Corinna Gosmaro “TALKING KNOTS” at The Gallery Apart, Roma

Double bird palette, 2018
photo Giorgio Benni


The Gallery Apart presents Talking Knots, the first solo show in the gallery by Corinna Gosmaro (1987), an artist currently taking part in the residency programme at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris (from which she has been selected through the main programme Les lauréats), and who lived for a few months in Rome as winner of the 6ARTISTA competition, the residency programme for artists under 35, organised by the Fondazione Pastificio Cerere.

The exhibition’s title, which evokes objects formed by fine threads of ropes interlacing each other that in some South American cultures and traditions used to have ornamental, ritual and communicative functions, provides a key to interpreting the new collection of works presented by Gosmaro. Blending the here and now of the painting act, with the temporally, geographically and culturally cross-cutting nature of the symbol, the artist is interested in manipulating some major elements that have accompanied mankind throughout history, characterizing its passages and evolutions through their intrinsic expressive power. Instead of drawing upon overused symbols due to ductility of their contents—e.g., the rainbow, which in the Genesis is the covenant established between God and every living creature on earth in the aftermath of the great flood, and later source of numerous meanings in the Jewish, Indian, Greek, Chinese mythology, until becoming a symbol of political and social struggle, from the post-apartheid South Africa to Greenpeace, and from the Gay Pride to the peace flag—Gosmaro chooses the cosmetic palettes used in the predynastic Egypt, a more refined, almost concealed, symbol that evokes a fundamental and, at the same time, paradoxical aspect of the human condition: the connection between the desire of preservation and of death, which has led modern anthropology to match the first cultural manifestations with the beginning of the habit of burying the dead and with the first funeral rites.

Used to grind cosmetic paints in order to obtain pigments, palettes soon became and remained for centuries commemorative and ceremonial items with different meanings, to become later a language in the form of proto-writing and transition moment towards hieroglyphs. The research conducted by Gosmaro is therefore interested not so much in the field of ritual related to death, but rather in the rituality related to the archetypical, expressive and iconic meaning of an object that cannot be interpreted univocally and which indeed involves multi-faceted meanings (offer, ornament, identity sign, magical instrument). The palettes by Gosmaro evokes the shape of the original that in predynastic Egypt accompanied the everyday life as well as the journey towards the afterworld as funerary goods. Palettes were shaped in animal silhouettes related to the preponderant presence of the Nile river (fish, turtles, water birds, hippopotami), and that re-underline the universal value of the object and its prerogative of including rituality, artistic insight and cultural innovation. The formal identity between the objects used ritually and those used as a decoration – the latter characterized by the dominance of the colour red – introduces to the environment that Gosmaro has organized in the basement of the gallery. The experience of entering into a sort of palette-environment characterized by a strong domestic flavour is reinforced by the presence of a pair of pottery dogs (still a reference to the animals). Here the painting becomes enveloping, trace of it can be found in the carpet that randomly includes the artistic act that the artist realized through the spray painting, whereas big filters hang from the wall as an explicit reference to the Scapes, works that Gosmaro has been realizing for a long time by painting industrial filters to outline not only ethereal figures evoking the idea of landscape but also material as they cross and pervade the weave of the medium. Cultural paradigms, domestic scenes, evocation of landscapes that converge in the work by Gosmaro and in the exhibit Talking Knots to create a proxemic universe which, on the one hand, represent the attitude of the artist to interpret her own creativity in global and – once again – cross-cutting terms, both with regard to the contents and time; on the other hand, it underlines the communicative function of the primeval images and for this reason timeless, a function that the artist exalts through the choice of the medium for her painting: the dibond, a material used widespread for the display and signage markets and in photo printing, the industrial filters that with their structure evoke selection and depuration (two essential functions in the communication and information fields), and finally ceramic which, by definition, is able to blend art and handcrafting through a common language and craftsmanship and handed down over the centuries.


Turtle palette, 2018
Photo Giorgio Benni


Women, 2017
Photo Giorgio Benni


Babi and Fædis, 2018
Photo Giorgio Benni


Talking Knots, installation view (basement), The Gallery Apart Roma, photo Giorgio Benni


Talking Knots, installation view (ground floor), The Gallery Apart Roma, photo Giorgio Benni


Corinna Gosmaro
Talking Knots
11 April–8 June 2018

The Gallery Apart | Via Francesco Negri, 43, Roma
Opening hours: Tue/Fri 3–7pm or by appontment +390668809863