Vico Fabris Fantasy Botanicals
Imaginalis at Provincetown’s Rice Polk Gallery
By: Charles Giuliano - Aug 18, 2015
For many years the Italian born artist, Vico Fabbris, and his wife Grace Consoli, were summer residents in Provincetown. He worked at Sal’s and she ran cooperative galleries.
They were my long time colleagues at New England School of Art & Design. He exhibited in the gallery program I curated and Grace taught art history.
Regularly they have commuted to a home in Florence, a pied a terre in Boston, and a property in Greenfield in Western Mass.
They have retained roots in the Provincetown arts community including annual exhibitions of Vico’s work.
His watercolor renderings of imagined botanicals have long intrigued me. They conflate a rich knowledge of nature and the ability to expand it to new and intriguing levels of evolution.
We live in an age when through our neglect and brutality species of all kinds constantly become extinct. This is an irreversible process predicting that mankind is yet another doomed species.
The joy of his work, what a life embracing metaphor, is that through a unique vision new species are being spawned all the time.
Over the course of decades Fabbris has created a remarkable body of surreal botany.
If you have the pleasure to speak with him it is charming and fun to learn that every new exotic flower comes with its own colorful backstory.
What informs the work is an indelible and very Italian sense of the whimsical and poetic.
Each new exhibition furthers the saga of an ever expanding universe. On the seventh day the creator rested.
The ever remarkable Vico has taken it from there.
Rice Polak Gallery
August 20 thru September 10, 2015
Gallery Press Release
Born in Italy, Vico Fabbris received his MFA from l’Accademia di Belle Arti and attended l’Istituto d’Arte Porta Romana both in Florence. He presently divides his time between that city, Boston and Provincetown.
Vico paints imaginary botanical still life’s, imbuing each with a soul and personality making it distinctive from the rest. In “reading” these works, the viewer is faced with the task of having to reflect on what is real and what imagined. Fabbris executes his paintings with so tremendous a representational acuity and skillful ease that they are utterly suggestive of the identifiable. Yet, Fabbris’ world is purely imaginary.
It is a truly magical one of mysterious plants which appear to have once existed and which he showcases in phantasmagoric spaces replete with backgrounds filled with such exotic elements as nomadic tribes, ancient ruins, and tangled masses of tropical vegetation.
What at first glance appears quite traditional and almost classical becomes, upon closer inspection, totally surreal.
Vico was the recipient of two Massachusetts Cultural Council Awards in painting, selected for New American Painting and his work has recently been exhibited in "Second Nature" at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum and at The Studios Key West where he was awarded an Artist in Residence.