Cassina Projects is pleased to announce Daily Unfamiliar, a group exhibition featuring Italian artists Bruna Esposito, Antonio Fiorentino, Alberto Garutti, Maurizio Nannucci, Pino Pascali, Perino & Vele, Michelangelo Pistoletto, and Gilberto Zorio, with artwork ranging from the 1960s to present. The exhibition coincides with the 50th anniversary of Pino Pascali's passing.
In Daily Unfamiliar, diverse generations of Italian artists converge as a result of their bridged interest in the transcendental and evocative qualities of everyday objects, materials, and physical transformations. Through varying practices and visual languages, the artists aim to elevate familiar aspects of daily life while translating them into artworks that are catalysts of energy and time. Objects and habits that were once usual to us, now seem strange and unfamiliar.
What happens to the rooms when people have left? Conceptual artist Alberto Garutti invites us to take a careful look at the furniture now inhabiting the gallery space—although of ordinary appearance, they secretly glow while we sleep, while others remain invisible, existing solely as voids on a carpet. The interactive dialogue between the viewer and the surrounding environment plays an essential role in the perception of the exhibited works. This is also an overarching theme of Arte Povera artist Michelangelo Pistoletto, particularly distinguished for his Mirror Paintings of the 1960s. In his more recent work, Color and Light, Pistoletto continues to experiment with reflective surfaces in order to integrate the spectator as a major component and participant of the work itself. Concrete Poetry artist, Maurizio Nannucci, similarly explores the limitless possibilities of interpreting and reading our milieu. Through white neon lit words, we are literally faced with the inescapable reality of choosing What to see and what not to see .
The exhibition further ventures into the ethereal and sublime character of mundane objects and matter that have evolved from one state to another. A characteristic of Arte Povera, Gilberto Zorio, uses non-traditional mediums such as black leather, copper, iron, ampoule, and fluorescein, as well as chemical processes such as dissolution and oxidation, that mutate with the passing of time. The Stella or star, as well as cosmic and alchemical motifs have been a recurring subject of his experimental practice, often relying on symbols and metaphorical language. Like Zorio, Contemporary artist Antonio Fiorentino, assumes the role of artistic creator and alchemist, converting materials into new and spontaneous forms. In Opusimago, Fiorentino combines elements such as plants, metallic compounds, liquid solutions, and minerals that contained in a glass amphora, react to naturally produce an artwork that is continually changing.
Common objects and experiences release themselves from previous associations and acquire new meaning as they exude the artists' own thinking process. In this disorienting present, Contemporary female artist Bruna Esposito, alters our perception of reality by placing untamed bamboo brooms and glistening fish eyes next to each other. While Esposito magnifies elements that were before unremarkable, in his famous Armi series, Pino Pascali, oppositely reduces the dramatic and violent qualities of weapons. The Arte Povera artist reflects on the impression that popular military culture left on his early life through a kind of ironic adult-childlike lens. Contemporary artistic duo Perino & Vele, also manage to generate varying interpretations from the audience by showing recognizable objects in alternate contexts. Characteristically relying on papier-mâché made from Italian newspapers, Perino & Vele recycle and reshape a humble material to form a unique body of work capable of invoking important social issues of today.
In this immersive group exhibition, Italian artists explore the revealing and expressive nature of artworks that have been instilled with life. Inexplicably awakening various facets of our daily lives, our senses are challenged to experience and glimpse into this unusual world with fresh and inquisitive eyes.