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Beatrice M. Serpieri


Beatrice M. Serpieri was born in Bologna (Italy).
After classical and academic studies, since 1970 she dedicates herself passionately to photography. She graduates at the Fine Arts Academy in Rome and at the Free European University of Macerata, Visual Arts Department.
Her long and significant career as a portrait photographer follows the lines of a poetic theory she defines as “Soul Photogenics”. She is remarkable for her passionate and profound study of the human being. Her B&W portraits are real works of art, at par with the great tradition of portraits, both pictorial and photographic. Her portraits confirm E. Lévinas assertion: “The face is the medium through which the invisible inside man becomes apparent and enters into an exchange relationship with us”. Her files include the greatest Italian and European families.
Many successful events and awards characterize her itinerary: 1990, Roma, Piazza di Spagna and Milano, Piazza Duomo, “Immagine Donna”, among 37 internationally known photographers; also in 1990, Roma “Antologica” - Accademia del Superfluo; and exhibitions in focal cultural places:1992, Bologna (Italy), Chiostro Monumentale di San Domenico, Antologica “Complicità”, opening the cultural “Season”;1995, Firenze (Italy),40th Pitti Immagine Bimbo, Antologica “Les Portraits des Grandes Familles”. Her portraits appear in important Biennali abroad: 1996, Barcellona (Spain), 8th Biennale Fotografica, “Antologica”; 1996, Madrid (Spain), 14th International Congress of Photography, and in Italy in many public and private galleries. In 2001 she exhibits in Italy: Parma, 6th International Fair of Contemporary Art; in 2002, she introduces in Bologna, Sala Farnese, Palazzo d’Accursio the Yearbook 2003 – “The Four Seasons”. At the same time, she carries on with her activity by participating to many conferences, TV shows and roundtables in Italy and abroad, receiving wide appreciation and many awards. Serpieri’s sensibility and skill show her capacity to “go beyond” the elementary recording of the visual perception, as defined by the notion of Barthesian “punctum”.
In 2003, the artist feels compelled to deepen her research in the framework of her quest for the “absolute beauty”. From the “interior beauty”, she moves on to color and the study of de-composing light; she investigates the illusion represented by architecture. She then turns to the re-reading of the statues of Canova and Tenerani, as a continuum with the study of the portrait she is so much fond of: an artistic experience she tackles with passion and strength. Through her own photographic procedure of de-composing sculptures and light while shooting, she creates surprising pictures, presented in tri-dimensional, translucent and dynamic installations: real photo-sculptures. That is how Serpieri enhances the sense of “La vera bellissima carne”, as stressed in Antonio Paolucci’s critical remarks.
Grabbed by her lens and translated into fantastic images, the most extraordinary Canova masterpieces undergo a new reading from Serpieri. In 2009, she presents her exhibition “Illusioni” in Cortina d’Ampezzo (Italy) and becomes again the leading actor in many personal and collective shows. Top Italian Museums of Ancient and Contemporary Art and Municipal Museums invite her, attracted by the innovative efficacy of her work, as confirmed by important exhibitions and personal shows: “Illusioni”, in 2010, Ferrara, Musei Civici d’Arte Antica Riminaldi, Palazzo Bonacossi; in 2010, Ferrara, Museo Schifanoia, exhibition shown again in 2012 and 2014 with the photo-sculpture “Origine”; again in 2010, in Bassano del Grappa, in the framework of the XIth International Meeting of Canovian Studies, at the Museo Civico - Canova Wing, where the work “Aenigma” was often exhibited from 2012 to 2015. In 2011, in Gaeta, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Giovanni da Gaeta.
The well-known art critic Philippe Daverio commented, while introducing her exhibition at the Municipal Museum in Bassano del Grappa: “Thanks to Beatrice Serpieri, we are now able to admire Canova in a totally different way: we are astonished to note how an ankle sculpted by him and already admired so many times appears to us in a totally new way”.
Serpieri eventually shows her studies which de-compose architecture, with a large-size installation: “Archi off Light” (2011, Bologna, Arte Fiera). She then presents a retrospective: “Celeste Prize” (2011, Bologna), and participates in Ravenna in 2012 to the “V ͣ Biennale delle Chiese Laiche” with her studies about Canova.
Her work of art “Theoria” is included in the catalog “Light Art in Italy”, edited by Gisella Gellini, an internationally recognized art trend of which Serpieri is part.
Between 2011 and 2015 she teaches at the Visual Arts Department of the Milano Politecnico, on the theme “Art and Contemporaneousness in Visual Perception”, and at the course of Art Psychology of the Visual Arts Department of the Bologna University, on the subject “Synergy between Museum Institutions and private initiative. Visual cultures compared through the photographic reading of Beatrice M. Serpieri”.
In 2012, Serpieri deepens the process of de-composing light and studies the work of the Italian sculptor Adolfo Wildt. Her rendering of his statues is very innovative and never realized before. In 2013, Serpieri starts a complex study of the Anatomical Waxes of the “Museo Luigi Cattaneo” in Bologna (Italy), in agreement with the Biomedical and Neuromotorial Sciences Department of the Alma Mater Studiorum of the Bologna University. In May 2014, supported by Jadranka Bentini's critical remarks, Serpieri shows her photo-sculpture "Fantastiche Apparenze" in the "Museo Luigi Cattaneo", during the international Symposium "Amazing Models". In November 2014, her research about the Anatomical Waxes translates into the exhibition “De Corporis Fabrica”, supported by Jadranka Bentini, an innovative and ambitious project involving many public Institutions in Bologna through her photo-sculptures: the Alma Mater Studiorum of the Bologna University, the Museum System of the Bologna University, the “Museo Luigi Cattaneo", the “Museo di Palazzo Poggi” and the “Archiginnasio”. Many events and related conferences take place, receiving wide appreciation from art critics, the public at large, press and TV.
Bologna pays its homage to Serpieri offering her to exhibit once more “De Corporis Fabrica” in May 2015 in the Oratorio del Museo della Vita, jointly with the presentation of her “Libro d’Artista”, a small jewel, with critical remarks from Jadranka Bentini, published in 100 copies only, autographed by the Artist.
Serpieri’s participation to the Biennale di Venezia 2015 with the work “Chimera” confirms the success of her peculiar research.
In November 2015, during the celebrations on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the death of Pier Paolo Pasolini, Serpieri participates to the exhibition “Perfetta solitudine – in morte di Pier Paolo Pasolini”, and to the “Libro d’Artista” connected to the same event.
The most reknown critics have commented on her: Franco Basile, Jadranka Bentini, Beatrice Buscaroli, Graziano Campanini, Vittoria Coen, Lanfranco Colombo, Victoria Combalìa, Philippe Daverio, Walter Guadagnini, Paola Barbara Sega, and many others.
Her works are included in a great number of private collections and in many Antique and Contemporary Art Museums, like the Schifanoia and Riminaldi Museums in Ferrara, the Museo Civico A. Canova in Bassano del Grappa and Contemporary Art Pinacotheques; she boasts an extended bibliography in catalogues, art magazines, precious “Libri d’Artista”, magazines and daily newspapers.
She lives in Bologna.