Bertozzi & Casoni: Il capitale umano. Tra consolazioni e desolazioni

16th September – 24th October 2016

On 16 September, Galleria Antonio Verolino, situated a stone’s throw from the Palazzo Ducale in Modena, will be inaugurating an exhibition of the work of Bertozzi & Casoni, entitled “Human Capital. Between Consolation and Desolation”.

Curated by Franco Bertoni, an architect, art critic and expert in 20th Century ceramics, the exhibition is part of the programme of the festivalfilosofia taking place in Modena from 16 to 18 September 2016. The theme of the exhibition is “competition” and its centrepiece is a sculptural installation entitled “Polar Bear, 2016”. This takes the form of a gigantic ceramic polar bear, which the artists, Giampaolo Bertozzi and Stefano Dal Monte Casoni, have depicted imprisoned in a cage and at risk of extinction due to geological and climate change caused by invasive human activity.

Around this symbol of evolutionary struggle, other works portray subjects such as bins overflowing with trash and snails, piles of dirty dishes, and pipework interspersed with everyday objects and captions. These illustrate the exchange between composition and decomposition and death and regeneration that pervades the existence of individuals and societies, like a pendulum perpetually swinging between consolation and desolation. They represent the detritus that each of us leaves behind, and the small-scale local extinctions that agitate the material world even in this age of abundance.

One especially significant exhibit in relation to the gallery’s mission and identity is a textile work based on a drawing by Giampaolo Bertozzi and hand-made by craftspeople commissioned by Antonio Verolino, who has inherited a passion for fine carpets and tapestries from his father Raffaele Verolino, the undisputed authority on this discipline in Italy and beyond. The expertise acquired over the years by Antonio Verolino has prompted him to forge working partnerships with established artists of the calibre of Enzo Cucchi, David Tremlett, Luigi Ontani and Joe Tilson, who have succeeded in expressing their artistic vision through this ancient decorative medium, to create textiles that amount to fully fledged works of art.

The new textile work by Bertozzi & Casoni depicts a honeycomb masking the form of a skull. Made of entirely hand-knotted silk, it has a uniquely living appearance because it changes colour with the changing light. The work is set in a ceramic frame, also in the form of a honeycomb, with over a thousand ceramic flowers sprouting from it.

Sponsored by the Municipality of Modena, the exhibition is being held in conjunction with the festivalfilosofia and with the support of Ciaccio Arte Insurance Service.