Nicola Samorì - New Now London Thursday, April 28, 2022 | Phillips

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  • 'I’m so interested in revealing the inside of a painting, scraping away the skin and revealing the first brush strokes that were applied to the polished surfaces of copper or wood, and discovering the geodes, the cavities that interrupt the integrity of the stone.' —Nicola SamorìBrimming with dramatic intensity and executed on an impressive scale, Miriade is a striking example of Italian artist Nicola Samorì’s robust dialogue with Old Master paintings, and of his disruptive approach to this visual vocabulary. Belonging to a new generation of figurative artists, Samorì demonstrates remarkable skill in his isolation and reproduction of elements borrowed from a repertoire of Renaissance, Baroque, and Flemish painting, ‘only to sabotage the pictorial plane, incising it, opening it up, burning and transfiguring it.’i


    Fascinated by the hidden beauty of materials, Samorì’s process draws together the flaked and ageing surfaces of fresco painting with the emphasis on materiality and process associated with pioneering European post-war movements such as art informel. Treating the surface like a layer of skin to be manipulated and peeled away, Samorì is intent on revealing what lies beneath without being wholly iconoclastic. Accelerating ‘the processes of degeneration’ inherent in all painted images, the artist transforms them instead ‘into something fragile like a dry leaf or like the wings of a butterfly, something that you have to take care of so it doesn’t crumble before your eyes.’ii In Miriade this is achieved through the careful layering of oil paint and treatment of the canvas, folded, reopened, and scratched in such a manner as to the produce strange the strange kind of formations achieved by Hermann Rorschach in his infamous projective psychological test.


    Nicola Samorì studied at the Accademia d’Arte in Bologna, and examples of his work can be found in important public and private collections including the Foundation Francès in Senlis, France and the Collection Coppola Vicenza, Italy. Seen as a key figure in contemporary European figurative painting, Samorì has exhibited widely in Italy and internationally, and features prominently in Uwe Goldenstein’s recent publication, Preparing for Darkness: A New Movement in Contemporary Painting.


    i Marta Silvi, ‘Critics Picks: Nicola Samorì, Monitor, Rome’, Artforum, March 2016, online
    ii Nicola Samorì, in Conversation with Lucia Rossi, from Uwe Goldenstein, Preparing for Darkness: A New Movement in Contemporary Painting, Bremen, 2020, extract published in Contemporary Art Issue, 24 January 2021 online.

    • Provenance

      Galerie EIGEN + ART, Berlin
      Acquired from the above by the present owner

    • Exhibited

      Milan, Casa Testori, Nicola Samori e Matteo Fato: Iscariotes, 7 April 2018 - 6 May 2018, pp. 83, 85 (illustrated, n.p)

    • Literature

      Elisa Fusi, 'Pair of Aces: Matteo Fato and Nicola Samori at Casa Testori,' Attribune, 18 April 2018, online



signed, titled and dated 'Nicola Samori 2018 - MIRIADE-' on the reverse
oil on linen
301 x 201 cm (118 1/2 x 79 1/8 in.)
Painted in 2018.

Full Cataloguing

£30,000 - 50,000 

Sold for £81,900

Contact Specialist

Charlotte Gibbs
Associate Specialist, Head of New Now
+44 20 7901 7993

New Now

London Auction 28 April 2022