Hypotenuse Massimo Antonaci

rosa

May 13 –  July 31, 2012

Collezione Maramotti – Via Fratelli Cervi 66 -  Reggio Emilia

Hypotenuse is a project that comprises three exhibitions displayed in different spaces within the Collection, one of which has never been opened before.

From Black to Transparency is a retrospective look cast on a series of works in glass and tar that the artist started in the mid ‘80’s.

A Solitary Journey across a Single Body. From East to West 33 Stations in An Unknown Land is a series of Polaroid pieces composed of glass tiles and placed side by side that narrate Antonaci’s pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.

Opus is a project made specifically for Collezione Maramotti that comprises four triptychs (Snake, Circle, Alchemic Doors, Stone). Each piece in this work is fermented virgin papyrus marked by oil color touches.

The pieces displayed in the exhibition From Black to Transparency combine tar and glass. The two materials take on their mutual qualities: the hardness and depth of tar, like magma, welcome the images and melt into the pliability of glass through the action of fire. A transformation of shapes and material, which the artist calls “alchemic.”  The exhibition presents black and white pieces, as well as works in which the color permeates deep down to the last transparent layers.

In each piece, glass and tar follow a compositional rhythm marked by 60 x 60 cm modules. The modules create a surface, a virtual grid, a “white page”, a place where image takes form and formal signs encounter space.

In Antonaci’s work, each geometric sign is not creation, but the transposition of Ideas, the recreation of an Order which, through a process of intuition, is already outlined within. The play of forces that the signs engender makes glass and tar interact with each other. At times, the sign project boundaries and closures resisting light, at others they open spaces where light itself can filter through, letting the eye perceive its depth. Antonaci’s sculptural work is meticulously defined, tying the light and the wall closely together, creating shadows as the work’s third dimension. The wall is a skin separating the inside from the outside and the nails are what glues all the parts together.

A Solitary Journey in a Single Body. From East to West 33 Stations in an Unknown Land Antonaci made his pilgrimage when he was 33 years old. The Santiago trail, a reflection of the Milky Way on earth, is an inner journey, a key moment in a profound process of “self-recognition” and “transformation.”

The Polaroid pictures taken along the way are not merely photographs documenting the different places, but projections of inner images emerging from the “physical fatigue experienced during the trek. Once exhaustion loosens the mind, the eye is more able to catch the view of universal consciousness.

The work is comprised of 33 stations corresponding to the stopovers made along the pilgrimage. Each station is captured in a 60 x 60 cm glass tile, held in place by nails. The Polaroid composition placed between the two glasses that comprise each ‘station’ follows particular formal and symbolic criteria.

The four papyrus triptychs in the work Opus were started by the artist toward the end of the glass production, when his earlier work reached complete transparency. They, too, express pure abstraction. Antonaci says “When I work on papyrus, I am surprised by the unity that ensues between mind and hand in the gesture of unfurling the sheath, then placing it on the wall, and finally rolling it up again and placing it back in its case. An action, more than a gesture, still, motionless, that every time surprises me as a deep insight.”

The gesture of «rolling and unfurling the papyrus corresponds to the two movements of involution and evolution, the alternating motion between secret and knowledge revelation».

The thinking or mental tension turned into object through the use of hands which captures in reality the sensible manifestation of a level of consciousness.

Finally, the publication Odos (Danilo Montanari Editore) is an anthology of words and images that Antonaci has compiled over the course of twenty years. The fragments of text are Sutra by Raphael, whereas the images evoke the journey of iconographic cross-references that have accompanied the artist’s work from its very beginnings. Odos is flanked by a text by Marco Belpoliti and a conversation on the subject of alchemy between Massimo Antonaci and Mario Diacono.

Image above: Massimo Antonaci, Rosa, 1993, glass, tar, acrylic color, crayons, 185 x 185 cm

limite_

Massimo Antonaci

Limite, 1987

glass, tar, crayons

245 x 245 cm

pietra_angolare

Massimo Antonaci

Pietra angolare, 1991

glass, tar, acrylic color, crayons

245 x 185 cm

principi1

Massimo Antonaci

Principi, 2000

glass, tar, acrylic color

245 x 245 cm

santiago2

A Solitary Journey across a Single Body. From East to West  33 Stations in an Unknown Land

Massimo Antonaci

El Camino de Santiago, Spain 11 March – Milan 11 April 1991

polaroid, glass, oil colors, nails

60 x 60 cm

santiago6

A Solitary Journey across a Single Body. From East to West  33 Stations in an Unknown Land

Massimo Antonaci

El Camino de Santiago, Spain 11 March – Milan 11 April 1991

polaroid, glass, oil colors, nails

60 x 60 cm

santiago7

A Solitary Journey across a Single Body. From East to West  33 Stations in an Unknown Land

Massimo Antonaci

El Camino de Santiago, Spain 11 March – Milan 11 April 1991

polaroid, glass, oil colors, nails

60 x 60 cm

serpente

Massimo Antonaci

Serpente, 2011

oil colors on virgin fermented papyrus, triptyc, overall

200 x 300 cm

sigillo

Massimo Antonaci

Sigillo,1985

glass, tar, crayons

184 x 245 cm

swastika-polo1

Massimo Antonaci

Swastika-Polo, 1994

glass, tar, acrylic color

245 x 245 cm

uomo-universale

Massimo Antonaci

Uomo Universale, 2000

glass and black pigment

185 x 185 cm