Fedele Spadafora Tunisia paintings

Carthage, an exhibition featuring over thirty works by New York-based American artist Fedele Spadafora, will be on view from March 18 – April 12, 2024, at the Br. Kenneth Gallery at Iona University (New Rochelle, NY). The paintings and drawings created between 2011 and 2023 focus on Tunisia and on Carthage, an ancient port city on the northern coast of Africa, the ruins of which are in a suburb of present-day Tunis.
Spadafora, who divides his time between Manhattan and his wife’s homeland of Tunisia, offers a unique perspective. As the son of Italian immigrants in America, his perspective underscores both an insider’s and outsider’s lens on the broader world and, more specifically, Tunisia. His work delves into Tunisia’s post-revolutionary society, depicting the fundamental changes in its citizens’ lives over the past 15 years.

Spadafora’s subjects express a proud connection to tradition, alongside a yearning for new opportunities and prosperity, their hopes often tinged with despair.

In contrast to the darker circumstances depicted in his New York City paintings, the Tunisian pieces demonstrate a more intensive and lighter palette. This shift in hue corresponds to Spadafora’s initial impressions of Tunisia newly marked by revolutionary enthusiasm following the Jasmine Revolution of 2011, which are akin to his earlier experiences in Prague after the Velvet Revolution of 1989. Despite the change in color and tone, the works in Carthage maintain the artist’s unique character. He is known for lively brushwork, moody lighting, and narratives that are both specific and suggested.
“I construct each piece by using shapes in an abstract way to design the picture, continually refining these shapes until figures and landscapes emerge and become solid and real,” Fedele Spadafora said regarding his technique.

Transitioning effortlessly from portraiture to landscape to still life, he is recognized for merging personal figures with cityscapes, creating timeless human landscapes.
Spadafora’s exploration of Tunisian subject matter began in a solo exhibition titled New Paintings at Slag Contemporary in 2013. Over the years, it has evolved to include portraiture of family, friends, strangers, landscape, and still life. Carthage provides an opportunity for Spadafora to present a large selection of works strictly related to this distinctive subject matter.
Iona University’s Br. Kenneth Chapman Gallery is located at 665 North Avenue, New Rochelle, NY 10801. 

About Fedele Spadafora

After earning a B.A. from Michigan State University, Spadafora ventured to Prague, working as an illustrator and book publisher. He later relocated to New York City, dedicating five years to studying with Nelson Shanks at the Art Students League of New York and Studio Incamminati in Philadelphia.

His art reflects a continuous fascination with people, places, nature, and landscapes.
Spadafora’s work has been exhibited in New York, Frankfurt, and Tunis, and he is represented by Galerie Leuenroth in Frankfurt, Germany.

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