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Francesca Pasquali_Metamorphoses on view at Tornabuoni Art
Tornabuoni Art London, Francesca Pasquali 29 June – 17 September 2016. Courtesy Tornabuoni Art.

LONDON.- Tornabuoni Art London is presenting Francesca Pasquali_Metamorphoses, the first of a series of solo exhibitions taking place in the summer months, introducing emerging Italian artists to the London art scene. Providing a platform for contemporary Italian art is a project very dear to gallery owner Ursula Casamonti, who explains: “The idea of opening our exhibition programme which is normally Modern-focused to emerging artists has been at the top of the London gallery’s agenda from the very start. For our first summer in London, we wanted to introduce Francesca Pasquali, a young artist whose work Tornabuoni Art has been following and promoting for many years. While Pasquali has encountered great success in Italy, she is little known abroad and we are proud to be presenting her first solo exhibition in London.”

Metamorphoses, created in collaboration with Francesca Pasquali and the Francesca Pasquali Archive, showcases her latest works as well as site-specific installations realised especially by the artist for Tornabuoni Art London. At the exhibition’s core lies the basis of Pasquali’s research: the relationship between nature and artifice. In Pasquali’s work the evolutionary and mutative state of microcosmic textures of plants and animals is mirrored in the weaving of recycled plastic materials that shape the artist’s sculptural creations, which constantly change in relation to the spectator. From hard to soft, from alien to familiar, the materials interact with viewers who become actors and co-authors of the works as they move around, touch and enter them.

A keen observer of the materiality and transience of objects, Francesca Pasquali is influenced by the heritage of the Arte Povera movement to repurpose mundane objects such as drinking straws and elastic bands, cobweb dusters and broom bristles. Her labour intensive creative process confers on these humble materials a new value and a second life as artworks, providing new ways of experiencing familiar objects. Starting with a basic structure – a net, a metal cage or a plank of wood – each piece develops organically, the artist working instinctively with the material to arrive at the finished work. The audience is invited to enter a dialogue with the material and projecting onto it their own individual and personal experiences.

The exhibition at Tornabuoni Art London displays around twenty works, of which two are large-scale installations. The first is located in the window and the entrance of the gallery, where visitors will be welcomed by cocoon-like structures made of polyurethane foam that invade the space like mutating organisms. The show then continues with a series of “object works” in which Pasquali explores the Frappa shape created by assembling spirals of neoprene. The gallery also is exhibiting works from the artist’s Straws series – perhaps her most iconic – made of thousands of coloured drinking straws, cut to varying lengths and assembled to create plastic and organic tri-dimensional patterns. In the space below, the ScopaMI installation covers the floor with a compact surface made of black plastic broom bristles. The double meaning of “scopami” as both the literal sweeping of the floor and an expression that refers to having sex, suits the more intimate setting of the lower gallery, where visitors are invited to interact with the work by touching and walking on the bristles.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue, specially published for the occasion by Forma Edizioni, Florence. Elaborated as a concept book with original sketches and annotations by the artist, the monograph explores the themes of Pasquali’s research through records of large-scale installation and the process of their creation. It is completed by an introductory essay by writer and independent curator Fatoș Üstek, a text by MOCA London director Dr. Michael Petry, and an interview with the artist by ICA curator Matt Williams.

Adding to Pasquali’s intervention in London is a large-scale installation entitled Spiderwall, on show throughout July at MOCA London and curated by the museum’s director, Dr. Michael Petry. Made up of thousands of simple, colourful cobweb dusters, the immersive work – a plastic cloud floating in the air – illustrates the latest step in Francesca Pasquali’s artistic research.

Born in Bologna in 1980, Francesca Pasquali studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna.

Her research stems from the observation of natural shapes whose structural texture the artists emulates, transforming plastic, industrial materials into complex and elaborate objects and installations.New technologies are an integral part of the artist’s practice, which includes sound, light and video installations like the recent Glasswall (2015), a kinetic and interactive work realised in collaboration with Mary Bauermeister for the Fluxus exhibition at C.U.BO. Centro Unipol in Bologna.

A finalist of the Cairo Prize 2015 and Second Prize at the Henraux Foundation Prize in 2014, Francesca Pasquali has also been invited to participate in several major international art fairs, and her works are housed in important private collections and public institutions around Italy.

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