Embodying: Flesh, Fiber, Features
Embodying: Flesh, Fiber, Features, a multimedia exhibition curated by Serena Trizzino which presents for the very first time in Rome the work of three artists from New York City: Brie Ruais, Martha Tuttle and Letha Wilson.
Central to the work of these three artists is their physical and emotional relationship with the materials they use (clay, wool, photographs and industrial materials) and nature, this last a continual inspiration for artists since the Renaissance and through Land Art, but which still today in our social epoch continues as a reference point.
In the exhibition there are 2 large ceramic installations and 4 small works by Brie Ruais, 4 characteristic hand-worked canvases by Martha Tuttle and 7 photographs as they encounter sculpture by Letha Wilson. All the works are previously unpublished and specially created for the spaces of the gallery.
Brie Ruais is exhibiting her works in ceramic and paper for the first time in Italy. In the artist’s most iconic series – she starts from with a mass of clay equal to her weight – she molds the material using her body [flesh] with pressure, pushing and scratching. Thus she creates a memory of herself and her existence in the world as a physical person.
In her most recent series, Topology, the works are defined by the space in which each is created, here her garden. The artist has created a 1:1 scale map that notes not only physical space but also her actions in that space and the elements she inserts into it (plants, decorations, architecture, etc.).
The relationship between body and space is central to Martha Tuttle’s research as well. Tuttle, also being shown in Italy for the first time, uses cotton and wool textiles [fiber] to create geometric abstractions often inspired by the western landscapes in which she grew up (New Mexico in particular). She creates the skeins, dyes them and weaves them to create the wool inserts we see in her works. Her intent is to record in the lines of the cloth her gestures and her touch – which in their turn depend on her emotions, moods and external inspirations – thus creating in her work a narrative which is implicitly and strongly personal.
In Letha Wilson’s works photography meets sculpture. Using shots she has taken of the American west over the last twenty years, Wilson investigates the limits of landscape photography, i.e. that of showing in its entirety the world around us. With this as her objective the artist uses industrial materials to create compositions [Features] that remind us of the subtle equilibrium between nature and modern civilization.
The exhibition is accompanied by a publication printed by Gangemi Editore with an essay and critical comment by Massimo Canevacci.