CAST. Baldo Diodato, Schirin Kretschmann, Yorgos Stamkopoulos

02.03.21 — 23.04.21

Galleria Mario Iannelli is pleased to introduce a group exhibition by Baldo Diodato, Schirin Kretschmann and Yorgos Stamkopoulos, which compares their research in a mutual signifier.

The title "Cast" highlights the act of casting as a starting point in observing the constant figure of Diodato's conceptual and sculptural work that is found in some aspects and in changed forms in Kretschmann's site-specific work and in the painting by Stamkopoulos.


Diodato's works on exhibition are a "frottage" on canvas from the 1970s executed through performance and the pieces from "Sanpietrini" series, the icon of his most recent production since the 2000s in which he "trod the step of history" (Achille Bonito Oliva; 2002 Marcaurelio, 2010 "Squares of Rome", 2016 "You Are Here" 13 Squares of Rome).
His performances are samples of spatial fragments in temporal lapses, real "tread of time" (1974 Living Sculptures, Philadelphia; 1979 Four steps on the canvas, "One hour footing", Rotonda Diaz, Naples; 2015 "Tempo Reale", Bilotti Museum, Rome).
In 1976 in the Alessandra Gallery in New York he covered the entire floor space with a double layer of cloth canvas superimposed with carbon paper. These first performances were born on the outside and date back to 1974 in JFK Square in Philadelphia. In them, a collective "frottage" is produced with the public's passage, a necessary part of the work of the "living sculpture" in Diodato words.
The frottage on canvas exhibited is a fragment of that exhibition, framing its start and end dates.
During the inauguration, performance will be carried out on the part of the gallery floor coated with canvas and pigments; the outcome will then be displayed on the walls. The project was carried out on the work planned for a solo exhibition in the gallery entitled "Walking on Canvas" which was concentrated on the sole experience of walking on the canvas. In contrast, on this occasion, the exhibition's current configuration has earned its genesis thanks to an instant and spontaneous reflection of Diodato's work towards the positions of artists whose path the gallery follows and with whom it is interested in verifying stylistic and historical symmetries.
Diodato's research, founded on a practice that has its roots in Duchamp's ready-made and in Max Ernst's frottage technique, which makes the sampling an artwork conceptual device, he stands out on the Italian and international scene for having crossed the avant-gardes of the second half of the twentieth century and being a forerunner in the experimentation of new languages, attitudes and materials, from informal to minimalism and pop-art to performative, environmental and multimedia art, from the first works with iron and fabrics subject to combustion or with plastic fruit baskets assembled on the canvas, to the first experiments with neon chronologically preceding the Arte Povera, carrying out a study on three-dimensionality starting from a modular two-dimensional surface ("Window on the World", mirror stainless steel , Philadelphia Museum of Art 1975) that in the square finds a window for the "image-time" (Deleuze) remaining a constant until his recent production "New York windows" (2020), a series of drawings on paper filled with small squares.
His activity took place mainly in three cities: Naples (until 1967), New York (from 1967 to 1991) and Rome (from 1991).
In Naples at the Modern Art Agency, he exhibited in 1967 "Due cubi scomponibili", different both from those of Fabro (In-cubo 1966) and from those of the American minimalist artists Judd, Morris, LeWitt, Andre for the possibility of being movable upon and not only crossed or inhabited (Mariantonietta Picone Petrusa "Baldo Diodato: Italia-USA andata e ritorno").
He is a Genius Loci from Rome, not only for having trod its squares and historical places but for having impressed his work in the scenery. Looking at Rome on a rainy day, at the wet cobblestone pavement, immediately brings us back to its galvanised iron sheets and resins, potentially seen a permanent installation, which at that moment we recognise as having a magnitude equal to the Baroque sculptures and classical architecture and in their specificity of "two-dimensional and pellicular" sculpture (Achille Bonito Oliva) and on there, the light refracts on the patina of wear or otherwise is neutralised by the monochrome painting on the bas-relief evoking a parallel with the everted surfaces by Castellani.
In like manner, his site-specific works not only take fragments of time and history but tell the stories of the places and environments of where they are permanently located, at the Orestiadi Foundation in Tunis ("Sedici colonne colorate"), in the Naples Metro ( Stazione Cilea) and at the Museum of Trame Mediterranee that shapes with aluminium and 30sqm of optical fibres the "Cielo stellato su Gibellina", vibrant with the same poetics of the form of the work "32 mq di mare circa" by Pascali and "Bosco Naturale- Artificiale" in plexiglass by Marotta.
Furthermore, his works and installations are challenged by the environment due to the effect of time even above their execution, as we can observe on the canvases traces of the seventies that remodel in intensity and even up to their destruction like at the Certosa di Padula wherein the canvas left in the monks original walkway has materially vanished following the passage and abstractly in an evocative and fine lyric, as only Baldo Diodato works, moved by the instinct linked by chance, can grasp the surrounding harmony.
His works are in various public and private collections including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome, the Museo del Novecento (Castel Sant'Elmo), the Certosa di Padula (SA), the Morra Foundation in Naples, MAACK (CB). In 2016 he exhibited a retrospective at the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome curated by Achille Bonito Oliva.
Since 2010 in collaboration with the musician Antonio Caggiano he has created musical performances that exploit his works as a sound instrument (2010 Tappeto in musica, Hermann Nitsch Museum, Naples; 2010 Musical carpet, Erica Fiorentini Contemporary Art, Rome; 2011 Pedestrian Flag, Camponeschi, Rome; 2012 Sound carpet. Tribute to John Cage, Piazza San Francesco, Lucca; 2012 Botta di sale, Isola Lunga, Marsala (TP); 2017 Portion of Villa Blanc, Rome).


Also, the Schirin Kretschmann's site-specific work interacts with the public and exploits the space's structures. In some of her installations, she covers it with pigments and plaster altered by the time action and the people who experience it physically. ("Physical" 2017, "Toter Winkel" 2018, "True Blue" 2015, "Another Perfect Day" 2014)
The "Labor (II)" work occupies one wall of the gallery since autumn 2019 is part of a series of experiments handled with fat.
The execution of this work is often carried out in border areas and to portray a new perception of space, usually between an interior and an exterior ("Polish" 2011; "Labor I" 2018, "Paste" 2019, "Lets Slip Into Her Shoes (V) "2017).
"Labor (II)" is located in a wall that is not usually used to present artwork; however, it is visible from the middle of the gallery by ending in an interposing angle parallel to the bottom wall almost like a column.
Before the fat's interposing, a material was applied to the wall to contain its efflorescence, enabling the other exhibited works. After the end of the exhibition for which it was created, it was not removed but took place in various subsequent exhibition constellations.
This operation allowed the gallery to overcome the logic of the "white cube" that provides an always reinterpreted space as a new original and the artist to create a "site-specific" work engaged in continuous negotiation with its environment is interdependent.
In other examples of Kretschmann's work, his potentially toxic wall art piece at the Kunstmuseum in Stuttgart (2018) was in a calculated equilibrium compared to the non-decay of Dieter Roth's 1972 "Gartenzwerg" work made in chocolate and permanently exhibited at the museum requiring strict maintenance measures, while ideally, it represented its counterpart being a work bound to transformation.
In the exhibition in the Fuhrwerkwaage in Cologne (2013) she made a performance with fat on the floor at the centre of the space above the ceiling heating system preventing the material alteration while the cold walls stabilised its shape on its sides.
It is impossible indeed to predict precisely how the job or its position will be like.
The art piece works with the context.
Even those who host the artwork are forced to make decisions. Therefore, it is unknown whether "Labor (II)" will be removed after the exhibition. It will be a subsequent issue to be negotiated with the artist and evaluated concerning other matters or emergencies.
Kretschmann's other displayed works interact harmoniously with Diodato's installation.
The first is a series of small-sized works produced with paper folding, "Folded Papers" (2009-2012).
These works were not created to be an abstract image initially, but to be experienced. Each fold is a decision, a trace of movement, an apparent or actual change in the work's spatial qualities through a shift in position. Only after treatment with folding and creasing machines does it take an abstract relief form and architectural allusion.
What happens in Diodato's installations the public is invited to walk freely on it, impressing their movements' signs.
Kretschmann carries out research on paper by experimenting with processes similar to those she realises in her installations and performances.
The other exhibited series, the "Floor Works", work in "frottage" with graphite on paper made using her own studio floor, arise as cancellation of previous traces but ends up creating others in the holes obtained from their destruction.

Finally, the spreading of powdered pigments is a practice, Diodato and Kretschmann, both uses. While Diodato spreads them on canvas to perform the frottage, giving rise to an aerial and molecular spatial depth, also found in other works such as particularly in those with scratches on the aluminium or on applied reflective papers and in the same" Sanpietrini" with iridescent smooth surfaces, in Kretschmann's series "Form on the day" the pigment is preserved between two glasses and the shape adopt a structure through the shadow projected on the wall, getting a similar purpose to the works with halos made with fat adding a plastic value.


The pictorial practice of Yorgos Stamkopoulos crosses with the stylistic codes of Kretschmann and Diodato coherently.
He shares a speech on matter and form and on some "scientific" aspects of the artwork, simultaneously gives free expression to the sign's immediate poetics.
In his paintings the explosion of pictorial conglomeration produces vertigo between the solids and voids distinguished by the untreated canvas parts, the events are linked in a dance imitating life, the visual matter comes to the fore with a balanced harmony of colours giving back a drifting likeness.
Based on his technique that involves the tearing of multiple masking, Stamkopoulos does not see directly what he paints because he hides it with stratifications by implementing through a process such as the one produced by the insertion of the copy paper in Diodato's installations revealing the work in the end as an unveiled traces.
With Schirin Kretschmann he took part in the "Monochromes" exhibition at the gallery wherein the monochrome poetic linked to time was brought to light entered the work, unhinging the form boundaries turned into spatial possibilities.
The interview with Stamkopoulos by Lorenzo Bruni during the exhibition "Trajectory" in the gallery in 2017 marked a consideration of today's painting role and communicability, starting from the historical references of Stamkopoulos' painting and his reaction to them in the "attempt to not to represent reality but to provide a tool for a dialogue with it "(Bruni) and to" reshape it together with human presence in it "(Stamkopoulos), the same role of Diodato's works with " frottage" have been crossed, experienced, designed only by mankind.
The linear steel sculptures in the Trajectory exhibition, depending on the position of the viewer could be perceived as sculptures or solid lines mingled with the mural painting, were originated in the typical spray marks of an urban graffiti culture he already used in his paintings, whose structure created through the partial destruction of what has been similarly applied to the state of a fresco in decay, a "décollage" by Rotella, the "Floor Works" or the permanent installation "Limon" (2017, Stühlinger, Fribugo) created by Kretschmann along 47 meters glass wall by four meters high, she scratched the monochrome yellow colour to produce the shadow effect giving spatial qualities depending on the movements of those who experience it.
Therefore, Stamkopoulos works are prone to the same process as Kretschmann and Diodato whose common path is observable in a dynamic between sampling and relief, here space and time are connected in a subjective and contemplative as well as interpersonal and tangible.
Over time, Stamkopoulos's painting has evolved through the relief from a phase of "scientific" study on trace, which synchronously was a previous period synthesis wherein he used the dripping technique on the canvas's entire space. In his later more minimal works, the empty image space was an active field that adhered entirely to the observer's field, carried away and guided among sprayed marks and full flat smooth matter till the canvas edges and beyond.
The exhibition works are four oil paintings of his most recent production, two on prepared canvas and two on raw linen in which the relief it's almost baroque for its momentum and continuity, concur to the movement together at emerging of circular imprints and stretch marks that run through the space of the image.
One of the exhibited paintings, the untreated canvas space tunes with the dripping image, summarises all three periods of Stamkopoulos's painting here investigated. The pouring has become a filter, a further stratification.
The various phases of Stamkopoulos's painting, continuously open to experimentation, are also filled in the other oil painting on a white canvas, and there it can be seen the transition from previous works since in the empty field stands out fragments of non-material material slice no longer flat but given directly by the tube oil pigment added into a porous texture produced by the same matter reaction of the oily paste.
The two most recent canvases on raw linen develop the same way that texture of the first works of Pollockian ancestry, composing a sort of "camouflage" making the colour returns to first in the line like the sign and the fragmented form is loaded with evident kinetic properties.

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