Francesco Ardini | Stige

OPENING, TUESDAY 28 APRIL 2015, H 7:00-9:30 PM

Federica Schiavo Gallery is delighted to present Stige, Francesco Ardini’s first solo show at the gallery.

“I looked at its white mantle flowing upon the flat banks as I moulded it.
I heard its voice, a slow melody, eternal. Silent, like time itself.
This song, enchanted me”.

The work of Francesco Ardini has always been punctuated by a rich metamorphic and mythological theme which becomes, in his first solo exhibition in Rome, a revaluation on the origins of his actions as an artist.

Drier and indeed more concise than his first projects, Stige is developed in the artist’s imagination as a kind of situationism, at first topographic and then formal, gutted by a long meditation on the location of his workplace. Nove and Bassano del Grappa are two towns located in a small region in the north east of Italy, crossed by the river Medoacus, as the ancient called it - nowadays the Brenta river - on whose banks, at the beginning of the 17th century, a small community gathered in order to work the clay on behalf of the Venetian Republic. The language of the artist is marked by the strong relationship with that tradition, memory of an ancient culture, a grand universe which stood still and towards which the artist directs his bow to erect his funerary monuments.

The Manufatti Fossili – Fossil Artefacts – in the first room, are full masses, gips bodies agglomerated into forms, stacked and then sliced. The necroscopic act reveals, on top of the shapes inside the moulds, Ardini’s will to transform what remains into an archaeological artefact, like surfacing traces drifting in the current. This progression reveals an entropic approach towards matter; ceramic evokes now a distant memory almost completely abandoned in order to welcome the sculptural forms as only leisure of the creative complexity. A mutation occurs leading to sharing in the volumes, aspects of the figurative as well as of its own boundary.

Deployed in the other rooms through the gallery, the exhibition continues with the crystallisation of a process through forms and locations, situations which dramatise the evanescent spirit of the existence and even of matter itself. Vision becomes more intimate; here, once more, the artist alters all circumstances, the shape of a limb breaks apart, disjointed from its own figure, it is moulded into a single body along with other objects collected from handicraft workshops, like chairs or tables.

Every artwork is given an anthropomorphic character, pink chrome is a reminder of flesh, the unfolding drapery onto the table draws traces of skin. Like human remains, the whole body of work projects a scenery of ghostly presences, desolate in space, emanating the shadow of a distant past. Stige, like the river Styx, flows like that white river. The eye of the artist is filled with judgement towards what history has left him: a cry, silent like time itself.

Text: Geraldine Blais Zodo / Translation: Filippo De Francesco