Il Ponte gallery partecipates at miart 2018 with a solo show by sculptor Mauro Staccioli. The space is set up with five sculptures from 1969 to 2009 and a synthetic selection of materials that accompanies their creative path.
“Mauro Staccioli follows his own peculiar procedure designed to meet the grounding need underpinning his own line of thought: to interpret a place in light of history and leave an indicative sign in the wake of this interpretation. The artist conscientiously adopted this approach in the late 1960s: politically engaged, he believed that art was his dutiful way of getting involved in debate. His awareness of the historical-social environment emerged in Volterra in 1972: the place, urban space, building and nature have their own history, their own life, they carry the imprints of ancient events or socio-environmental situations. A few years later Staccioli entitled his exhibition at Vigevano Castle (1977) Reading of a setting. The artist ‘reads’ the site before leaving his mark, which is gauged not only to space but also to human presence. Intensive but invisible work proceeds Staccioli’s sculpting, a perfect poetic synthesis of rhythm and measure in relation to location. The materials he has collected in his archive-studio during over 40 years’ work pay homage to all his intensive activity, providing keys to interpreting his creative process. Largely unseen, this material can now be chronologically studied in depth for the first time. Each project is furnished with a presentation text, excerpts from the work notes by Staccioli and short extracts from the critical essays. The criterion for selecting the projects presented is essentially based on the existence of notebook ‒ notes, photo surveys, drawings, photomontages, models, construction images ‒ which tell us about what ‘went on’ before Staccioli's actual sculpting. It is intended to emphasise how the simplicity of his forms derives from an elaborate intellectual process, very similar to that of an architect: right from when first coming into contact with a location, its history and traces are cleverly photographed and embellished by invaluable notes recording what first struck him and the first forms coming to mind on-site. At this point the artist’s imagination can run free through across well-defined design terrain, as faithful as possible to the history and environment of the location. Design expertise is matched by practical skills and experience working with materials, which emerges in the drawings and is firmly set in the incomparable images by Enrico Cattaneo, showing the artist diligently working away with a combination of cement, bricks, iron and other tools of the trade.”
Maria Laura Gelmini, Mauro Staccioli, All’origine del fare/At the roots of sculpting, Corraini Edizioni, Mantova 2008