Ties II/ Legami II, London, The Italian Cultural Institute

September 26 - November 20 2017
The Italian Cultural Institute London

ARTUNER and The Italian Cultural Institute (ICI) are pleased to announce the second instalment of their two-part exhibition series on the renowned post-war Italian sculptor Pietro Consagra (1920 – 2005).

Featuring Consagra’s iconic sculptures from the 1960-80s in dialogue with new works by French artist Marine Hugonnier, including new collages from the ‘Art For Modern Architecture’ series, the exhibition will explore how both artists challenge cultural and historical frameworks to establish a new relationship between the viewer and their environment.

One of Italy’s most important post-war sculptors, Pietro Consagra rejected the tradition of three-dimensional sculpture to embrace a more direct mode of interaction between the artwork and the viewer. Working in bronze and iron, Consagra created radical sculptures that were flattened and almost two-dimensional. In this way, he disposed of an authoritarian centre in favour of a “frontal” perspective that is open to a direct relationship with the viewer, which became his artistic credo.

Central to Consagra’s practice was an ongoing reflection on the language of sculpture in relation to other disciplines, including architecture. Consagra believed that the modern city was defined by the three-dimensionality of its architecture, its monumental rhetoric imposing a specific and authoritarian way of engaging with one’s environment. He proposed that the “central perspective”, which has dominated city planning for centuries, is an expression of a dogmatic and hierarchical organisation of Power and that this power can, in turn, limit one’s perceptual field. Consagra imagined a world without centres and peripheries, an idea that underpins his sculpture, where symbolically the object exists in the presence of the viewer, and the beholder in the presence of the object.

Ties II will feature works from Consagra’s Ferri Trasparenti series, monochrome works with an intense formal and spiritual quality – emblems of a new artificial landscape; Inventario, an installation composed of paper-thin iron sculptures travelling across the walls as if in an infinite space; and Sottilissime, where the artist experiments with extreme thinness, creating a sense of translucence that allows the viewer to see the space beyond.

Similarly, Marine Hugonnier also proposes a different way of looking at history and its perceptual framework. Often described as a critique on the Politics of Vision, Hugonnier’s work questions the nature of images and the history, culture and politics that are associated with them.