55 South Audley
London W1K 2QH, UK
Massimo De Carlo gallery is proud to announce the opening exhibition of its 2014-2015 season with a solo show of the Italian artist Diego Perrone.
Diego Perrone’s universal vision and poetics is deeply rooted in Italian values: it is drawn to a certain mysterious allure of provincial and suburban lives. The artist tiptoes in and out of the shadows hidden behind apparent flawless existences. In the same way his work is visually delicate but slightly unhinging as it sheds light on the fragility and dark side of life.
Using diverse mediums and materials such as sculpture, photography, video or drawing Perrone translates this sense of physical and mental void into a very crude imaginary, rough although obsessively crafted.
Diego Perrone returns to London, after his 2008 exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery, for his first exhibition at Massimo De Carlo in London where he will present two new bodies of work.
Diego Perrone’s new glass sculptures are inspired by one of the late Alexander McQueen’s iconic creations: the armadillo shoes. These new sculptures, intended as portraits, are realized through the very antique technique of the cast glass. These uncanny objects blur the border between human anatomy and design object, between baroque and minimalism; they are a perfect homage to preciousness as well as to kitsch.
The theme of presence and absence is tangible in the contrast between the shiny, ornamental emptiness of the glass sculptures and the dark and gloomy blue of the debuting series of bas-reliefs: a manual crafting technique which stems its roots in to the Greek Roman tradition, where it was often used to depict scenes of death and war.
The artist here invites us to contemplate a contemporary idea of void and death: a row of empty office chairs. As put by the artist “I was fascinated by the chair as it is an object that is born empty”. The poorly designed office chair is the trace of an imaginary monotonous and empty life, the dark blue the medium that enhances the contrast between the classical technique used and the corporate inspired subject depicted. The bas-relief is transformed into a crude memento mori.
Diego Perrone describes the bas-reliefs as the representation of “a dark and constant research that doesn’t have to come to any result: my works often try to represent the emptiness of words.” The concept of emptiness, and the symbolism with in it, is the common ground on which these new works move: the ancient crafting techniques he has chosen to represent emptiness will leave the viewer questioning the relationship between aesthetic presence and content absence, and vice versa.