In the fifteenth century, the artist Leon Battista Alberti made a statement that would become foundational for the history of western painting: painting, he said, is a window on the world. Italian painter Flavio de Marco (Lecce, 1975) reflects on the windows through which artists look at the world today and what can be seen. For him the computer screen is the window of contemporary times: it is the subject of his pictorial investigations. He painted his first response to this reflection in 1999, in a series of black and gray software screens, a geometric skeleton of empty frames painted on the canvas. Deprived of their functional text and icons, each screenshot becomes something to look at rather than use: a landscape.

Through painting, De Marco has since transformed the virtual screen. An image on the verge of vanishing, a space from which one can be expelled with a mouse click, changes into a physical surface, reminding us of the precariousness of a world reduced to a digital existence. Space becomes a flat horizon of screens; windows open onto each other; layers multiply. The gaze becomes panoptical, losing the sense of depth created in the traditional one-point perspective system developed by the Renaissance masters.

Over the years, images of “classical” landscapes began to appear inside the computer screen landscapes, inspired by the schematic representations found in advertising posters, tourism brochures, or postcards. The computer frame opens on “instant landscapes”, the oversimplified vision of our planet that can be reached with all its parts within a fraction of a second through an operating system. The window through which Flavio De Marco looks at the world today is a reminder of our lost capacity to relate to nature and to confront what is in front of us, questioning what it means to be human.

The artist’s paintings bear the memory of the history of art, recalling the variation in techniques and motives used throughout the tradition of painting. At the same time, each work has a gray stripe at the top of the frame—the command bar of a computer—to remind the viewer that the standardized landscapes at which we look are part of a projective and disembodied experience of the world.

2015
Tiergarten, Christian Ehrentraut Gallery, Berlin
Marina, Studio G7 Gallery, Bologna
Asterismo, Ex Elettrofonica Gallery, Rome

2014
Stella, Galleria nazionale d’arte moderna, Rome

2013
Stella, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin
Stella, Frankendael Foundation, Amsterdam

2011
Synecdoche Vedute, Italian Cultural Institute, London

2010
Vedute, Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia
Una domenica al Parco Sempione, Art for the World, Milan

2009
Portrait of a Collection, Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, London

2007
Souvenir Schifanoia, PAC – Palazzo Massari, Ferrara

2006
Mimesi.04 che guarda Mimesi di Giulio Paolini, Pino Casagrande Gallery, Rome

2005
Mimesi.01(II), Galleria d’arte moderna, Bologna
Mimesi.02 + Luca Pancrazzi, C/O Care Of, Milan

2004
Mimesi.00, Studio G7 Gallery, Bologna

2003
Orizzonte, Studio Ercolani, Bologna
Superfici a confronto , L.I. ART- Casina Giustiniani, Rome (with G. Asdrubali)

2002
European Parlament, Polivalent Hall, Bruxelles

2000
Miralli Gallery, Viterbo

1999
Liba Gallery, Pontedera

2016
Il racconto naturale da Claude Lorrain a Giuseppe Penone, FAR Fabbrica Arte Rimini
Airmail, Assab One, Milan
Horizontal, Casa Italia, Rio de Janeiro
Ex, MAMbo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna

2015
16º Premio Cairo, Palazzo della Permanente, Milan
Like a City, Babylon Open Atelier, Bolzano

2014
Resonance(s), Maison Particulière, Bruxelles, Belgium
Premio Fondazione VAF, Schauwerk Sindelfingen, Stadtgalerie Kiel, Palazzo della Penna, Perugia
Welt ohne Zeit: Turnover, Berlin

2014
VI.Premio Fondazione VAF, Schauwerk Sindelfingen, Stadtgalerie Kiel, Palazzo della Penna – Perugia
Resonance(s), Maison Particulière, Bruxelles

2013
Le rotte della pittura, Museo Piaggio, Pontedera
Self-Titled Space, Park, Tilburg

2012
A long time ago, in a land far, far away…, John Jones, London
Landschaft, z.B., Fricke Galleria, Berlin

2011
54. Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte della Biennale di Venezia, Padiglione Italia-Accademie, Venice
Made in Filandia, La Filanda, Pieve a Presciano
Italiens, Italian Embassy, Berlin
Mina a mano armata, Studio Geddes, Rome

2010
Impresa pittura, CIAC, Genazzano

2009
Obsession for Collection, University of Gloucestershire – Summerfield Gallery, Cheltenham
Far From Where We Came, Aaran Gallery, Tehran
Obsession, University of Leeds – Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, Leeds
Progetto Invisibile, Centro Culturale Old Pallouriotissa Market, Nicosia
Usine des rêves, 26 cc, Rome

2008
La forma confligge col tempo, Maria Grazia Del Prete Gallery, Rome
Esplorazioni, Temple University, Rome
Every line is the arch of an infinite horizon, The Agency Gallery, London – A61, Koln
Beware of the Wolf, American Academy, Rome
Vienna Biennale 08, ArtUnited, Wien
Premio Carmen Silvestroni 2008, Fabbrica delle Candele, Forlì

2007
In attesa di giudizio, MiArt Fair, Milan
The end begins, The Hospital, London
S.P.Q.R., ArtEmbassy Gallery, Berlin
Preview, Berlin Art Fair
Generazione astratta IV, Galleria d’arte moderna, Catania
Ritratto di un quadro, L.i.b.r.a. Gallery, Catania

2006
Sovereign European Art Prize 2005, Bonhams, London
SS9, Galleria d’arte moderna, Bologna and Castel San Pietro
3500 cm², American Academy, Rome
Confini, PAC – Palazzo Massari, Ferrara
…nell’ultimo minuto del tempo regolamentare, Villa Massimo, Studio 6, Rome
Opening, L.i.b.r.a. Gallery, Catania

2005
Mimesi.01(I), Bologna Art Fair – Studio G7 Gallery
Crysalis. Teoria dell’evoluzione, Castello Svevo, Bari and Trani
New Thing, Spirale Arte Gallery, Milan
Rigorosamente Bianco e Nero, Studio G7 Gallery, Bologna
Public Abstraction, International Price Ermanno Casoli, Serra San Quirico
New Thing 2, Spirale Arte Gallery, Pietrasanta
Ground Zero. Lo spazio del Nulla, Palazzo della Pretura, Castell’Arquato
Premio Maretti, Museum of San Marino
Loop, Angelo Mai, Rome

2004
ZILCH, Arte e Ricambi Gallery, Verona
Mutevoli Confini, Edieuropa Gallery, Rome
Generazione astratta, Otello Cirri Center, Pontedera

2003
Le Figure Mancanti, Palazzo Bricherasio, Turin
La Superficie Inquieta, Rocca di Bentivoglio, Bazzano
Mondi, Trevi Center, Bolzano

2002
Metapittura, Kunst Meran – Merano Arte, Meran
cARThusia 2002. Territori, Certosa of Pontignano, Siena

2000
5 Stagioni, Studio Ercolani Gallery, Bologna
Pubblico Privato, Chiostri of San Pietro, Reggio Emilia

1998
Miti, leggende e storia nella nascita di una città, Stelline Foundation – Brera Academy, Milan

1997
Attenzione alla solitudine del museo, Studio Ercolani Gallery, Bologna