA Centro Italiano per la Fotografia and Mazzoleni, Turin (2020); Mazzoleni, London (2020); AGI Verona and University of Verona (2019); Palazzo Palmieri, Monopoli (2017); Frittelli arte contemporanea, Florence (2016); The Loft, Works from the Servais collection, Brussels (2016); Quartiere Intelligente + MADRE, Naples (2014); Courtauld Institute of Art Somerset House, London (2012); Italian Cultural Institute, New Delhi (2011); Spazio Oberdan, Milan (2010); Villa Ponti, Arona (2010).