Adelaide Cioni: Ab ovo

9 Mar-25 Apr 2023


For her first solo show in the UK, Italian artist Adelaide Cioni (b. 1976) presents Ab ovo. The exhibition is the culmination of the artist’s ongoing exploration of decorative patterns and is her most ambitious project to date, investigating visual language across mediums in a large-scale format. Presented at Mimosa House, Ab ovo is supported by the Italian Council, Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity, Italian Ministry of Culture. It runs from 9 March until 25 April 2023 and admission is free.

The central concern of Ab ovo (literally, ‘from the very beginning’) is the recurrence of abstract patterns–stripes, triangles, grids, circles, stylized leaves and stars–both in artefacts and in nature. These recur throughout history and across geographical areas, from early non-western visual imagery to present-day systems and testify to a connection between humans and objects in a non-linear way suggesting a common visual heritage. Yet they have no voice and no story. Ab ovo is a song of the margins, a confrontation between human and non-human language.

Cioni works at the intersection of painting, textiles and performance. Drawing is at the core of her practice, based on a feminist non-narrative approach. During the exhibition (on 8 and 11 March) she will premiere a new performance exploring how music and the dancing body respond to these abstract patterns. There will be an artist’s talk on 30 March and the Ab ovo publication will be launched on 25 April.

Cioni says, ‘Patterns are the visualisation of a rhythm in space. This rhythm takes on different shapes and colours to express the different vibrations of whoever is creating it. And it is repetitive and constant because that is the basis of life. The heart and our internal organs are repetitive and constant. They are the bass line of our existence. So, patterns are a portrayal of the bass line of our existence. Making or drawing a pattern is like singing a song. Projecting out your own rhythm, your own vibration. To see it double itself, to have confirmation of your being real.’

About Adelaide Cioni

Adelaide Cioni was born in Bologna in 1976 and works between Umbria and London. She studied drawing at UCLA and holds a BA in Sculpture from the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome. She has an MA in contemporary history and a master’s degree in Literary Translation. Her recent projects include Io dico io (I say I), Galleria Nazionale, Rome (2021); And the flowers too, Museo Orto Botanico, Rome (2021); Painting stone, Villa Lontana, Rome (2021); Tout court. Un aperçu de l’art italien, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Paris (2021); Dante. Un’epopea pop, MAR, Ravenna (all 2021); Shape, color, taste, smell and sound, double solo show with Guy Mees, P420 (2019). In 2022 she was artist in residence at Gasworks, London. She is represented by P420, Bologna @ad_cio.

The project is curated by Ilaria Puri Purini a curator and art historian based in London currently working at the Contemporary Art Society. She collaborates with the Fondazione Memmo in Rome on the residency for an Italian artist at Gasworks, London. Previously she held curatorial roles at the Victoria & Albert Museum, Tate Modern, MART in Rovereto, the Guggenheim in New York and Mehdi Chouakri Gallery in Berlin. She wrote a PhD on the relation between dance and the visual arts in Weimar Germany. Her findings have appeared in Photography and Culture and Dance Review.


Project supported by the Italian Council (11th edition, 2022) the programme aimed at supporting Italian contemporary art in the world promoted by the Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity within the Italian Ministry of Culture. In partnership with Fondazione Memmo, Rome and in collaboration with Gasworks.