SERGIO BREVIARIO | Ciao bambino, questo disegno è per te che vedi in tua madre una strega

10 June - 15 July 2024, Subplace, Milan (Italy)

Stop, become a child again, curl up and stop taking yourself (too) seriously for a moment. Let the boundaries of reality dilate and you will be seduced by a sudden epiphany, a woman’s face, uncanny and elusive, depicted with maniacal perfection. Sergio Breviario is a contemporary mannerist: technical refinement and executive skill combine with the apparent ease of a work born, almost by chance, from a doodle that has developed acquiring body, expanding its elegant valves until it becomes bas-relief and then sculpture-object enclosing a precious pearl-drawing.
Sergio Breviario is a contemporary Mannerist: technical refinement and executive skill combine with the apparent ease of a work born, almost by chance, from a doodle that has developed by acquiring body, expanding its elegant valves until it became a bas-relief and then a sculpture-object enclosing a precious pearl-drawing.  A feminine face that is given in perceptible details only in the proximity of the gaze – that of the child in its mother’s arms – which allows ancestral recognition and is, at the same time, mirroring. But this mother is not a Madonna, rather she is a witch who manifests the obscure, instinctual and chaotic aspect present in the unconscious: a fearsome power, part of our nature, which we must necessarily face and tame in order to be able to identify our Self and succeed in seeing in the mysterious enchantress a familiar and affectionate figure. And it is familiarity, trust and affection that allow Breviario to alter the physiognomies of the subjects portrayed, sublimating them into landscapes, breaking down their features by translating them into abstractions, hybridising them with historical-artistic citations, offering multiple visions for a representation that goes beyond two-dimensionality and comes alive, winking, without ever losing recognisability in certain details, as in this drawing portraying the artist’s wife. You have to have faith, Breviario argues, and take some risks to see beyond the everyday appearance. To look into the face of the work as equals, without mediation, as in childhood: and it is for this reason that this drawing is for you, child (of today and yesterday, I might add) who see in your mother a witch.


Sergio Breviario (Bergamo, 1974) works in Milan. His research is based on the verification of exhibition systems that are themselves artistic processes. Oscillating between modernist utopia and post-modern consciousness, he stages exhibition mechanisms without absolute certainties, experimenting with a participatory approach. Drawing has always accompanied the process of image formulation. Since 2003 he has been exhibiting in Italy and abroad in solo and group exhibitions including: I am convinced, she would have smiled. I am convinced, she would have smiled. She would have smiled, Ex Elettrofonica, Rome, 2023; Two: Numbers are not important, Galleria Marie-Laure Fleisch, Brussels, Belgium, 2022; Avrei brio, Casa degli Artisti, Milan, 2021; Bodies on stage, performances from home in the time of quarantine, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rijeka, Croatia, 2020; Nimbus or square halo and Watteaux drawing, Ex Elettrofonica, Rome, 2019; Profili del mondo, Biennale del disegno, Museo della Città, Rimini, 2016; Vitello tonnato, Plutschow Gallery, Zurich, 2016; The Belle of the ball, Museo d’arte contemporanea, Lissone, 2015; Drawing for Lightnings, Kunstraum t27, Berlin, 2014; Arimortis, Museo del 900, Milan, 2013; Prototipo di macchina per la conquista del mondo, Fondazione Pescheria Centro Arti Visive, Pesaro, 2012; A ruota libera, MAXXI Museo delle Arti del XXI secolo, Rome, 2011.

SUBPLACE is an extra-ordinary space that coexists with the usual and the contingent, bringing the visual languages of art – which stand as an alternative to the logic of production/consumption – into this place of transit, into the flux of everyday life, offering itself as an opportunity for a direct and personal aesthetic experience, without mediation or stratification for a public that finds itself ‘stumbling’ upon the work on its usual path. The name refers to its underground location, in the mezzanine of Villapizzone Station. The ‘showcase’ hosts site-specific artist projects offering installations, sculptures, videos and paintings.
SUBPLACE is an emanation of Surplace, an independent space for the promotion of contemporary art practices active in Varese from 2014 to 2022. From this experience, configured as an ‘experimental station’ where the roles of artist, curator and critic dissolve in favour of putting the work at the centre, the SUBPLACE ‘showcase’ is born as an experiment in public art. The exhibition project is self-managed and entirely self-financed and is curated by Joykix (Fabrizio Longo) and Rossella Moratto.

Subplace – Villapizzone railway link station via Arnaldo Fusinato, 20156 Milan (MI)