American Artist Christian Holstad Unveils Papier-Mâché in Cotignola

Discover the transformative power of papier-mâché in Christian Holstad’s groundbreaking exhibition “Salve” at the Civic Museum Luigi Varoli in Cotignola, Italy.

COTIGNOLA, Italy – In a celebration of contemporary art and the transformative power of papier-mâché, the Civic Museum Luigi Varoli of Cotignola (RA) proudly announces the inauguration of “Salve,” a groundbreaking exhibition by American artist Christian Holstad. The event, scheduled for Saturday, March 9, 2024, at 5 p.m. at Palazzo Sforza, marks a significant milestone in the exploration and enhancement of papier-mâché within the realm of modern art.

Curated by Gioele Melandri, “Salve” emerges from a comprehensive project aimed at delving into the multifaceted dimensions of papier-mâché in contemporary artistic expression. Christian Holstad, born in Anaheim, California, in 1972, stands at the forefront of this exploration, infusing his unique sensibility into the exhibition’s fabric.

The exhibition delves deep into Holstad’s profound sensitivity towards various themes inherent in papier-mâché artistry. From themes of rejection to the transformation of waste into potential resources, Holstad’s works serve as a poignant reflection on the contradictions permeating today’s consumer society. Through his personal and visionary approach, Holstad seeks to demystify societal constructs, employing a diverse array of materials and techniques including reused materials like newspaper, fruit tree prunings, and discarded plastic.

“Papier-mâché serves as a trigger, igniting a journey through the intricate tapestry of Christian Holstad’s artistic vision,” explains curator Gioele Melandri. “In ‘Salve,’ we witness the convergence of tradition and innovation, as papier-mâché transcends its conventional boundaries to provoke thought and evoke emotion.”

The exhibition unfolds in two distinct yet interconnected acts. The first act, titled “A flutter of butterflies atop debris to reach our gentle heights,” debuts on the opening day, featuring Holstad’s monumental installation, “Gentle Parade.” This captivating ensemble comprises deformed shopping carts adorned with papier-mâché butterflies, symbolizing a call to gentleness and delicacy amidst societal upheaval. Alongside this installation, Holstad’s paper sculptures from the late 1990s will be showcased, alongside new works created specifically for the occasion.

Following the opening act, “Hello” takes center stage on Friday, April 12, inviting visitors to explore Holstad’s drawings crafted from newspaper paper since the 1990s. The exhibition extends beyond the confines of the museum, occupying the sacred space of the Church of Pio Suffragio, where Holstad’s sculptural works find a harmonious juxtaposition with the surroundings. An accompanying event, curated by the cultural association MAGMA, promises an immersive experience, further enriching the exhibition’s narrative.

“Salve” represents a testament to the collaborative efforts of the Municipality of Cotignola and Gruppo Hera, fostering cultural enrichment and artistic innovation within the Romagna region. As Holstad’s first solo exhibition in Romagna, the event underscores the artist’s enduring connection to the region, where he has immersed himself for several years.

Accompanied by a comprehensive catalog and a diverse program of guided tours and educational workshops, “Salve” invites audiences to embark on a transformative journey through the creative mind of Christian Holstad.

Christian Holstad’s illustrious career spans international exhibitions, from Paris to New York, showcasing his unparalleled talent and unwavering commitment to artistic expression. As “Salve” takes center stage in Cotignola, it reaffirms Holstad’s status as a visionary artist pushing the boundaries of papier-mâché artistry on a global scale.

Museo Civico Luigi Varoli, Palazzo Sforza
Corso Sforza 21, Cotignola (Ravenna)

Until the 30th of June

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