We start from Milan with the essential, sophisticated and whispered aesthetics of the works of Mario Airò, Joana Escoval and Ettore Spalletti, illuminated by an installation by Michael Anastassiades, to move to the enchanting medieval village of San Gimignano, in Tuscany, where the Cuban artist Osvaldo González creates environmental installations with scotch that impregnate the spaces with an amber casting of liquid resin, up to Rome, where the color is poured, painted, sculpted and worked by six artists in a colorful explosion of materials and techniques.
In a hypnotic crescendo, three site specific installations outline, articulate and break lines and geometries: pure and ethereal, liquid and translucent, prismatic and vitaminic.
In the months of April and May, the spaces of the Vistamarestudio gallery in Milan were shaped by Quattro forme (Four forms), an ethereal, cultured and conceptual installation that brought together works by Mario Airò, Joana Escoval and Ettore Spalletti, illuminated by an installation by Michael Anastassiades.
An essential aesthetic unites the works on display, together with the search for balance between the purity of the materials and the simplicity of the forms. It might seem, at first glance, that what holds them together is a certain poetics of reduction, a predisposition towards an economy of means. On closer inspection, however, each of these works hints at an opening, the possibility of contemplating a glimpse, the intuition of the landscape or the beauty of a moment destined to pass. Four forms thus reveals itself as a score of pauses and voids, a spontaneous dialogue between works that bring what often appears far away a little closer.
In San Gimignano, an enchanting medieval village in the province of Siena, Tuscany, the ancient and echoing spaces of the Galleria Continua host the solo exhibition of Cuban artist Osvaldo González who makes a symbolic journey through one of his most significant researches and passions: the representation of restricted interior spaces to his personal stories. For the site specific installation Viaje used a new, disposable material: scotch tape. Underpinning the path, a scan of works taken from his series Archivo Personal, made with scotch and resin on Plexiglas and emphasized by the translucency of the surface on which the light reverberates, in a game of lines and shadows, references and symmetries.
By restoring a sensory experience on an architectural scale, Viaje crowns one of the artist's obsessions: to convey sensations starting from the material. Entering the space, in fact, it seems that the resin of an amber material, which has become liquid, has overturned, expanded, frozen and, finally, has risen upwards. Walking along the uncanny exhibition path, one gets the impression of being eternally trapped there, like a mosquito in amber.
The images at the base of the installations, part of the artist's personal archive, reveal some details of his home, work and emotional environment. Although they portray interior spaces, the works always have a connection with the external landscape, in particular through the light that enters through a door, a window or a staircase.
The journey to which González refers is an intimate and meticulous journey, a journey of self-discovery. However, this is not an individual journey: the depth of the images, their narrative and suggestive potential, the vanishing points push us together with the artist to ‘cross the threshold’ of his works.
Finally, in Rome, until 31 July 2021, the spaces of the Galleria Mucciaccia explore different ways in which it is possible to use color through the prismatic gaze of well-known British artists – David Batchelor, Ian Davenport, Lothar Götz, Jim Lambie, Annie Morris, Fiona Rae – who investigate, each in their own way, the complex relationships that exist between color, shape, medium and meaning. Their research ranges from two-dimensionality to three-dimensionality: color is poured, painted, sculpted and worked in a variety of materials and techniques.
Catherine Loewe, curator of the exhibition, is inspired by the philosophy of Robert Breault, to make color the absolute protagonist of the exhibition: it is found in the sculptures assembled with Batchelor's salvaged objects, in the colored trails of Davenport's paintings, in the delicate signs and fluctuating traces on the white surfaces of Fiona Rae and in the sculptures of Annie Morris that with ‘arrogance’ define the environment. But above all the color comes out of the paintings to invade the walls and floor of the gallery in the two site specific creations: Beyond, a wall painted by Lothar Götz and Zobop, the floor made with vinyl strips by Jim Lambie.
“There is color in life and there is color in art” explain Catherine Loewe “and there is the intersection of these two things, which is perhaps where we are today”. The use of colors and their meaning are in fact intertwined in a complex network of references, in a chromatically saturated world – from the Apple logo to Benetton t-shirts, from Seurat for the Simpsons to Turrell for Tiffany.
In short, color is the key to our perception, the true essence of how we see and understand the world, but the question to ask is: how do we interpret it? The six artists on display each give a personal interpretation. There are those who have a multidisciplinary approach and draw from art, science, literature, philosophy, film, music and anthropology, those who employ a myriad of techniques, such as pouring, drip, throwing and overturning, and those who are inspired by the color defined by Carl Jung as “the mother tongue of the subconscious”.