Nunzio. Drawings 8 June – 17 September 2023 Mazzoleni 15 Old Bond Street London W1S 4AX
The sign invents space, describes it, engraves it, defines and explains it. The sign as a trace, as a creator of space. (Nunzio 2023) Following the great success of Nunzio’s first solo exhibition in London The Shock of Objectivity in 2019, Mazzoleni is delighted to present Nunzio. Drawings, a selection of new and unseen works on paper by the artist, which will be on view for the first time at the London gallery from Thursday, 8 June to Sunday, 17 September 2023.
In his research, Nunzio establishes a dialectical and profound relationship with materials, where the sign is the initial manifestation of form and reveals the process, the origin of vision. It is as if this original and structural presence were the first indication of an encounter between being and imagination, the trace of the imperceptible border between shadow and appearance, the thickening of the space around the existence of the artwork.
In the artworks on display the dualisms and dialogues that recur in Nunzio’s research are evoked through the use of black and white – charcoal – on Japanese paper: fibrous and with a consistency of matter (i.e. presence), the shadow defines as much as the light, the black line is a tension that seeks to break out of the physical limits of the sheet that holds the generative forces of space. Just as in his combusted wooden sculptures and lead works, Nunzio’s drawings reveal an almost alchemical process that triggers an unexpected metamorphosis of the matter.
The work does not pursue pictoriality or the modification of the surface, but instead it searches for unusual aspects, often opposed to each other, that produce a different perception of surface, time, space and of our being: both that of one’s own and of others’. A leading exponent and founder of the Pastificio Cerere (a former pasta factory) in the San Lorenzo neighbourhood, in Rome, Nunzio is a multi-faceted artist who draws from a variety of disciplines to develop his approach to artistic form beyond the visible.
“I believe that creating space, not occupying it, has always been the aspiration of every artist” (Nunzio in Jutta Mattern, A conversation with Nunzio, 2019). Like sculpture, works on paper also create a new space in the gallery: “Nunzio is one of the artists with whom we have been working with for many years and with whom we are delighted to be collaborating once again for this exhibition.
Unlike the two previous exhibitions, this show presents works on paper, which have an intrinsic value that induces constant reflection on the meaning of space, its physical dimension and its very existence” as Luigi Mazzoleni explains.
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