Galleria Monica De Cardenas is pleased to present willow pillow, the first solo show by Lupo Borgonovo at the gallery, in the Zuoz venue. The exhibition features sculptures made in 2014 and 2015, as well as two series of drawings from 2015.
In recent years Borgonovo has developed a body of work that combines traditional sculptural language with an exotic imaginary and an interest in alchemical processes of transformation of matter
The background of willow pillow is the vision of a mythological ship tossed between countless shores as in a Homeric odyssey, where in each region visited, each civilization encountered, the vessel takes on specimens, materials, images, techniques. Therefore the rooms of the gallery can be seen as the holdings of the ship, in which these objects are painstakingly organized by families and types.
The first room contains four large sculptures titled Leglog. Made by pouring polyurethane foam into sacks of artificial leather, these works are like the legs of legendary reptiles. They evoke a prehistory that not only exists as an encoded imaginary for ready reinterpretation, but also as a fossil scenario that powerfully surfaces through the cracks of our present, suggesting anomalies and frictions in the evolutionary process. Sensual yet inanimate, these legs can be summed up as the limbs of cyborgs to which the artist, a modern Prometheus, will one day give life.
In the next rooms there are sculptures that suggest other demonstrations of the alchemical and freely creative spirit of Borgonovo. Ornithology, Yelloween and S are all groups in which the process approach takes on ceremonial tones, generating scenarios in which the works are comparable to liturgical instruments or ritual objects. The sculptures in the Ornithology series, for instance, are supports for eggs or rare varieties of dried fruit, in which the arrangement of the elements seems to be based on an obscure numerological construct, almost a magical formula. Yelloween groups works that remind us of bowls or vases: they are rubber molds of exotic fruit in which the artist has allowed the fruit to rot, almost as if to impregnate the rubber with sensorial qualities. These works are vehicles of a gesture, a hypothetical content. Finally, the cycle S: oblong works obtained by rolling latex leaves to imitate a tangle of reptiles, apparently gathered in the same place to take part in some ecstatic rite.
Along the perimeter of the show run two series of ink drawings. Both cycles depict artifacts of different natures and origins; but while in the first they are made with painstaking technique, in the second they are comparable to sketches. As a whole, the drawings can be interpreted as the log of that mythological ship that is the exhibition, a constellation in which the many symbolic systems the ship has encountered are made to intersect. Produced like twins, one pedantic, the other slipshod, they reveal an imaginative voyage balanced on two discordant rhythms, without an itinerary and perhaps without a destination.
Lupo Borgonovo was born in Milan in 1985, where he presently lives and works. Selected solo shows: Mandolino, Cripta 747, Turin (2014), The Big Simon, ABC, Berlin (2013), Orbita, Fluxia, Milan (2012). Selected group shows: in 2015 L'Hospices des Milles-Cuisses, CAN, Neuchâtel; Together Forever, 138 Eldrige St., New York. In 2014 Habitat, Minerva, Sydney; Italian Summer, Galleria Monica De Cardenas, Zuoz; Cocu ou Marron, CAN, Neuchâtel. In 2013 Art of Living (i.e. Goodbye Blue Monday); Galerie Chez Valentin, Paris; AB, Nomas Foundation, Rome; The Cthulhu Club, Gasconade, Milan.
Text by Michele D'Aurizio