At de’ Foscherari Gallery, Enkhtur, Francesconi an...

At de’ Foscherari Gallery, Enkhtur, Francesconi and Siedlecki’s idea of sculpture

Three young international artists are exhibited at the Galleria de’ Foscherari, Bologna, with an interesting exhibition curated by Enrico Camprini. The show “Enkhtur – Francesconi – Siedlecki” was imagined by the curator as a three-part conversation on sculpture, a medium that characterizes and unites them, although the different outcomes. The works interplay in the common tendency to conceive sculpture in terms of the idea of temporality, according to an aesthetic, conceptual and symbolic meaning. This temporal thinking is reflected in the works throughout the use of the materials and in the processes activated by the materials themselves, codifying itself as an intrinsic temporality in the sculpture itself. Simultaneously, the Gallery space appears dynamic and in movement thanks to these particular works and their non-homogeneous location.

Enkhtur – Francesconi – Siedlecki, exhibition view, Galleria de’ Foscherari, Bologna, 2023. Courtesy the artists and Galleria de’ Foscherari

Bekhbaatar Enkthur (Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, 1994) works with organic materials that come from the tradition of his homeland, addressing the theme of impermanence and the materials’ change of state. His sculpture “Lupo” (2023), in beeswax and plastic, dynamically animates the space on the external threshold of the Gallery: a friendly life-size wolf with stretching paws. We can find the same animal, linked to the Far East iconography, in the inside with another beeswax sculpture peeping out from above, lying down on the gap between two walls in a playful attitude, with a star between the teeth. These sculptures’ material undergoes a morphological change over time, it is naturally affected by the external temperature, thus it deteriorates.

Bekhbaatar Enhtur, Lupo, 2023. Beeswax. Courtesy the artist and Galleria de’ Foscherari

Luca Francesconi (Mantua, 1979) approaches sculpture in a narrative and formal way: the time depicted by him is that of the natural cycles and the rhythm of our interaction with it. “Horse, Agricultural Apocalypse” (2016), a skeletal plant mammal, has the physiognomy of a reptilian skull, which, like the biblical snake, alludes to the deceptions of the consumer society. The filiform sculpture – exhibited for the first time in London, in 2016, at Jupiter Woods – occupies the central space of the second room with its immaterial fragility. The same theme of reflection on the cycles that regulate human and non-human life is shown in the pair of small bronze sculptures: “Vomiting Man” (2018) and “Putrified Fish” (2018). The time conceived in Francesconi’s pieces, as the curator states, «is given in terms of a narrative ecology of the sculptural practice, where the word ecology must be understood in its most pertinent and profound sense, that is in philosophical terms…»

Luca Francesconi, Vomiting Man, 2018. Bronze. + Putrified Fish, 2018. Bronze. Courtesy the artist and Galleria de’ Foscherari

Namsal Siedlecki (Greenfield, USA, 1986) differs from the previous artists for great mastery and originality, investigating with his works the changing nature of matter, studying it from an alchemical perspective, also with historical-cultural references, and activating processes that materialize themselves in sculptures poised between inertia and life. In the first room we find “Viandanti” (2023), a work of cerebral conception in which sculptures self-produce in an indefinite time horizon. This happens thanks to a galvanic tank placed at the entrance, in which two small copper sculptures have been exhibited, reproductions of a French ex voto dating back to 50 B.C., one of which assumes the role of sacrificial anode, which progressively transfers its body to the other, of opposite pole. The galvanizing process that is created during the course of the exhibition will lead to the formation of ten sculptures, nine stripped Wayfarers whose mass has been slowly absorbed by the tenth, immersed in the tub. An in-progress series in which it can be seen how the material transferred over time has given the figures a sort of porosity, thinning the shapes and changing the colours. A process of transformation of the sculptures that can only be partially controlled and therefore it is unpredictable.

Enkhtur – Francesconi – Siedlecki, exhibition view, Galleria de’ Foscherari, Bologna, 2023. Courtesy the artists and Galleria de’ Foscherari

“Deposizione” (2022) comes from American artist’s past action, who has placed a rough canvas under a source of water in Saint-Nectaire, France, which has a very high percentage of calcite crystals that have transformed the surface of the canvas, crystallizing on it throughout a period of six months, and then culminated in, what we can define, a minimalist sculptural work. The artist’s idea is that of conceiving a work that has petrified during a vital process, like a time machine. Equally fascinating is the sculpture of classical reminiscences in crystal “Soffio” (2023), which rests on a thin base of heavy metal. According to Enrico Camprini, this work by Siedlecki is a sculpture that deals with the artistic practice and of those involved in it, realized by blowing the material inside a bronze head bought by the artist and transformed into an instrument for generating a positive void of its inside, the “breath” within the sculpture marks an indefinite time. Thus, we can assert that Siedlecki’s way of working investigates and crystallizes a stretch of time.

Enkhtur – Francesconi – Siedlecki, exhibition view, Galleria de’ Foscherari, Bologna, 2023. Courtesy the artists and Galleria de’ Foscherari

This current exhibition on temporality and sculpture at de’ Foscherari Gallery was conceived, according to the curator, also thanks the reading of the latest book by Carlo Rovelli (“White Holes”, Riverhead Books, New York, 2023), an in-depth study on the weave of times in relation or, rather, on the weaving of the world.

Manuela Teatini


various artists, Enkhtur – Francesconi – Siedlecki
curated by Enrico Camprini
05/05/2023 – 15/09/2023
Galleria de’ Foscherari
via Castiglione 2/B, 40124 Bologna


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