Nunzio, Mercurio, 1990. Lead and combustion on wood, 128 x 119 x 3 cm. Courtesy Mazzoleni, London-Torino.

Nunzio
The Shock of Objectivity

Mazzoleni Art, London / United Kingdom

June 7–September 7, 2019
May 22, 2019


Private view: June 6, 6–8pm

Mazzoleni Art
27 Albemarle Street
London W1S 4HZ
United Kingdom

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Mazzoleni is pleased to present The Shock of Objectivity, curated by Kenneth Baker. This will be Nunzio’s first solo exhibition in London and will display a series of grand and imposing sculptures spanning from the late eighties to the most recent years, which reveal his inventive and inspiring approach to form.

From the beginning of his career, Nunzio played an instrumental role configuring a different vision of sculpture structured around his personal conception exploring the language of shape and its interrelation with space. Thus, he pushed the boundaries of appearance—the results being magnificent architectural works interweaving substance, body and void in a stunning balance of rhythm.

Throughout his artistic research, Nunzio develops a dialogic and personal relationship with culture and history, praising a subtle and filtered approach to the past. In his work the artist sets up a pugnacious action between weight and lightness, creating a strong contrast within the material itself thus unfolding and enhancing a hidden sense of transparency: “velando e disvelando.” Veiling and unveiling, the key trope of Dante’s metaphorical probing the limits of representation, breaching the confines between light and obscurity; this is the approach embraced by Nunzio and conveyed in his work into an authentic form of visual expression. Nunzio tests the physicality of the material, modifying and reversing its perception by shifting its contingency. His dominant use of the colour black refers to alchemy, metamorphosis, explosions, breakdowns and transformations.

Combusted wooden sculptures and imposing lead works will frame the main body of the exhibition. As Kenneth Baker, curator and art critic comments: “Inertia—motionlessness, refusal to acknowledge spectators' presence or their responsiveness, throwing even trivial occurrences in its vicinity into dramatic relief—these are powers that Nunzio has claimed for his own purposes. He has not sought an ultimate simplicity, but through the technique of scorching affirmed, with a paradoxical stubbornness, the transience of his sculptures, ourselves, and everything we might connect with them. […] None of the intellectual gestures we have learned to position ourselves emotionally or conceptually with respect to sculpture can quell the shock of objectivity with which Nunzio’s work bids to present us.”

The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue which includes an essay by curator and art critic, Kenneth Baker, and an interview with the artist by Jutta Mattern, curator of contemporary art at the Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck.