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TRACCE – TRACES, works 1977-2023 | Michelangelo Russo

The Italian Cultural Institute of Melbourne is pleased to present Tracce, a retrospective exhibition of the work of Michelangelo Russo, curated by Mariella Del Conte.

“Maestro, that is how I call Michelangelo nowadays.
I’ve know him for more than twenty years […] I admire his talent, his creativity and his passion for the Arts.
The idea of Maestro’s retrospective stemmed from an impromptu lunch together in the city after visiting his exhibition Vele at 45 Downstairs last year. I asked him if he still had past unsold works and if was possible to see them. […] Intrigued and exited, I thought about a retrospective and how it would be the perfect fit for unearthing his paintings and show them to his current audience. I proposed to sponsor him and that’s how Tracce came to be.”

Renato Ravenna

The exhibition will feature around 60 works and 10 sculptures created between 1992 and the present day, and will be held at FortyFive Downstairs Gallery, Flinders Lane, Melbourne, from 5 to 16 September 2023.

“This survey exhibition spans more than four decades of Michelangelo Russo’s evolving practice.
From Michelangelo’s early figurative and ‘political’ paintings in the 1980’s through to his distilled abstraction works in the late 1990’s until the present day, the artist has always been concerned with surface and texture.
Michelangelo’s mastery of various mediums has been demonstrated through his fascination with intricate traditional techniques such as the use of Gold Leaf creating luscious abstract paintings reminiscent of Byzantine art. He has further expanded his craft with the introduction of organic textured materials such as stitched canvas coffee bags, fabric, rope, cardboard incorporated into rich layers of pigmented wax, the ancient encaustic technique.
In 2019 Michelangelo collaborated with artist Jennifer Jabu exploring themes of sustainability with the use of all natural materials. These hung artworks are textural, jutting from the surface, their multidimensionality referencing architectural relief. The exhibition also includes examples of three-dimensional sculptural works in a rich array of pure solid colours enveloped by the encaustic technique. “

Mariella Del Conte, Curator

The exhibition is accompanied by the publication of TRACCE – TRACES, works 1977-2023: a 100-copy colour book containing more than 100 images of works made from 1977 to the present.


MAGENTA 2000 oil, Dutch gold leaf and shellac on linen cm. 167 X 213


  • Organized by: Michelangelo Russo
  • In collaboration with: Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Melbourne