Giovanni Kronenberg. Third appointment at Renata F...

Giovanni Kronenberg. Third appointment at Renata Fabbri gallery

The Milanese artist Giovanni Kronenberg returns to Renata Fabbri gallery with a third solo show: ten works, a selection of sculptures and drawings to be observed from different angles. Giovanni Kronenberg with his spatial interventions gives the spectator the possibility of exploring unusual unions between materials and artefacts. Natural finds and evidence of material culture come together in the sculptural and untitled works; objects suspended in a new space-time dimension, which from the past reach the contemporary: Aurisina marble, Istrian stone, iron and steel. Elements that the artist collects over time before intervening with a slight modification or the addition of a discordant detail.

Giovanni Kronenberg. View of the exhibition at Renata Fabbri, Milan 2024. Photo: Mattia Mognetti, courtesy Renata Fabbri

With his art, Kronenberg transports the viewer into the complexity of the intrinsic meanings that objects can carry with them. With the rich linguistic polysemy of objects, he explores the ability of these to be accompanied by multiple meanings, interpretations and associations that can be decomposed and recomposed, fragmented and then reunited in different ways depending on the cultural, historical, personal and social context in which they are inserted. In this process, the artist constantly questions the form of objects, creating an ambiguity that becomes the beating heart of his poetics. What distinguishes the artist is his renunciation of a linear or univocal approach to communicating with his works, rejecting any intent of narrative or explicit teaching. His creations are defined almost as prototypes: ideas that the artist develops in his studio, a laboratory with infinite possibilities, a place of exploration and experimentation, in which each work is an open door towards new interpretations and discoveries. By exploring the ability of objects to convey multiple layers of meaning through their manipulation, combination and presentation, Kronenberg creates art works that defy expectations and invite reflection, expands the ambiguity of the object itself and offers observers the possibility to freely explore and interpret its meaning.

Giovanni Kronenberg “Untitled” 2023, Aurisina marble, steel, environmental dimensions. Photo: Mattia Mognetti, courtesy the artist and Renata Fabbri, Milan

The exhibition path opens with a sculptural installation without a pedestal, placed on the gallery floor. Slabs of Aurisina marble, used for the construction of a post office in Rialto in the early twentieth century, are stacked on top of each other and held together by a slender steel cable, synonymous with a more recent and capitalist time, which connect the bulkier part on one side to the lighter one on the other. Public, classic and industrial are linked together in an original intertwining.

Giovanni Kronenberg “Untitled” 2023, colored pencils, oxidized metal leaf on paper, 31.7 x 24 cm (on the left); “Untitled” 2023, colored pencils, oxidized metal leaf on paper, 31.7 x 24 cm (right). Photo: Mattia Mognetti, courtesy the artist and Renata Fabbri, Milan

Thus the artist challenges traditional expectations related to art, inviting viewers to explore and discover personal meanings in his works, rather than imposing a specific vision or predefined narrative on them. A work of unprecedented dimensions that invades the space as it unfolds. In the same way, the other installations combine objects and materials: both full of the past without generating narratives, multiple dimensions of time that do not tell defined stories. New and poetic bodies born from the association of two distant and dissonant elements. In the second room, a cylindrical stone container houses within it an archaic crack – partly repaired by the artist – with an old iron cleaver: an arrow that continues to pierce time itself, revealing the scars of the past and suggesting persistence of painful memories from history.

Giovanni Kronenberg “Untitled” 2023, Istrian stone, iron, 56 x 46 x 56 cm. Photo: Mattia Mognetti, courtesy the artist and Renata Fabbri, Milan

Colored pencil drawings in vibrant tones alternate on oxidized metal, gold or copper leaf on paper are placed alongside the walls: abstract and small-format drawings, with fluid and indecipherable figures, enigmatic entities, organisms with elusive shapes that seem to accumulate on themselves, leaving the viewer extreme freedom of interpretation. Ambiguous and unstable bodies, in constant transformation between concrete and abstract, finite and infinite: they too lack a title that defines them as they cross the limit from one form to another. In an atypical figure/background relationship, the artist makes his compact and liquid drawing emerge from the scenery behind it in a new timeless dimension. Visual traps to destabilize the observer and then lead him into a logic of sensations and imagination.

Giovanni Kronenberg. View of the exhibition at Renata Fabbri, Milan 2024. Photo: Mattia Mognetti, courtesy Renata Fabbri

What seems to interest Kronenberg most is, therefore, the creation of structures that allow the sensation to be articulated in a continuous escape from the identity categorizations of the image. Overlays of colors and metal sheets to perhaps recall the grainy mineral chromaticity, a nature made of exceptions and wonder while the artist’s works stand as testimony to his incessant process of research and exploration, which challenges conventions and expectations to tell an expression free and borderless art. An art work is never static even if what it represents might seem so; an art work interacts differently with its interlocutor and spectator: it is a metaphor always moving in his mind.

Francesca Liantonio

Giovanni Kronenberg, solo show, 2024
18.01.2024 – 9.03.2024
via A. Stoppani 15/c, Milano


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