Carie, Stefano Canto solo exhibition, opens new Materìa gallery location. Opend to the public on the last February 13th, the exhibition, curated by Giuliana Benassi, shows the latest cycle of works by the artist, outcome of a research started in 2009. The exhibition title, in itself, puts the visitor in the middle of the creative operation pursued by the author, because, according to the botanic scientific vocabulary, it refers to a specific kind of parasites – called “caries” – causing plant tissues decomposition. Indeed, to create this group of artworks, artist started, both conceptually and concretely, from parts of tree trunks and cortex marked by the action of caries parasites wearing out their interiors up to complete erosion, determining, once worn, their rot.
Nonetheless, Canto’s research originates from this biological dialectic, because it relates precisely with that emptiness caused by the corrosive activity practiced by microorganisms. Here, following an inverse but complementary process, he makes up for the absence inserting cement, which, once compacted, gets shape according to the natural features of wasted tree concavities, generating bodies with a solid and monolithic appearance. In this way, artist’s work restores the disfigured masses of the selected tree trunks, renews their consistency, rehabilitates their volumes and presence, paying great attention to the different identities of used materials. Therefore, where the ordinary deterioration of organic material causes lack, sculptural practice redeems the weak matter from its status of passivity, freeing it from the rules of immanence and delivering it to new function, under the abstract category of aesthetics.
This process origins a genealogy of achievements diversified in the solutions but extremely coherent in the appearance, thanks to author’s ability in dealing with such dissimilar components, highlighting the layers of mutual influence and corruption, without causing excessive frictions. So, artworks speak a language characterized by strong in expressive means, allowing to make a comparison to some experiences of contemporary art history – for example Giuseppe Penone and Giuseppe Uncini – but of course independent in the exercise of a process full of meaning, in the organization of its expressive elements, in combining them generating heterogeneous outcomes and – as all the project manifests – in considering them by relationships with surrounding space, bringing out their vocation for installation.
Actually, placed close or spread, placed on the ground or elevated, artworks give rhythm to the gallery rooms, sometimes expressing their own autonomy and, in others, showing interesting possibilities of dialogue. As the curator argues: “the exhibition space seems to transform itself into a landscape, a landscape that is not idyllic, but punctuated by the constant dialogue between nature and architecture, where one takes inspiration from the other and vice versa”.
Carie will be hosted inside new Materìa gallery location, until April 10th.
Stefano Canto. Carie
13.02.2021 – 10.04.2021
curated by Giuliana Benassi
For all the images: Installation view Stefano Canto, Carie, 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Matèria, Roma. Photo Roberto Apa
Contemporary art critic and curator, he has curated exhibitions in galleries, independent and institutional spaces. He has lectured in Italy and abroad. His texts and research are published in catalogs, sector magazines, gallery editions and monographs. He is the curator of artist archives, contributor to specialized magazines and press offices. He collaborates with foundations, public museums, publishing houses and universities on research and curatorial projects.