During his residency at Aurobora, Italo Scanga collaged 19th Century illustrations from French and German texts to the paper prior to printing. Working each plate with figurative renderings and gestural marks, Scanga printed on top of these images to add to their faded significance the way memory informs the present. The artist’s sensuous paintings of cypress trees, water urns, and bonfires further underscore the elemental forces of nature that operate as a subtext to these monotypes.
In Scanga’s “Coptic Series”, the artist departed from the figurative, narrative form to work more improvisationally over a collaged central image of Coptic textiles. Scouring the surface of his printing matrix, he created scarified grounds of metallic gold ink recalling the brittle surfaces of a time-worn wall. Half-veiled in this painterly surface, Scanga allowed the central collaged image to emerge like an icon evoking issues of memory, loss, and the effects of the past upon visual interpretation.
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY; Cincinnati Museum of Art, Cincinnati, OH; The Denver Art Museum; Detroit Institute of Art, Detroit, MI; Elvehjem Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI; Fogg Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; Guggenheim Musem of Art, New York, NY; Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Krosge Art Museum, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI; La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla, CA; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Neuberger Museum of Art, University of New York, Purchase, NY; Newport Harbor Art Museum, Newport Beach, CA; Oakland Museum of Art, Oakland, CA; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Philadelphia, PA; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA; San Jose Art Museum, San Jose, CA; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA; Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, OH; University Art Museum, University of California, Berkeley, CA; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; Weatherspoon Gallery of Art, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC