Andrea Padovani. "Opera in the Courtyard", 2015
Andrea Padovani. "Opera in the Courtyard", 2015, oil on canvas, 24" x 36"
Old-world charm permeates Andrea Padovani’s paintings. Perhaps that’s not surprising for he was born in 1961 in Verona, the Italian city best known for Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet. Padovani’s interior scenes often feature airy rooms with high ceilings, ornate chandeliers and large, inviting tables bathed in slanting sunshine. It’s no surprise that he admires the work of French painter Pierre Bonnard.
While Padovani’s rich tonalities evoke the warmth of the Mediterranean lifestyle, his paintings are largely devoid of human presence. Padovani, who describes himself as a contemplative, says he finds people distracting when he is absorbed by beauty, whether he’s painting a vase of flowers or enjoying a scenic vista while hiking. He prefers to create a sense of spaciousness and possibility.
Padovani studied political science at the University of Bologna, and then worked as an accountant, a profession he disliked, before turning to art. With young children to support, failure was not an option. He moved to Canada 19 years ago, choosing Vancouver strategically for its proximity to the American art market. Since the 2008 economic downturn, he has been selling more in Europe, particularly the Netherlands, where he recently had his 11th show.
While Padovani’s work may seem out of step with contemporary art trends, he wants viewers to enjoy an unmediated experience, without the explanations often required by more conceptual art. “I think you have to have a direct connection with art,” he says. “When you’re in front of a large painting, you feel the vibration going through you.”
Andrea Padovani is represented by West Vancouver’s Buckland Southerst Gallery, where he has a solo show that runs Nov. 5 to Nov. 14. His work sells for $1,500 to $22,000.