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A Monstrous Fruit
SETAREH Berlin is pleased to present the solo exhibition with artist Bea Bonafini under the title A Monstrous Fruit.
11.02.22–26.03.22
SETAREH Berlin is pleased to announce Bea Bonafini's first solo exhibition in Germany A Monstrous Fruit.The starting point for Bea Bonafini’s exhibition of new paintings, drawings and tapestries was the labyrinth. Delving into Hermann Kern’s 1981 book on the subject during her 2020 residency at the British School at Rome, she researched this archetype, which goes back over 5000 years.The title of Bonafini’s 2022 exhibition, A Monstrous Fruit, derives from a line by Euripides, who describes the Minotaur as “a hybrid form, a monstrous fruit.” Bonafini likens the creature to “the way a fruit or a body rots and changes, where a succulent nutrient fruit becomes repulsive and toxic.”
In Bonafini’s Earth’s Bowels (2022), a single-path labyrinth also doubles as an intestine or a brain, delicate fleshy tissue gently curving, ever winding and coiling upon itself. Painted with liquid washes of gouache and watercolour pencils, jewel-like colours reminiscent of Hilma af Klint – deep purples and blues rubbing up against pastels of yellow, pink and peach – swim as myriad subdivisions. Camouflaged within this softness are two bodies separated across two panels. A flexed foot, the sweep of a thigh, a face in profile. These people are at once isolated within the labyrinth whilst also being the labyrinth, imprisoned by the very lines that too express their existence. A space of confined interiority is suggested; thought patters impeding our bodies, trapped in a stream of overthinking.

Earth's Bowels, 2022
Gouache and watercolour on engraved cork
88 x 80 cm
Bea Bonafini
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Bea Bonafini
Eternal Incadescent, 2022
Gouache and watercolour on engraved cork
126 x 111 cm
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Bea Bonafini
Plinian Fire, 2022
Bamboo Silk, handtufted
195 x 145 cm
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Bea Bonafini
Alluvial, 2022
Bamboo Silk, handtufted
195 x 153 cm
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Bea Bonafini
The World's Night, 2022
Gouache and watercolour on engraved cork
144 x 125 cm
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Bea Bonafini
Purer and Purer, 2022
Gouache and watercolour on engraved cork
140 x 125 cm
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Bea Bonafini
Cosmic Fruit, 2022
Gouache and watercolour on engraved cork
80 x 80 cm
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Fishing Scorpions, 2021
Gouache on engraved cork
25 x 25 cm
Bea Bonafini
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Bea Bonafini
Tied, 2021
Gouache and carat d'ache on engraved cork
25 x 25,5 cm
Bea Bonafini
Fishing Skeletons, 2021
Gouache on engraved cork
25 x 25 cm
Bea Bonafini
Alluvial, 2021
Pastel on sennelier card
79 x 69 x 3 cm
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Bea Bonafini
Return Unto the Ground, 2021
Pastel on sennelier card
65 x 55 x 3 cm
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Bea Bonafini
Twisting Darkness, 2021
Pastel on sennelier card
79 x 69 x 3 cm
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Bea Bonafini
Ashed to Bone, 2021
Pastel on sennelier card
79 x 69 x 3 cm
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Bea Bonafini
Magma Melt, 2021
Pastel on Sennelier card
65 x 55 x 3 cm
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Bea Bonafini (1990, Bonn, Germany) lives and works between London and Rome. In 2014 she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Slade School of Fine Art and in 2016 a Master of Fine Arts in painting from the Royal College of Art, London. Solo exhibitions include: Sfiorare Fantasmi; Twin Waves, Operativa, Rome (2020); Chimère, Chloe Salgado, Paris (2019); Talk to the Hand, Bosse & Baum, London (2019); Dovetail’s Nest. Zabludowicz Collection, Invites, London (2017); The artist has participated in numerous residencies: Palazzo Monti, Brescia (2021); Rosa Lee Travel Grant, British School at Rome (2020); Abbey Scholarship, British School at Rome (2019-2020); La Berlugane-Maleki Residency and Commission Beaulieu-sur-Mer, France (2019); Platform Southwark Studio Residency, London (2018), Fibra Residency, Colombia (2018), Fieldworks Studio Residency, London (2017), Villa Lena, Italy (2016) and The Beekeepers Residency, Portugal (2015).