SURROGATI. UN AMORE IDEALE at FONDAZIONE PRADA, Milan

SURROGATI. UN AMORE IDEALE at FONDAZIONE PRADA, Milan

SURROGATI. UN AMORE IDEALE
FONDAZIONE PRADA, Milan Osservatorio
21 Feb – 22 Jul 2019

Fondazione Prada presents “Surrogati. Un amore ideale” (Surrogate. A Love Ideal), an exhibition curated by Melissa Harris, from 21 February to 22 July 2019 at the Osservatorio venue in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan. Comprising a selection of 42 photographic works by Jamie Diamond (Brooklyn, USA, 1983) and Elena Dorfman (Boston, USA, 1965), the project explores the notions of familial, romantic and sexual love. Both artists focus on a specific and unconventional aspect of this universal theme: the emotional link between a man or a woman and a synthetic representation of a human. As explained by Melissa Harris, “together, Diamond’s and Dorfman’s work presented in ‘Surrogati’ vividly and nonjudgmentally documents the interactions of humans with their lifelike, inanimate companions.”

In her series “Forever Mothers” (2012-2018) and “Nine Months of Reborning” (2014), Jamie Diamond documented the life of an outsider art making community called the Reborners, a group of self-taught female artists who hand-make, collect and interact with hyper-realistic dolls that fulfill a desire for motherhood. In her other exhibited project titled “I Promise to be a Good Mother” (2007-2012), Diamond played the role of a perfect mother, dressing up in her own mother’s clothes and interacting with Annabelle, a reborn doll. Inspired by and named after a diary she kept as a girl, the project evolved into an exploration of the complexity of social stereotypes and cultural conventions that surround and shape the relationship between mother and child.

“Still Lovers” (2001-04), a series of photographs that brought Elena Dorfman international acclaim, focuses on the domestic lives of men and women who devote themselves to lifesize, anatomically realistic sex dolls. Her photographs explore the emotional ties between humans and perfectly formed synthetic women, forcing us to evaluate our own notions of love and the value of an object that has the power to replace a human being. The artist’s interest was not to exploit the deviancy of these sexual surrogates, but rather to reveal the fascinating world of intimacy between flesh and silicone. Both photographers portrayed these lifelike surrogates as desired, fetishized, and idealized beings, “living” as such with their flesh and blood mothers and partners, and sometimes with their immediate families as well. As stated by Melissa Harris, “by showing these vignettes of traditional domesticity, love, and/or eroticism, Dorfman’s and Diamond’s representations take on an unexpected poignancy.”

All images > “Surrogati. Un amore ideale” Osservatorio Fondazione Prada. Photo: Mattia Balsamini

AGAINST COLOUR STROKE VECTORS at Massimo De Carlo gallery, Milan

AGAINST COLOUR STROKE VECTORS at Massimo De Carlo gallery, Milan

GÜNTHER FÖRG, MARIO MERZ, EMILIO VEDOVA, MARY WEATHERFORD
AGAINST COLOUR STROKE VECTORS
Massimo De Carlo, Milan, Belgioioso
From May 29 to July 12, 2019

Massimo De Carlo presents Against Colour Stroke Vectors presenting works by Günther Förg, Mario Merz, Emilio Vedova and Mary Weatherford. The exhibition brings together seminal works by each artist, with the aim to investigate the variations of the relationship between the dynamism of the medium, the spatial degrees of object-hood in the context of the canvas, and qualities of colour. All artists on display have, consciously or unconsciously, explored ideational, interpersonal or textual functions of the canvas and the work of art: from Förg’s daunting and materic bronze to Merz’s 1980’s investigations of nature, to Vedova’s propulsive energy and Mary Weatherford’s echoing glass light tubes – the discourse can always be drawn back to the complex yet unstructured space between thought and action. Absolute and infinite, void and darkness, gesture and logic, light and dimensionality are tangible in each work in the exhibition.

The two works on display by German artist Günther Förg, belonging to two different bodies of work, embody the artist’s reflections on spatiality and materials. In the bronze painting in the first room, a material that the artist started using in the late 1980’s, the artist challenges and evolves from the stereotypical notion of canvas by using bronze: the result is that these dimensional pieces have an immersive character, where the painterly gesture combined with the physicality of bronze draws the viewer to a reflection on the sublime and sobriety. The grey painting in the second room is part of a larger group of works that Förg first executed in 1973 continuing through to his death in 2013: these elegant, dense works showcase not only the artist’s evolving relationship with the monochrome, but also embody the multiple material and conceptual concerns found elsewhere across his broad practice.

In the second room, the viewer is confronted with a large-scale canvas by the Italian painter Emilio Vedova, that through Per la Spagna Nr. 14 (1962) expresses his radical stances on both paint and politics – combining his avant-garde techniques of exploring the dynamism of the painterly action between light and space to the desire to convey a message. The work is part of a cycle that the artist created for the 1962 exhibition organized at Ca ’Giustinian, in Venice, during the Biennale d’Arte. The canvas is aggressively covered in black and white oil marks and abstract symbols, a physical and creative answer to the spectacle of violence offered by the twentieth century, in this case in particular dedicated to Spain that at the time was living in dark times – under the helm of the dictator Francisco Franco. Mary Weatherford offers a contemporary reading of artists that use light and materials. In the second room, there is one of Weatherford’s signature works: a large abstract canvas is almost cut in half by a neon glass tube. The paintings are made using vinyl-based Flashe paint on linen canvasses made especially for the artist at a Belgian mill, and the neon tube is always made to order. The paintings are essentially invisible to the artist as she is working; only emerging after the canvas has dried. “Because the water reflects, I can’t really see what’s going to happen. It’s a quite a mystery,” Weatherford explained. “As the water dries overnight and the pigment sinks into the painting, it’s like watching a photograph develop. I come in the next morning and the image is there.” The combination of chance and manipulation is key in Mary Weatherford’s oeuvre that documents the orchestrated flow of organic material, where the artist alternates meticulous research to the creations of chance.

Iconic Italian artist Mario Merz, one of the key exponents of the Arte Povera movement, in his career explored the transmission of energy from the organic to the inorganic, using uncanny irony and the Shade of conceptualism to transform each thought into a vocabulary of sculptures and paintings. The small canvas in the reading room and the sculpture in the first symbolize Merz’s research of the late seventies- early eighties around the relationship between nature, logic and the varieties of gestures that can be encapsulated into art. Accumulation, reconfiguration and dynamism are some of the subjects that the eclectic artist conveyed into paintings and installations that capture force and delicacy and the wilderness of thought with the rigour of logic.

All images > Courtesy ©Massimo De Carlo gallery 

RICCARDO DE MARCHI. ÀLLAI OPAÌ (OTHER HOLES), A arte Invernizzi / Milan

RICCARDO DE MARCHI. ÀLLAI OPAÌ (OTHER HOLES), A arte Invernizzi / Milan

RICCARDO DE MARCHI

A Arte Invernizzi, Milan

23 May – 19 July 2019

Riccardo De Marchi presents his most recent works in a new exhibition installation specially created for the A arte Invernizzi gallery space. By using the Greek term opé – which can be translated as “hole“ or “opening“, but also as “sight“ or “eye socket“ – the title of the exhibition conveys the idea of vision “through“ a hole, or holes. In his works, as in the case of 12 pagine [12 Pages] and 9 pagine [9 Pages], on display in the first room on the upper floor, the artist perforates the material to create a continuous contrast between surface and volume, presence and absence. The perforation-script shows the traces of its passing in a journey that is both mental and metaphorical, as well as physical. De Marchi repeatedly brings to bear different ways of seeing, partly depending on the material used, as we see in the installation in the second room on the upper floor. Here, some steel works in the form of sheets rolled on themselves are placed on the ground.

Riccardo De Marchi, Partial view of the exhibition, 2019. A arte Invernizzi, Milan. Courtesy A arte Invernizzi, Milan

The artist‘s line of investigation, in which visual features emerge from carefully controlled and repeated gestures that nevertheless always lead to new results and countless new ways of seeing, continues on the lower floor of the gallery. Here the holes bring to life surfaces in aluminium, plexiglas, steel, and polyethylene, creating works such as the Senza titolo[Untitled] (2019) and ...Attraverso… […Through…] (2018). The spatial and material consistency of his art is even more evident in works such as Muro [Wall] (2019) and Nessun dove [Nowhere] (2019), in which a juxtaposition of different elements placed next to each other, as in the case of the “bricks“, or on top of each other, alternating sheets of plexiglas with mirror-finish stainless steel, intensify our perception of a space filled with different volumes of solids and voids, giving the image concrete form in a vision of even greater diversity.

CARSTEN HÖLLER, MUSHROOM MATHEMATICS / Massimo De Carlo, Milan, Belgioioso

CARSTEN HÖLLER, MUSHROOM MATHEMATICS / Massimo De Carlo, Milan, Belgioioso

16 Nov 2018 – 12 Jan 2019
Massimo De Carlo, Milan, Belgioioso

Massimo De Carlo presents Mushroom Mathematics, a new exhibition by Carsten Höller. The artist returns to Italy having presented The Florence Experiment at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence earlier this year. With a similar scientific approach, Carsten Höller premieres a series of sculptures and paintings that transform the gallery into a doubt machine.

Upon entering the first room of the gallery we are confronted with a large vitrine that accommodates 48 replicas of mushrooms in various colours, sizes, and shapes each composed by one half Fly-agaric and the second half made up of edible, inedible, or poisonous mushrooms. The Fly-agaric mushroom (also known as Amanita muscaria) is an important element in cultural history: it holds poisonous and psychoactive properties and it is widely used in shamanic rites. This extraordinary mushroom has also become a symbol for the unexpected as it appears in fairy tales, early Walt Disney movies, and even in videogames such as Super Mario Bros. In the Victorian Age these mushrooms started to appear also on Christmas cards and therefore it is believed they even have affected the representation of Santa Claus (before Coca-Cola would turn this character into a red-and-white-dressed commercial machine).

A similar dissection returns also in the main room of the gallery, populated by a series of Giant Triple Mushrooms that pop-up from the historical floor of Palazzo Belgioioso. These spectacular sculptures are composed of one-half Fly-agaric and two-quarters of other mushrooms. These mysterious vegetal elements (scientists still have many unanswered questions about them) are for Carsten Höller, the icon of uncertainty, ambiguity, as well as a symbol for an endless tension towards research: mushrooms not only open our mind to unpredictable effects, but they do so by living and reproducing in mostly incomprehensible ways.

The giant sculptures are surrounded by a number of round, square and diamond paintings of the same size realized in different colours. These Division Paintings are based on a simple mathematical partition principle: a line is painted on the canvas surface at the centre, splitting it into two parts of the exact same size. One section is subsequently divided again into two new halves, and following this geometric pattern, the canvas is divided over and over again. These paintings, with their clean and accessible appearance, exemplify a simple path to achieve infinity, the most complex of the concepts.

The minimalist L Platform, stands in stark contrast of the reading room, an accessible tin platform with turning circles, the diameter of each circle is calculated according to the overall dimensions of the platform. The arrangement of circles follows a principle of division lines, in which the centre of each following circle is at the spot where two lines meet. The final circle missing and left open.

Inhabited by giant and life-size mushrooms and abstract linear paintings, Mushroom Mathematics is a combination of geometry and magic, code and invention, rationality and the absurd, and invites everyone to explore new methods of understanding.

Images > Installation views Massimo De Carlo, Milan-Belgioioso, 2018. Ph. Roberto Marossi. Courtesy Massimo De Carlo

SARAH SZE at Gagosian Gallery, Rome

SARAH SZE at Gagosian Gallery, Rome

13 Oct, 2018 – 12 Jan, 2019
Gagosian, Rome, Italy

Sze’s art utilizes genres as generative frameworks, uniting intricate networks of objects and images across multiple dimensions and mediums, from sculpture to painting, drawing, printmaking, and video installation. She has been credited with changing the very potential of sculpture. Working from an inexhaustible supply of quotidian materials, she assesses the texture and metabolism of everything she touches, then works to preserve, alter, or extend it. Likewise, images culled from countless primary and secondary sources migrate from the screen to manifest on all manner of physical supports—or as light itself.

A video installation, the latest of Sze’s Timekeeper series begun in 2015, transforms the oval gallery of Gagosian Rome into a lanterna magica, an immersive environment that is part sculpture, part cinema. In these studies of the image in motion, at once expansive and intimate, time, place, distance, and the construction of memory are engaged through a mesmerizing flux of projected images, both personal and found. A sort of Plato’s Cave, the new work confronts the viewer from simultaneous points of view: moving pictures of people, animals, scenes, and abstractions unfold, flickering and orbiting randomly like thought, or life itself.

In an in-situ gesture that links the darkened video gallery with the adjoining room of new panel paintings, Sze materializes light as a spill of paint applied directly to the stone floor. In the paintings, her nuanced sculptural language adapts to the conditions of the flat support. In delicate yet bold layers of paint, ink, paper, prints, and objects, the three dimensions of bricolage are parsed into the two dimensions of collage. Here, color draws its substantive energies as much from the innate content of found images as from paint and ink. Fields of static, blots, and cosmic vortices emerge out of archival material drawn from the studio and its daily workings in endless visual permutations that collide and overlap in an abundance of surface detail.

Images > Courtesy Gagosian, ph. Matteo D’Eletto, M3 Studio

The first solo exhibition in Italy by Anthea Hamilton at Kaufmann Repetto

The first solo exhibition in Italy by Anthea Hamilton at Kaufmann Repetto

Artist: Anthea Hamilton  / a is for… and, am, anxious, apple, adore / at Kaufmann Repetto, Milan

7.06 – 7.09, 2018

Anthea Hamilton’s work weaves complex symbols and narratives, bringing together references from architecture and design history to personal themes via fashion and popular culture. Her sculptures and immersive installations, such as the one currently on view at Tate Britain for the Duveens Commission, are often animated by performances that involve and activate the public as much as the space. The exhibition presents a new body of work that expands recurring themes in Hamilton’s oeuvre.

The “wavy boot”, one of Hamilton’s leitmotivs, appears in varying versions: sinuous and oversized to the artist’s own height; chunky and made of concrete, with window-like cavities; colorful and tiered, held together by the boot’s own lacing; or transparent and secured by locks. Both individually and collectively, these works cling to the notion of accessory as a futile concern, but also as a fetish, an object of both erotic and consumerist desire.

Each accessory, in turn, is dressed in additional ornaments and accoutrement, creating a recursive analyzation of its own principles and form. The body is a recurring subject matter in Hamilton’s practice, who often utilizes her own as a matrix for her works. The second space is animated by a series of three-dimensional arrangements that include acrylic cut-outs of the artist’s own legs. These tableaux, which act like 3D collages, incorporate both common and unexpected elements, chosen both for their tactile or evocative qualities.

The works are positioned against a wallpaper depicting a scrambled view of the sky, more reminiscent of a desktop than of an idyllic landscape. Destabilizing the boundaries of the gallery’s physical space, it calls into question the ideological constructs of the gallery as an organization, while at the same time eliciting notions of a contrived ideal that is both virtual and almost dreamlike, suspended by an air of humor and lightness.

Anthea Hamilton (b. 1978, London) is based in London, UK. She was one of four shortlisted artists for the 2016 Turner Prize. Recent solo shows include: The Squash, Tate Britain, London; Anthea Hamilton Reimagines Kettle’s Yard, Hepworth Wake eld, UK; LICHEN! LIBIDO! CHASTITY! Sculpture Center, New York; Sorry I’m Late, Firstsite, Colchester, UK; Les Modules, Foundation Pierre Bergé–Yves Saint Laurent, Palais de Tokyo, Paris. Her work has been presented as part of the British Art Show 8 and in numerous international venues, such as at the Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin, (with Nicholas Byrne), the 13th Lyon Biennale and the 1th Gwangju Biennale. A solo exhibition of Hamilton’s work will be hold at Secession, Vienna, in September 2018.

Images > Kaufmann Repetto ©

EXTENDED ARCHITECTURES, Galleria Alberta Pane, Venice, Italy

EXTENDED

ARCHITECTURES,

Galleria Alberta Pane, Venice, Italy

For the fourth exhibition in its Venetian space, Alberta Pane gallery presents Extended Architectures, a collective exhibition featuring artworks by Luciana Lamothe (Argentina, 1975), Marie Lelouche (France, 1984) and Esther Stocker (Italy, 1974). Through site-specific installations, sculptures created by scanning volumes and visual grids painted on canvas, the exhibition reflects on the constant communion between man and space, in an osmotic dialogue with the Venetian territory of the 16th International Biennale of Architecture.

Luciana Lamothe (Arg, 1975)

Luciana Lamothe‘s aesthetic is based on the vital communion between body and architecture, implemented in her installations through an ambivalent use of materials that are both resistant and ductile. Starting from solid and structural materials, the artist makes them soft and flexible through physical pressure, so creating participatory sculptures that merge form and function. The role of the spectator becomes then substantial for the work to be activated. There is a constant interaction between space, its elements and the body.

Luciana Lamothe (Arg, 1975)

Marie Lelouche exhibits “Blind Sculpture”, a hybrid work based on three-dimensional scanning and post-digital sculpture. Through a mobile audio-visual device that allows the perception of hidden digital geometric shapes, each viewer finds himself superimposing his own experience on the same space. A metaphor for social space, the work is given by the cohabitation of forms and subjectivity, united by a spatial synchrony, a single process of constant re-composition.

Marie Lelouche (Fr, 1984)

Marie Lelouche (Fr, 1984)

Canvases, sculptures and installations that invade and define space are the means through which Esther Stocker investigates the existential mathematics that qualifies our collective and personal environments. Her works, based on an apparent rigid geometry and modularity, are connected to a highly complex mathematical discourse that defines the space of which man is an essential part. In Esther Stocker’s works the individual is a substantial geometric and mathematical element for the definition of the artwork itself. The vision and perception of space are themes the artist investigates by breaking the apparent rigid modular repetition, thus creating a second visual rhythm, which destroys the order of the flat dimension.

Esther Stocker (It, 1974)

Esther Stocker (It, 1974)

Lamothe, Lelouche and Stocker recreate in the space of the Venetian Alberta Pane Gallery a reflection, in a broad sense, on the perception of our environments and on the position that the individual assumes daily in the experience of the world.

GALLERIA ALBERTA PANE
47 rue de Montmorency – 75003 Paris
Calle dei Guardiani 2403/h Dorsoduro – 30123 Venezia

until 29 September 2018

Tuesday – Saturday
10.30 am – 6.30 pm

The DUSKMANN collective presents its work in Palermo for Manifesta12

The DUSKMANN collective presents its work in Palermo for Manifesta12

From the 15th of June to the 4th of November, from 6 pm to midnight

Chiesa della Madonna della Mazza, via Maqueda n° 387 Palermo, Sicily

In one of Palermo’s busiest streets – Via Maqueda, adjacent to Palazzo Mazzarino, one of Manifesta’s key locations – the DUSKMANN collective presents its work in the church of Santa Maria del Soccorso, also known as “della Mazza”, creating a custom designed installation for a space which has been closed to the public for four decades and which, thanks to the biennial, can now be rediscovered. The church thus becomes a place where the city makes contact and fuses with contemporary art. With the patronage of the City of Palermo, of Palermo City of Culture and the Curia, with the installation Prelude, DUSKMANN create a unique and powerful harmony between history and the most modern and contemporary artistic expression.

DUSKMANN

The interaction between the public and the work is of an intimate, silent nature. At the vestibule door, a large black panel precents access to the church. Three octagonal openings set at various heights allow visitors to see the interior, which is in darkness: only by inserting a coin can they illuminate it for a few seconds. Awaiting them is an explosion of light which reveals a new and previously-unseen composition of Prelude. This time, in fact, DUSKMANN’s great gem – a red jasper in the shape of a heart – is surrounded by 6 of the white versions of the 41 pieces which make up the series. A choice dictated by the desire to harmonize the infinite geometries of the pieces with the surrounding environment, thus highlighting the imposing power of the central stone. On one hand, the project draws upon the curiosity of passers by at seeing a place which has been closed for years finally open, and on the other closes the circle of Prelude’s creative process, which first began here and which now has the opportunity to bring back new energy.

DUSKMANN

“We wanted to use opportunity of Manifesta to bring Prelude back to where the installation was originally conceived. It’s an honour for us to reopen this church, which had been closed for decades, to the city and to encourage the local people to interact with our art.”

DUSKMANN

PRELUDE was born during a trip to Sicily. The artists were entranced by the beauty of Sicilian marbles and the figures evoked by their veining. With their characteristically minimal, post-atomic approach, somewhere between pure art and a careful study of form, they photographed them, framed them and installed them, paying careful attention to their geometries. When they came across a large jasper, sculpted by nature itself into the shape of a heart, they smoothed it down and made it the centrepiece of their work. This jasper is the beating heart, the focal point, from which the perspective on the surrounding pieces begins. The Prelude series consists of 41 black and 41 white pieces. These are photographs selected from over 2,000 taken of marbles as part of the project’s obsessive preparation. On the back of every piece is an octagonal fragment of jasper which makes them unique and reconnects them to the great central heart like the consequence of some metaphorical explosion. A continuous dichotomy, the power of opposites and the synthesis of contemporary complexities are DUSKMANN’s lifeblood and, not coincidentally, give the collective its name: a twilight soul capable of negotiating the contradictions of its time.

All takings will be used for the creation of an art project for the second part of Manifesta aimed at raising children’s awareness of art and photography.

USA ‘68: Disorders and dreams. Fifty-four reportage images at MAST

USA ‘68: Disorders and dreams. Fifty-four reportage images at MAST

MAST.GALLERY, Level 0, MAST Foundation / Bologna
10 June – 30 September 2018

The MAST Foundation, without betraying its mission of exploring the themes of work and industry, presents an exhibition focused on 1968 in the USA, not only to celebrate a key date but also to pay homage to photojournalism in the 1960s.

Art Shay, election campaign Richard Nixon, LaSalle Street, Chicago, 1968 © Art Shay. Courtesy Monroe Gallery of Photography

Through 54 iconic shots by celebrated photo-reporters of the time, the exhibition documents the major events of one of the most significant cultural revolutions ever, on one side to retrace the spirit of the time, on the other to celebrate a glorious photographic genre —photojournalism— on the verge of giving way to the first colour live broadcasts on television.

Bill Eppridge, RFK campaigns in Watts, June 1968, Watts Section, Los Angeles © Courtesy Monroe Gallery of Photography

John Olson, Wounded Marines riding on top of converted tank used as make shift ambulance during battle to recapture Hue fr. Vietcong, Vietnamese Army during Vietnam War. © John Olson. Courtesy Life Gallery of Photography / Monroe Gallery of Photography

Bill Eppridge, Senator Robert F. Kennedy and the Fearsome Foursome of the Los Angeles Rams football team – Tony Zale and N.F.L. Lamar Lundy, Rosey Grier, Deacon Jones, in Indianapolis, 1968 © Bill Eppridge

Steve Schapiro, Martin Luther King, Selma, 1965 © Steve Schapiro. Courtesy Monroe Gallery of Photography

Bob Gomel, Muhammad Ali in front of the Alvin Theater, New York, 1968 © Bob Gomel. Courtesy Monroe Gallery of Photography

Carlo Bavagnoli, Actress Jane Fonda in publicity still for motion picture “Barbarella.” © Carlo Bavagnoli. ©Time Inc

The year 1968 marked a radical change in public attitudes and beliefs. Photojournalism had a dominating role in the shaping of public attitudes at the time. Photojournalism played a crucial part in triggering this transformation: neither the Beatles nor the Rolling Stones, neither the moon landings nor the Vietnam War, neither Courrèges nor Twiggy, neither sexual nor political liberation, feminism or the Black Panther movement are conceivable without the crisp, high-contrast, black-and-white photographs that appeared in newspapers or without the first colour spreads in magazines. Andy Warhol’s disaster images and his endless rows of portraits of Jacqueline Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe would never have existed without press images. The assassinations of John Kennedy, his brother Robert, and Martin Luther King Jr. were covered in countless reports and photo series by the international press.

NATURE KNOWS NO PAUSE / Massimo de Carlo, Milan

NATURE KNOWS NO PAUSE / Massimo de Carlo, Milan

Nature Knows No Pause Gerhard Richter, Giuseppe Penone, Lee Ufan, Alexandre Calame, Francois Diday, Johan Christian Dahl, Caspar David Friedrich, Hiroshi Sugimoto 

to 13 Jul 2018

The exhibition Nature Knows No Pause takes its title from a celebre quote by the German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and focuses on the enticing and vibrant dynamism of nature and how our relationship with the natural has evolved. If initially human beings feared and respected the power of nature, now it seems that they do everything possible to overpower its force. The exhibition is structured as a small survey of how landscapes, natural elements and earthly powers have been depicted by artists from the 19th century to today. The art works in the exhibition range from 1800 to 2018, with significant loans from institutions and foundations as well as new productions realized specifically for this context. In this exhibition the investigation of nature as a sense of being commences with works by European romantic artists: an overpowering shipwreck scenery by the Norwegian painter Johan Christian Dahl (1788-1857) is shown alongside melancholic mountain landscapes depicted by the one-eyed Swiss master Alexandre Calame (1810 – 1864) and by Calame’s less-known yet outstanding mentor François Diday (1802-1877). A dusk-tinted ink drawing of a rocky forest by the Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840) one of the most influential Romantic German painters of all time, who also happened to live for a while with Dahl, is paired with an enticing still life, a black and white photograph of a Pinon-Juniper Forest (a type of vegetation that is typical of the Western United States), by the internationally acclaimed Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto (1948).

The photograph is from his well-known series inspired by the man-made diorama of landscapes at the Natural History Museum in New York, which the artist visited initially in 1976, and the first body of work that began his career. The image, strikingly devoid of man, could easily portray a distant past before the advent of humanity, just as easily as one of the future. This investigation of duration, and struggle between the natural and the artificial, continues through out the exhibition. Lee Ufan’s (1936) rock and steel sculptures are a tangible example of the Korean, though Japan based, minimalist painter and sculptor’s practice which is rooted in an Eastern appreciation of the nature of materials and also in modern European phenomenology, a constant reflection around the notions of being and nothingness.

The work was conceived specifically for the exhibition, and introduces a new material of stainless steel to his practice. An extremely rare example of a landscape drawing by the German visual artist, master of abstraction and realism, Gerhard Richter (1932) that dates back to 1992 is an example of the artist’s ability “to keep meaning on the move, to hide it, change it, multiple it, undermine it, all the while couching these feints and thrusts in visually ingratiating forms.  The instability in this petite drawing provides its power. Nature Knows No Pause includes works by the iconic Italian artist Giuseppe Penone (1947), founding member of the Arte Povera movement, who has focused his entire practice on the relationship between man and nature.

Pinewood, timber, tree trunks, cedars and conifers (among others) are key elements in Penone’s practice: the artist carves, casts and juxtaposes industrial and natural elements to create a physical narrative that highlights the pace of human time and the slow disclosure of organic growth and change. Nature Knows No Pause is homage to different ways of seeing and depicting nature. Using the works of Caspar David Friedrich as a starting point, the exhibition allows a reflection on the relationship between romanticism and nature in contemporary art and on how our ever-changing bond with nature can be translated through an array of diverse mediums.

Images © Massimo De Carlo Gallery – Milan, London, Hong Kong


PUBLICATION LISTED IN THE ITALIAN PRESS REGISTER BY THE SASSARI COURT OF LAW WITH REGISTRATION NUMBER 447/2017.
EDITOR IN CHIEF: ALICE ZUCCA

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