Fondazione Memmo opens Amalia Pica's first solo exhibition in Italy
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Fondazione Memmo opens Amalia Pica's first solo exhibition in Italy
Amalia Pica, (Quasi) Catachresis, 2022. Courtesy of the artist and Fondazione Memmo. Photo: Daniele Molajoli.

ROME.- Fondazione Memmo presents Quasi, Amalia Pica’s first solo exhibition in Italy, running from Tuesday, April 12 to Sunday, October 16, 2022.

The exhibition, curated by Francesco Stocchi, represents a new chapter in the Argentinean artist’s practice, focusing on the analysis of the strategies implemented in communication and, more generally, on the use of language.

For years, in her drawings, installations, sculptures and performances, Amalia Pica has been exploring the dynamics through which we communicate a feeling or an idea to others. The public is often involved in her works, which invite both intellectual and physical forms of participation. In creating her pieces, the artist adopts everyday objects such as furniture, shoes, bottles and various utensils, used in a paradoxical overturning of semiotics and its rules.

For the exhibition at Fondazione Memmo, Amalia Pica presents a body of new sculptures, a continuation of the “Catachresis” series, focusing on the rhetorical device. A catachresis is a figure of speech by which we name things using metaphors. These are often connected to the human body. The “table leg,” the “arm of the chair,” the “bottleneck” are a few examples of objects which were selected by Amalia Pica to make these sculptural assemblages. The extension of a word beyond the limits of its meaning reveals how language and images can interact, contributing to the definition of reality. The results comprise hybrid figures, a blend of objects in anthropomorphic or animal forms, thus “quasi” personalities.

And it is precisely this adverb—which expresses a condition that has not been fully achieved—that gives the exhibition its title. Quasi alludes to the intermediate stage of the artist’s sculptures, the outcome of paradoxical and incongruent grafts, through which Pica nevertheless manages to suggest figures and anatomies endowed with an unexpected grace.

All the pieces were created by the artist in Rome over the course of numerous preparatory visits and stays in the city, during which she had the opportunity of working with expert artisanal glassworkers. In fact, glass is an element that often appears in her oeuvre. Her sources of inspiration include the marionettes that she observed in some artisanal workshops and theatres. Unlike the previous sculptures in the Catachresis series, the works shown at Fondazione Memmo present articulations, joints and threads that render them mobile, in a way that recalls the traditional marionettes of “figure theatre.”

In line with Fondazione Memmo’s programme, the artist had the opportunity of becoming acquainted with Rome, its narratives and its artisanal heritage, thus staging a new stage in her work.

Amalia Pica was born in 1978 in Neuquén, Argentina. After training at the Instituto Universitario Nacional del Arte and the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes P.P. (I.U.N.A.), both in Buenos Aires, she moved to Europe to study at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam, Holland. She currently lives and works in London. Her work has been presented in public and private institutions all over the world.

Her most important solo exhibitions include: Quasi, Fondazione Memmo, Rome (2022); Accumulations and Overlaps, Tanya Bonakdar, Los Angeles; Pisapapeles, Proyectos Ultravioleta, Guatemala City (2021); Round Table (and other forms), Museum Haus Konstruktiv in Zurich (2020); ACCA Sevilla; While inside, Herald St, London (2019); please open hurry, PICA, Perth, and IMA, Brisbane; (un)heard, Cc Foundation, Shanghai (2018); ears to speak of, The Power Plant, Toronto (2017); A ∩ B ∩ C (line), Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (2014); Amalia Pica en el MNBA, National Museum of Fine Arts, Neuquén; MCA, Chicago (2013); Amalia Pica, Chisenhale Gallery, London; For Shower Singers, Modern Art Oxford; Chronic Listeners, Kunsthalle San Gallo (2012); babble, blabber, chatter, gibber, jabber, patter, prattle, rattle, yammer, yada yada yada, Malmö Konsthall, Malmö (2010).

Some of the group exhibitions in which she has taken part: Fly me to the Moon. The Moon landing: 50 years on, Museum of Modern Art Salzburg and Kunsthaus Zürich; After Leaving | Before Arriving, 12th Kaunas Biennial; The Stage Is Yours, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki, Finland (2019); 12th Shanghai Biennial, Power Station of Art, Shanghai; Monuments to Us, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Stories of Almost Everyone, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2018); Soundtracks, MoMA, San Francisco; The String Traveller, S.M.A.K., Ghent; Drawing Biennial 2017, The Drawing Room, London; Asamble (performance), Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2017); Manifesta 11, Zurich; Gwangju Biennial (2016); Expanding the Field of Play, Centre Pompidou, Paris; Adventures of the Black Square, Whitechapel Gallery, London (2015); Ruins in Reverse, Tate Modern Project Space, London; When Attitudes Became Form Became Attitudes, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Detroit (2013); On Apology, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco (2012); The Ungovernables, New Museum, New York (2012); ILLUMInations, 54th International Art Exhibition - Venice Biennale (2011).

Her works are included in the collections of museums and foundations such as: Tate, London; Guggenheim, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Fundação De Serralves, Porto; MFA, Boston.

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