Giovanni Kronenberg – Solo Show
with a text by Antonio Grulli
Claudio Gobbi – Neither Europe nor Asia
Opening: Saturday 25 February 2023 at 6 pm
until 25 March 2023
Tuesday to Saturday, 3 – 7 pm
RizzutoGallery is pleased to present in its spaces two personal exhibitions, distinct and separate – a solo show by Giovanni Kronenberg and Neither Europe nor Asia by Claudio Gobbi. The exhibitions will be inaugurated simultaneously on Saturday 25 February 2023 at 6 pm. and will remain open until 25 March – from Tuesday to Saturday, from 3 to 7 pm.
The exhibition of Giovanni Kronenberg (Milan, 1974. Lives and works in Milan), with a critical text by Antonio Grulli, is entirely centered on his recent production on paper. Known for his sculptures – characterized by the use and transformation of artefacts, natural finds and objects that are difficult to catalog and resist interpretations or narrative approaches – over the years the artist has combined his sculptural research with a dense graphic production. Parallel and complementary, the works on paper reveal a particular sensitivity for the conception and transformation of forms which, if on the one hand they recall the configurations of the sculptures, on the other they distance themselves from them due to the strong and unexpected colors and freedom of sign. In his exhibitions, the artist puts the sculptures in dialogue with the language of drawing, trying to expand and test the installation dynamics and their consequent dialogic relationships. If in the previous trials, the relationship between the sculptures installed on the floor and the drawings displayed on the wall created a short circuit, now, by subtracting the three-dimensional forms, the ambiguity – which has always permeated and substantiated Kronenberg’s research – intensifies in the sole two-dimensionality of paper. The figure-ground polarity, central to his drawings, becomes a continuous formal dispute, which he does not find and does not want to find a simple or predictable solution. The use of different techniques – from pastel to charcoal, from colored pencils to watercolor – make the action of drawing closer to a pictorial sensibility, where saturated colors dialogue with more diaphanous and softer tones. All small format, Kronenberg’s works on paper are also peculiar for the skill in handling and juxtaposing the different materials used for the backgrounds: copper leaf, silver and 24-karat gold, precious metals that add suspension, timelessness and remoteness to its graphic proofs.
Claudio Gobbi (Ancona, 1971. Lives and works between Berlin and Italy) presents the project Neither Europe nor Asia, a selection of photographs taken from two series created and collected by the artist starting from 2011 during repeated trips to Russia in the region of the Urals, on the border between Europe and Asia. As in his other projects, the artist combines images he personally took with archival photographs found on site with the intention of addressing recurring themes in his artistic research: cultural identity, the encounter between East and West, transnationality and, last but not least, photography itself as a means of representation. The starting point of Neither Europe nor Asia is the life of the writer Dimitry Mamin Sibiryak (1852-1912), the main author of the Urals, whose fairy tales and poetic landscape narratives have been translated all over the world. Gobbi combines the portraits of Sibiryak, emblematic of a cultural border for his partly European and partly Asian somatic traits, with fairy-tale representations of the natural landscape of the region, coming from the broad tradition of dioramas in Russia, interrogating at the same time a territory, its history and the eternal ambiguity of the images. Claudio Gobbi studied photography at the Bauer Institute in Milan specializing under the guidance of Gabriele Basilico. His projects – characterized by a continuous work in progress – address questions relating to cultural identity and borders, transnationality, the encounter between East and West, as well as the relationship between art, architecture and cultural anthropology, tackled starting from his own context of belonging: Europe.