Sperone Westwater is pleased to announce an exhibition by Mario Dellavedova; it is the artist’s second one-person show in New York since 1992. The exhibition, which will feature several of Dellavedova’s new works, is an assortment of furniture, artifacts, and works on paper created in Mexico and his native Italy.
In Tavolino (the diminutive Italian word for “table”), an elaborate mesh tabletop rests upon three rosewood legs held together by a continuous silver string. A work that demonstrates the highly conceptual nature of Dellavedova’s art, Tavolino undermines its own quotidian function through the richness of its materials, the refinement of its detail, and the exacting quality of its craftsmanship. The artist’s attraction to opulent materials can also be seen in the History of Painting. Six sterling silver paint cans in various sizes lie scattered over newspaper pages, while an elegant paint roll in mahogany, silver, and wool rests nearby.
Dellavedova often enriches his work by commissioning the talents and craftsmanship of others. History of Emotions, which sits atop Tavolino, is a clear, glass vase executed by the masters of Murano in Venice. It is characterized by a heavily textured and freely sculpted surface that corresponds to the liquefied red letters of the title encircling it.
The artist also takes the evocative power of language as the starting point for a bright orange rug with deep blue trim woven in Guadalajara, Mexico. The rug is a solid block of color, except for one white spot featuring the words of writer E.M. Cioran: “Je vadrouille à travers les jours comme une putaine dans une monde sans trottoirs” / “I wander through the days like a whore in a world with no sidewalks”. By disturbing the uniformity of the piece, this absence of color imbues the viewer – or in this case, the “wanderer” – with the same sense of disorientation that Cioran describes.
“Ovidian Victims (the glance)” is another piece that employs the suggestive quality of literature and poetry, this time in a mature reflection on the evanescent quality of charm. In this “non-finito” pastel painting, the artist portrays Ovid’s Metamorphoses as a transparent “veil” of leaves and flowers superimposed upon a female portrait. Finally, by rewriting Emily Dickinson’s own definition of charm in silver point on the two small panels that flank Emily Poetry, Dellavedova acknowledges and accepts his own place in the long artistic, literary, and intellectual history with which he engages.