Skyscrapers and Plant Roots Take Shape at Galleria Ca’ d’Oro
“The most exciting cities today are hopelessly vertical,” says the Italian sculptor and designer Daniele Basso. His sculptures of wood, felt, and steel, now on view at Galleria Ca’ d’Oro, alternately mimic and destabilize the silhouettes of the modern metropolis using the materials and language of high-end construction—in his words, the “daring shapes of concrete, glass, and steel.”
To wit, the show, titled “Reflections,” makes ample use of mirrors and reflective surfaces, employing them as the backdrop for chunky, skyscraper-like assemblages, or as the basis of shimmering geometrically paneled sculptures—as with Achill (2013) and Les Plis De La Vie (2013). In both types of work, Basso’s background in the fashion and design worlds brings material fluency and a keen compositional eye.
The artist, who got his start working with Versace in New York and Paris, founded the firm GlocalDesign, which focuses on interior and lighting design, in 2006. Working with companies such as Swarovski, he has explored his fascination with polished steel surfaces, the interplay between luxurious, mirror-like sheens and the inherent solidity and presence of metalwork. In his fine art work, Basso expands his practice to experiment with these same elements, drawing more literal parallels between materials and processes.
His architecturally influenced, metal-and-mirrored sculptures are complemented at the gallery by the work of Dalya Luttwak, another sculptor working with industrial processes. Where Basso’s work is centered around the hard lines and the multi-paneled geometric shapes of building construction, Luttwak homes in on patterns that occur naturally. Luttwak is inspired by roots and root systems and renders her sculptures from painted steel. The works blow up the scale of the invisible systems that run underground and carefully blowing to create site-specific replicas. Together, the shows present two unique subjects of inquiry within industrial design: manmade towers and subterranean organic forms both of which continue to inspire further creation.