Axel Vervoordt Gallery is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition in Hong Kong by the Belgian artist
Renato Nicolodi (Brussels, b. 1980). The exhibition’s title, “IBANT OBSCURI”, is a quote from Virgil’s The
Aeneid, which also shares its name with a black marble sculpture featured in the installation. The rear of this sculpture is placed close to the entrance, encouraging visitors to be physically engaged with the artwork from their very first impression, symbolically and literally embracing the guiding concept of the exhibition: the
One of three new paintings included in the exhibition is titled, Hades, as an explicit reference to the
underworld as well as an implicit sign for a passage to unseen spaces. Through the new works, Nicolodi
reflects on the concept of invisibility and how its various readings may assist humanity in getting closer to our own individual inner space. Reliquiarium I, a sculpture in brass, furthers this notion by metaphorically preserving the relevance of existence in a subjective space.
Renato Nicolodi seeks to evoke a universal sacrality through the expressions of his diverse production of art. His sculptures and paintings imagine spaces with corridors and stairs leading to closed-off passage-ways. Light and shade draw the gaze of the spectator to the inside of the constructions, which remains invisible. The core of the work seems to conserve a type of emptiness. The artist refers to archetypical buildings from past times and cultures, stripping them from their original function, ornament, and dogma. He creates monuments, relics, and shrines that conserve both the memory and the thought of the maker as well as those of the spectator.
Nicolodi’s sculptures and paintings form mental beacons for people who live in an age where society has gone in overdrive; in a time where everything is questioned: science, technology, nature, culture and the position of man within all of this. The works are visual anchors that invite the spectator to meditate and reflect. They form the physical and mental access points through which the spectator can meander through his or her own mental space.