kaufmann repetto is happy to announce Nicola Martini’s first solo exhibition in New York.
Nicola Martini’s practice is characterized by an intrinsic dualism in which empirical research and ritual coexist.
Ancestral procedures such as baking, mixing and melting take Nicola Martini’s work to a sort of ground zero of sculpture, in which the artist allows the physical properties of the substances to guide the final form of the object (or of the space activated by the artist’s intervention) that is almost dictated by the physical characteristics of the materials and their reciprocal interactions.
This cognitive tension, expressed through continuous experimentation, emerges into a category of thought that is common to different cultures and epochs: the revelation. Revelation to be interpreted as the vital link between material and idea, a link through which a chemical process dismantles preexisting paradigms in favor of a new system of understanding, and a mathematical formula opens the way to metaphysical speculation.
Through his works, Nicola Martini reveals to himself – as well as to the viewer – the fundamental relativity of physical and perceptive assumptions. Incongruous materials such as bitumen of Judea, shellac, concrete and colophony interact to create reactions that change with time, that generate physical tensions and unstable equilibriums, which remind us that matter is never static nor inert.
For his first solo exhibition in New York, THE SOBER DAY, Nicola Martini floods the gallery space with UV light and belies, through this simple gesture, the univocal nature of our visual system of perception.
Bundled together in the space are a series of plates of Plexiglas, whose form mutate according to the degree of tension generated by surrounding architecture.
Moistened with a filtering of shellac and pure alcohol, the plates are transformed by the fluid penetration within the micropores of the material, creating a new system of refraction in which the semi-transparent shellac layer is back-lit by the mirroring surface. Working as an alchemist, the artist activates a process that allows seemingly incompatible elements to react and reconstruct in a new physical manifestation.
The shellac is left to react with other elements in the exhibition, an engraved glass fiber reinforced concrete plate, whose tones change according to the absorption of the solution, as well as the gallery’s walls.
The material itself – prompted to react to different microphysical conditions – is here manifested in some of its infinite possibilities and the viewer, absorbed/submerged in a totalizing work of art, starts to resonate with matter.
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