Francesco João, Untitled, 2019, gouache on canvas, 145 × 100 cm 
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Francesco João’s practice indulges in the ambivalence of the pictorial method, stressing the duality between the immediacy, and the over-complexity of the medium. Immersed in a constantly-changing, hyper-evolving loop of reconfiguration, the medium of painting enduringly affirms its substance both through historical legitimation and through the confrontation against fast-disseminated images adhering to the sphere of the digital.

The complexity of this specific gesture-painting finds its reflection in João’s work, where the image is produced through the use of a complex schema of juxtaposed layers, which let forms emerge through subtraction. Delving deep into the calibrated tangibility of the canvas, João’s gesture is oriented towards the production of images functioning as ideas. The immediacy–say, the innocence–of painting is the actual core on which Francesco João’s work is grounded. In other words, his ability to deliver meaning without many formal obstacles, whilst also being self-conscious when investigating the nature of the medium itself.

The canvases produced by the artist in these last years consist of an elaboration of a visual language that is disruptive in its sensuality and rawness. Gradient palettes and dreamy textures murmur secrets of escapism, forgotten horizons, and rarefied galaxies, where layers and layers of gouache protect from the gaze of the viewer. In João’s work, the coalescence of the enigmatic and the pragmatic is tangible, as it is the association of simple, direct scenarios with extra-complications that often hijack the linearity of his paintings. This dualism triggers the idyllic mystery that is latent in João’s production– that feeling of ethereal fascination when facing the large panels wrapped in raw canvas.

Francesco João (Milan, 1987) lives and works in São Paulo.
His exhibitions include 1550 San Remo Drive, Hot Wheels, Athens (2020); Francesco João, Mendes Wood DM, Brussels (2019); Knife in the flesh - Contemporary Brazilian Art, Pac - Padiglione d'Arte Contemporanea, Milan (2018); Donkey Man, Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo (2017); Everything tends to ascend. Or not., Pivô, São Paulo (2016); Summertime ’78, Kunsthalle São Paulo, São Paulo (2015); Nimm’s Mal Easy, Ausstellungsraum Klingental, Basel (2015); Extra DRY, Peep Hole/DRY, Milan (2014); Dizionario di Pittura, Galleria Francesca Minini, Milan (2014); The Opposite of the Opposite Opposite of the Opposite, Gasconade, Milan (2012).


Solo Shows

Francesco João, Mendes Wood DM, Brussels, Belgium
Donkey Man, Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo, Brazil
Everything Tend to Ascend. Or Not., Pivô, São Paulo, Brazil
Summertime ’78, Kunsthalle Sao Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
Extra DRY, Peep Hole, Milan, Italy
Studiolo#8, Cabinet, Milan, Italy  
The Opposite of the Opposite Opposite of the Opposite, Gasconade, Milan, Italy
Il Quarto Passo with Dario Guccio, Grand Hotel et de Milan / Spazio Oberdan, Milan, Italy

Group Shows

What's Up / Twenty Twenty, LVH Art, London, United Kingdom
1550 San Remo Drive, Hot Wheels, Athens, Greece
Summer Show, Castiglioni, Milan, Italy
Le Monde Ou Rien, Sgomento, Naples, Italy
Knife in the flesh - Contemporary Brazilian Art, Pac - Padiglione d'Arte Contemporanea, Milan, Italy
A Terceira Mão, Curated by Erika Verzutti, Galeria Fortes D’Aloia Gabriel, São Paulo, Brazil 
Neither., Mendes Wood DM Brussels, Brussels, Belgium
Outdoor I, Warm, São Paulo, Brazil
Nimm’s Mal Easy, Ausstellungsraum Klingental, Basel, Switzerland
Dizionario di Pittura, Galleria Francesca Minini, Milan, Italy
Art-O-Rama, Marseille, France
Summer Painting Show, Il Crepaccio, Milan, Italy
One Thousand Four Hundred and Sixty, Peep Hole, Milan, Italy
Gasconade 2013 Portfolios, Pastificio Cerere, Rome, Italy
Don’t Be a Ham!! (Christmas Party), by Ari Marcopoulos, Family Business, New York, USA
Fuoriclasse, GAM Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Milan, Italy
Agenzia 200, UniCredit Studio, Milan / Trento, Italy
Roaming Off-Cells, Museo dʼArte Contemporanea Villa Croce, Genoa, Italy
Gioberti1, Milan, Italy 
Fuori Salone, Motel Lucie, Milan, Italy 
Crola. NoNo Wallpaper, Motel Lucie, Lucie Fontaine, Milan, Italy

Francesco João Francesco João
Curated by Fernanda Brenner
Alessandro Carano, Francesco João Donkey Man