Antonio Agresti aka AGRE
Born in Formia (LT) in 1961 and raised in Naples where he graduated in Architecture. He has practiced both in architecture studies and in his own, as well as in the municipal administration of his city of origin. He currently lives and works in Rome, devoting himself mainly to artistic activity. In 2004 he followed a series of lectures on paper collages at a cultural association in the capital and since then the artistic research has continued to be solitary in the production of small collage made with newspaper. Since 2012 the wall posters become the raw material for his larger works and in the following year he presents himself to the public with his first exhibition. Antonio Agresti, who signs his collages as AGRE, has exhibited in Italy and abroad.
2018 RINASCENZA, Caffè letterario “Sinestetica”, Roma
2017 AGRE61, Museo del Brigantaggio, Itri (LT) - Emersione dal negletto, Sala Orsini, Formello (RM)
2016 Antonio Agresti collage, Le petit magasin, Nevers (F) - S_TRACCIATI, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Colonia (D)
2015 RRT, studio ABW Warnant Architecture, Nevers (F) - NNT, studio Emmepiquadroesse architetti associati, Roma
2013 AGRE, Laboratorio della birra e del gusto “Hopside”, Roma - SCARTi, Caffè letterario “FRANE”, Roma - CICATRICI, Libreria Feltrinelli, Latina
2020 Nature Utopia, Spazio Faro, Roma - 2020 tiny Biennale, Temple University of Rome - #DomaniInArte contest - Galleria d'Arte Moderna di Roma - Dialogs2019 contemporary connection - atelier97 arte contemporanea - La Spezia (virtuale)
2019 LUCE tiny Biennale, Temple University of Rome - Arte come Linguaggio Universale, Cappella Orsini, Roma
2018 CARTAMANTI, Galleria Spazio 40, Roma - ALOA Architetti Artisti, Casa dell'Architettura, Roma - Arte come Linguaggio Universale, Castello di Santa Severa (RM) e Museo Giannini (LT) - APOLIDI, Fabbrica del Vapore, Milano - NOTTE tiny Biennale, Temple University of Rome - GIALLO, Galleria Spazio 40, Roma
2017 Arte come Linguaggio Universale, Natale in Comune, Tolfa (RM) - openARTmarket XX edizione, Fornderia delle Arti, Roma - ALOA Architetti Artisti, Casa dell'Architettura, Roma Effetto riciclo, RAW Arte Borgo Gallery, Roma - GIALLO tiny Biennale, Temple University of Rome
2016 Asta di beneficenza "Arte con un cuore" Keren Hayesod Francoforte e Galerie AM PARK, Francoforte (D) - II Biennale d'arte della terra aurunca, Castello di Itri (LT)
2015 San Giuseppe A' Memoria”, Museo del Brigantaggio, Itri (LT)
2017 Tina Prize ediz. Amsterdam e Torino – Finalista selezionato dalla giuria
2019 Street Levels Gallery, Firenze
2020 CSA Farm Gallery - Torino
2019 Il riscatto dello scarto - MACRO Asilo Museo di arte contemporanea, Roma
Think about an architect, Antonio Agresti, who lives between Naples and Rome, who works every day with … a city that lives and prospers, that raises and folds on itself. That flourishes and withers.
Now imagine him immersed in the urban nature, watchful of the gifts of the urban jungle made up of buildings and streets, of echoes and signals conversing between billboards, posters and newspapers. Cements and bricks and paper and glue. And signs.
Know that he is respectful and fascinated by that which is born to communicate, and that is discarded, forgotten, literally refused, thrown away in trash bins.
See him one night, walking in the street of Rome and grabbing, or better grasping, a shred tattered poster with traces of glues on black hatch. Here, in this gesture, you meet the artist, Agre.
The artistic journey of Agre starts and is founded on communication material - corroded by the passing of time and weather, consumed and deprived of meaning by the indifference of pedestrians – to which is given new meanings. Agre uses this material for his collages, which reveal his professional background. As an architect, he searches in the shapes and nature of the tear the matrix of new compositions, leading from the surface of the page to new imagery of forms, colors and signs. The artist nourishes himself with these fragments of communication – along with Burri’s chromatic spots and humble materials, and Rotella’s graphic de-constructions – metabolizing them, and re-composing them into original ways, for a renewed dignity of existence.
Look at his body of work. Agre uses colors spots manipulating them into true and real brush strokes, utilizing letters and fonts, pulling together foreign materials, embracing ideas from different sources, in a rational and intuitive way, accessible and abstract. To give everything back in the form of art pieces which still keep “footprints” of the original codes, but are now transformed into “blueprints” towards a new meaning.
The fragments of codes and the shreds of materials emerge from a stratification that is like metropolitan archeology, but goes beyond merciful preservation - placing under a glass to stop the decay – to create a new poetic drenched in a vital spirit.
“Scars”, “Scraps” and now “Stripped” are titles of some of Antonio Agresti art shows. These titles well describe the poetic elements which identify the artist’s journey, and perhaps suggest something more: life experience itself and maybe suffering – because a “tear” is never without pain – which in its doing and consuming enriches itself, and becomes, and discovers its true meaning and value.