Gianni Caravaggio

Finalmente Solo/ Enfin Seul

A cura di Lorand Hegyl ed Emma Zanella

31 October 2014  -  11 January 2015


The exhibition is the fruit of the collaboration between MA*GA and the Musée d’Art Moderne Saint-Étienne Métropole and presents the artist’s works, taking us through his creative development from the 1990s to the present day.

From 31 October 2014 to 11 January 2015, the MA*GA Museum in Gallarate, in collaboration with the Musée d’Art Moderne Saint-Étienne Métropole, will host the personal exhibition of Gianni Caravaggio (Rocca San Giovanni, CH, 1968) entitled Finalmente solo [Alone at last].
The event, curated by Emma Zanella, director of the MA*GA and Lorand Hegyi, director of the Saint-Étienne museum, will be held contemporaneously in both locations and is the fruit of the first inspired collaboration between the two important modern and contemporary art museums, focusing, as always, on modern artistic creativity, in particular by Italian artists.

At the MA*GA, Caravaggio presents 40 works that take us through his creative development from the 1990s to the present day.
Gianni Caravaggio’s artistic endeavours find shape and structure in sculptures that often feature a clearly precarious equilibrium. A particular element of his work is the use of a range of highly heterogeneous materials, often assembled so that they dialogue with one another, including marble, bronze, aluminium, paper, leather, cosmetic cream, talcum powder, polystyrene, lentils, sugar and many others.
One example of this is his 2002 work Sugar no Sugar Molecule, in which a parallelepiped with irregular borders is created using many cubes of white marble, polystyrene and sugar in varying sizes. Another example, from 2006, is Cosmicomica, where the corners of a prism in white marble are marked by the presence of a single red lentil.
“In more than one piece of art,” writes Alessandro Rabottini in his essay in the catalogue, “Gianni Caravaggio has staged a form of osmosis between the materials, amplifying the mutual mimetic properties of each one and often increasing the sensation that we are witnessing a simulation, a trick of the senses and a constant flow between how things are and how, on the contrary, they appear”.
An example is the 2008 work Stand out of my light (the truth), a mysterious form created by juxtaposing white and dark grey marbles, with the junction line falling in the trajectory of the shadow that the corner of a wall projects on to the floor, indeed causing the word “shadow” to appear in the description of the sculpture as one of the materials used.
In another work, The Mystery hidden by a cloud, created in 2013, it is the title that sparks a form of debate between light and shadow as a “role playing game” between the perception of the spectator and the materials used. Here, around half of the surface area of a large mass of black Belgian marble is sprinkled with powdered sugar to recreate the visual effect of a cloud spreading over a mountain, rendering one part darker than those that are still bathed in sunlight.
The title of the exhibition, Finalmente solo [Alone at last], invites the public to leave “outside” the thousand acoustic and visual sensory stimuli that bombard the contemporary man, the real time connections, the anxiety about being constantly omnipresent. It urges us to return to reflecting, to feeling the works that he has “staged” with body and soul. Caravaggio opens the gates of his “magic circle”, to liberate us from convention and banality and forces us to look at the world as if we were seeing it for the first time, and fantasise about what we are seeing.

“The universes of Caravaggio,” according to Emma Zanella and Lorand Hegyi, “transmit constant vibrations that the public is invited to feel and receive, implementing forms of recognition that change constantly. Each one of the sculptures by Gianni Caravaggio indeed contrasts our usual abilities to find our bearings and the standard thought processes that are part of our way of seeing the universe, of our perception of the real processes that govern human and social relations”.
“The bittiness of objects,” they continue, “their general fragility and the perishable nature of the results obtained when materials are combined, convey a sense of distance, of the “far-away” in terms of time and space, which can be linked to potential contexts, to relevant centres and connections. Melancholic bewilderment, this sensation of existential isolation and the inner turmoil of the various components of the installations intensify the prospects of intelligible systems in which reason reveals itself”.
The exhibition is accompanied by the catalogue by Silvana Editoriale published by the two museums (in three languages: Italian, English and French) with texts by the museum directors Lorand Hegyi and Emma Zanella, by Jean Luc Nancy, Alessandro Rabottini, Federico Ferrari and Gianni Caravaggio himself.