Alice Cattaneo | The Image in the Hand

478253

06/09/2019 - 18/10/2019

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The title of this exhibition evokes the creative process, which often starts with an image as a precursor to the manual process of sculpting. For Cattaneo, sculpture is both a fragment and a totality. This implies an inherent tension between the initial vision of the work and what the artist's hand constructs organically, retracing the original thought. The passage of time from the original image to the actual making of the piece creates a dialogue between the materials, the body, and the mind. The exhibition is accompanied by a critical text by the exhibition’s curator Chiara Bertola.

Cattaneo has chosen to present two groups of sculptures which cohabitate in the different rooms in the gallery, creating a series of invisible connections between the physical entities of both the works and the architecture. Empty space is primordial in the work of Cattaneo, and she activates it through essential geometric elements. A series of lines in Murano glass creates a rhythm which echoes the verticality of the walls. This is offset by groups of small geometric structures made of glass, ceramic, and slate, which float throughout the gallery on different supports. In this way, the sculptures are organized in space as in a musical score, in which each sculptural sign corresponds to an element of sound. Cattaneo approaches this exhibition reflecting on the verticality and horizontally of gestures. The verticality of the lines and of the walls serves as a counterpoint to the horizontally of the assemblies on the pedestals in an attempt to identify the exact point in which the eye perceives the meeting between these two planes.

The lithe, elongated sculptures composed of glass and cement act as manifestations of movement and stasis. Seemingly penetrating deep into the earth, they are a bridge between the entrenchment of the body in gravitational space and the suspension of imaginative thought. Contrastingly, the horizontal lines constituted by arched balsa wood and cotton thread bind together heavy and contradictory elements. These forms create a horizon line, constructing a connection between seemingly separate spaces.

In the artist’s work there is always a duality - a back and forth between complexity and simplicity, between the visible and the invisible. The sculptures are tangible manifestations of this tension, as if on a precise fulcrum on which these concepts are balanced. It could be compared to the continual presence of a tightrope walker who is caught between two subtle extremes; the loss and the recovery of balance influenced by gravitation pulls.

Alice Cattaneo (1976, Milan, Italy) lives and works in Milan. Her solo exhibitions include: Alice Cattaneo, Museo Archeologico, Acqui Terme, Italy (2019); Mettere un mare nella nebbia, Museo del Novecento, Milan, Italy (2018); Alice Cattaneo Michael Höpfner, Galerie Hubert Winter, Vienna, Austria (2016); Col fiato sospeso per circa due ore, curated by F. Pasini, La Quarta Vetrina, Libreria delle Donne, Milan, Italy (2015); Contrapositive (with Fred Sandback), curated by D.Komary, Galerie Stadtpark, Krems, Austria (2012); Alice Cattaneo, MADRE - Museo d' Arte Contemporanea Donna Regina, Naples, Italy (2008) and Alice Cattaneo, curated by J.Watkins, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, United Kingdom (2007). Her group exhibitions include: Negative Space. Trajectories of Sculpture, curated by Peter Weibel, Daria Mille and Anett Holzheid, ZKM | Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany (2019); La Vita Materiale. Otto stanze, otto storie, curated by Marina Dacci, Palazzo da Mosto, Reggio Emilia, Italy (2018); Tempo e Dettagli / Times and Details, Artisti/Artigiani/Carlo Scarpa, curated by C. Bertola and G. Blais, Officina Zanon, Falegnameria Capovilla, Universita’ Ca’ Foscari, Venice, Italy (2016); Chaotic Passion, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea di Villa Croce, Genoa (2015); Ritratto dell'Artista da Giovane, curated by M. Beccaria, Castello di Rivoli, Turin, Italy (2014); Autoritratti. Iscrizioni del Femminile nell’Arte Italiana Contemporanea, MAMBO, Museo d’Arte Moderna, Bologna (2013); The Unseen, The Fourth Guangzhou Triennial, curated by J. Watkins, Guangdong Museum of Art, Republic of China (2012); Arte essenziale, a project of F. Ferrari, Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia, Italy / Frankfurt Kunstverein, Frankfurt (2011); Terre Vulnerabilli, curated by C.Bertola with A.Lissoni, Hangar Bicocca, Milan (2010); Italics, Italian Art between Tradition and Revolution, 1968-2008, curated by F. Bonami, Palazzo Grassi, Venice, Italy (2008) and Apocalittici e integrati. Utopia nell’arte italiana di oggi, MAXXI, Rome

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