Such eerily static yet loud forms take up the physical space with a presence large enough to engulf the surroundings and claim the gallery as its own.
The tactile, familiar, yet strange, large-scale sculptures made out of inner tubes and tires express a stark commentary, as strong as its sheer size. These everyday materials-made pieces by Italian contemporary artist Paolo Canevari now fill all four floors of the Cardi Gallery in London.
Entitled Self-portrait / Autoritratto, the exhibition features a total of 30 works from the artist’s 30 years of practice. Varying from his notorious 1990s rubber sculptures to his more recent Monuments of the Memory: Landscape and Constellations paintings, he continues to confront his audiences with stark political and philosophical commentaries. His provocative works are a glimpse into his creative process, inviting his audiences to interpret them in their own way. The artist’s ultimate goal is to broaden both ideological and technical concepts for the viewer.
“Art is a democratic, progressive force, so it should ideally serve society, not the powers that be. In my work, the use of icons, symbols, and forms from various cultures is a way of drawing attention to their true meaning, tied to dogmas or other forms of power; they’re a way to open up a dialogue with the viewer and stimulate a reaction […] What I wish to express is a radical, subversive attitude towards art and the idea of art as it has been conceived and conveyed by globalised consumeristic society, therefore raising the level of moral and ethical perception of the world.”– Paolo Canevari
The transformation of the industrial materials into a piece of artwork screams irony. Added with its brutalist form, it becomes the artist’s vocabulary and symbol for the systemic violence of war, money, and the tragically short memory of our humankind.
SELF-PORTRAIT / AUTORITRATTO
Cardi Gallery London: 22 Grafton Street | London W1S 4EX
22nd February – 17th April, 2021
While the London venue is currently under lockdown in keeping with current government regulations, we recommend you the video tours of Paolo Canevari’s exhibition. The exhibition is also accompanied by a catalogue with an essay by the eminent American curator Robert Storr; an interview with Iranian artist Shirin Neshat and a homage to Canevari by the acclaimed Italian novelist Andrea Camilleri. A series of artist talks, and exhibition tours will be held in conjunction with the show.