On the work of painter Nicola Samorì

“Every well-established language is the embodiment of a ghost that never ceases to push out the shape from within even when its image seems to be complete. I reconstruct the outcomes of the trials that have characterised these different seasons and I shake them while their bodies are still soft.


In painting, empirical or sense knowledge underpins many different aspects of practice, however colour must be one of the most deeply felt, yet least understood of these elements. To the painter, paint colour is a malleable, concentrated multifunctional mass — it’s central role in illusion can be both exciting and burdensome. When painting,

Iconoclastic Gesture and the Painted Body

© Chelsea Lehmann, 2015 UNSW Art & Design Postgraduate Research Conference, September 22. Presentation notes: In this presentation I expand upon my research proposition: ‘The painted surface as a live field of matter’, which I broadly contextualise as a form of ‘relational materiality’. In short, I create densely layered paintings using

“The painted surface as a live field of data” (Excerpt from lecture 8.7.15 at Kyoto University, Japan)

Conventionally, the presentation layer of a painting is seen as affective—what you see is what you get; my​ PhD methodology positions ‘the underneath’ as having affect, positing the surface as a complex accretion of material, imagery and processual changes.​ Within painting conservation, scientific imaging techniques are used to observe, protect

Face off

In 2004, thirty-nine specialists completed a comprehensive scientific examination of the Mona Lisa using radiology’s most advanced noninvasive and nondestructive techniques without taking the 500-year-old painting down from the wall in the Louvre. The process of fluorescence spectrometry allowed scientists to see each layer of paint that was built up on the surface by Da

History Gripes and Strikes

Art historical paintings are a prime target for the iconoclastic gesture. They are protected by an array of value systems which are embedded in institutions such as museums, art schools and the art market. These institutions archive, preserve, restore, analyse, present and assign economic worth to art historical paintings in order to sustain

‘Seeing’ with Infrared

18th-century astronomer Sir Frederick William Herschel discovered infrared radiation on 11 February 1800 when he was testing filters for the sun. He did this by passing sunlight through a prism and holding a thermometer just beyond the red end of the visible spectrum. Infrared light lies just outside the visible portion


The iconoclastic gesture is as articulate as it is mute. It desires a truth which is just out of reach, somewhere in the future. At the same time it commemorates and repeats the transformative event which becomes more and more distant. Walter Benjamin said, “This is how one pictures the angel of history.

The Original of Laura

 The Original of Laura This work explores the iconoclastic gesture as a secular, creative act enacted on the painted surface. The exhibition takes its title from Vladimir Nabokov’s last novel The Original of Laura, a work of fiction he was writing at the time of his death in 1977. The

The iconoclastic gesture

The iconoclastic gesture is one frequently and often necessarily enacted in the public domain. Iconoclasm as spectacle or “protest art” is commonly aimed at destabilising political symbols and in this sense has a revolutionary function. What of the iconoclastic gesture that is directed towards one’s own artwork?. The relatively private

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