Enrico David's first solo show at Gió Marconi opens in Milan
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Enrico David's first solo show at Gió Marconi opens in Milan
Enrico David, Cielo di giugno 09.02. – 20.03.2021. Installation view Gió Marconi, Milan. Photo: Fabio Mantegna. Courtesy: the artist; Gió Marconi, Milan.

MILAN.- Gió Marconi is presenting Cielo di giugno, Enrico David’s first solo show at the gallery.

The work in the exhibition manifests a distinctive pull towards both lightness and a craving for the horizon, in part following the and reacting to David’s Venice experience: original material such as notes, drafts and drawings that are typically at the core of all of his work were conceived during the conceptual stages of the Italian Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennial. Cielo di giugno marks a threshold in David’s practice, in that it is his first exhibition composed exclusively of graphic works, of “beginnings” and “clues” which in different circumstances would have migrated to other media and modes of expression. The sequence of works, oscillating between proximity and distance, sinking and gliding, underlines David’s position as a painter and finds its pretext in an exteriority made of air and atmosphere, dust motes and light, waning wind and twilight, the sun, the moon and endless vistas. The act of observing is equal to sitting on a clod of earth - or on an unlikely bench, waiting for irreducible remains. Here the horizon is the utopia that Edoardo Galeano describes as a kind of tension: drawing us closer but inevitably shifting further away, its only purpose being to allow us to move forward.

The exhibition comprises three groups of paintings. On the shorter walls of the space two works are being displayed which function as an imaginary parenthesis, facing each other and enclosing their content. Il fraterno silenzio del fango (2020) and Zattera viva (2020) are two large canvases which, like an architecture, form a supporting structure for the other works and represent the trellis onto which all the rest is fixed, entangled: kites, hovering in a light that no longer conveys matter, and with their eternal melancholic dream they yield to their fall. Or rafts, whose color blends and dissolves, and whose customary harmony – both reflective and meditative - holds earth and sky together, the material and the incorporeal, on the verge of dissolving. In contrast, the small canvases are virtually studies, compositions which, like riddles, explore the possibility of painting, or how to paint in the least pictorially possible way.

Bassa marea al molo, Fossa madre, Cielo trema o niente, Punti di fiamma, Salvezza trovata in cielo, together with the exhibition’s title piece Cielo di giugno (all works 2020) reveal the unfolding of the images at a faster pace, with the excited gesture of something happening or about to happen: instants that spin around before falling back on themselves, sowing signs of sentiment. The work evokes a sculptural feel that refers to natural elements such as grass, bamboo canes, mud, materials frequently found in Enrico David’s work. The gallery walls are painted in the same natural tone as the canvases in order to enhance the materiality – or its absence – of the pictorial surface.

Cielo di giugno, Acrab’s sky, the “lady of the blue”. Beyond the past spring never lived, beyond the encounter of human transience and nature’s unperturbed cycle, beyond this endless winter, summer fades away and what remains is an unsettling tenderness.

Enrico David (b. 1966, Ancona, Italy). He currently lives and works in London.

Recent exhibitions include: Gradations of Slow Release, MCA, Chicago, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, USA (2019); 58th Venice Biennale, Italian Pavilion curated by Milovan Farronato, Venice, Italy (2019); Fault Work, Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE (2016); Autoparent, Lismore Castle Arts, Lismore, Ireland (2016); The Hepworth Wakefield, West Yorkshire, UK (2015); Maramotti Collection, Reggio Emilia, Italy (2015); UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, USA (2013); 55th Venice Biennale curated by Massimiliano Gioni, Venice, Italy (2013); Head Gas, New Museum, New York, USA (2011); Repertorio Ornamentale, Bevilacqua La Masa Foundation, Venice, Italy (2011); How Do You Love Dzzzzt by Mammy?, Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel, Switzerland (2009); Bulbous Marauder, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, USA (2008); Ultra Paste, ICA, London, UK (2007) and 50th Venice Biennale curated by Francesco Bonami, Venice, Italy (2003).

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