V.A. – Trieste

March 31 - May 26 2012

Opening: March 31, 1.00 – 7.00 PM,

Federica Schiavo Gallery - Piazza Montevecchi 16 – Rome

Trieste is the name of the Italian-built deep-diving bathyscaphe with a crew of two people, which, in 1960, reached a record maximum depth in the deepest known part of the Earth’s oceans in the Mariana Trench. The dive has never been repeated, and presently no manned or unmanned craft exists capable of reaching such depth. Trieste is also the small port city on the Adriatic in the north of Italy that borders Slovenia, known for its moodiness and changeability.

The group exhibition metaphorically takes inspiration by these two ‘borderline’ realities and draws to the idea of the unknown and the impossible. Each artist, in his or her own right, is attracted to these aspects.The five American-based artists share a very close friendship and had extensive conversations around these themes in the years.

Jay Heikes, who had a leading role in processing the show, says: “I can see in all of us a desire to harness the power of everything that has moved through our minds into our works. Through them I can see a grappling with history and culture, a nod or something like an elaboration of the less traveled dead ends that have been lost. I think ‘explorers’ is a goofy word but perfect for all of us who leave ourselves open to explore those spaces as the only places where the possibilities lie. In Matthew’s work I have always found the condensation of historical objects to be both severe and disorienting. As if history was visible like a mountain range, only to realize our eyes are not strong enough to see more than an hour away. In Erin’s work the severity is taken to another level where the formal gaps are not time machines but parameters of claim. Spaces where language appears obsolete but is constant and constantly mutating in order to describe itself.The tools and ‘relics’Jessica is always aware of a culture may be as malleable as the materials that made them and of the objects that are not only framing us as figures in a space but as messy minds trying to categorize ‘things’. I think that is why her work appears to be a collision of domesticity and surrealism. Like daydreaming the wildest daydream while waiting for your toast to pop up. Then there’s Karthik and I who are both dedicated to forms of research trying to connect the links that history has naturally worked to splinter.

This is why this interest in the double, maybe triple meaning of Trieste is so great, because really it becomes an idea of a place or a space. So with any group show it is impossible to declare what the show will be doing but more about setting up an environment for something special to happen. This is Trieste.”

the exhibition will include new works exclusively created for the show by Matthew Day Jackson, Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Jay Heikes, Karthik Pandian and Erin Shirreff.

Image above: Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Free, 2012, pastel, acrylic, paper mache, spray paint, ceramic sheet, cup,

chair on canvas, 173 × 8 × 58 cm

Jessica Jackson Hutchins

Pirate and Putti, 2012

pastel, acrylic, collage, fabric, cup,paper mache on canvas

Jay Heikes

Emeralds, 2012

ink and dry pigment on paper canvas

107 x 137 cm

karthik pandia

untitled, 2012


33 x 203 x 152 cm

Erin Shirreff

untitled, 2012

Carbon, Pigmented gypsum

left: 88.9 x 584 x 11.4 cm  Right: 84.5 x 57.8 x 13.3