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Blum & Poe : Pierpaolo Campanini - 1 Mar 2008 to 5 Apr 2008

Current Exhibition

1 Mar 2008 to 5 Apr 2008
Hours -Tuesday - Saturday from 10:30 am to 6 pm
Reception:Saturday, March 1, 2008 6 - 8pm
Blum & Poe
2754 S. La Cienega Blvd
CA 90034
Los Angeles, CA
North America
p: +1 (310) 836-2062
f: +1 (310) 836-2104

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Artists in this exhibition: Pierpaolo Campanini

Pierpaolo Campanini
March 1 – April 5, 2008
Opening reception: Saturday, March 1, 2008 6 – 8 pm

Blum & Poe is pleased to announce its first solo exhibition with Italian artist Pierpaolo Campanini.

Pierpaolo Campanini is both a painter and a sculptor, creating objects for the sheer purpose of painting them. For this exhibition Campanini will present five new paintings and five photogravures. As stated in the Second Political Manifesto of Futurism in 1911, “A shape never stays still before us, but appears and disappears incessantly…”. Echoing the Futurist principle of "dynamism" as an expressive means, Campanini is fascinated with process rather than with things. A painting for Campanini is the result of a long process with countless stages. It is the product of numerous attempts to “capture” an object, to hold onto it for as long as possible, extract the narrative and in turn liberate the viewer.

The onset of Campanini’s artistic production was marked by interest in Giovanni Battista Piranese (1720- 1788), in particular in his book of prints of decorative art and the applied architecture of fireplaces, published in Rome in 1789 and titled “Diverse Maniere d'adornare i camini." However, while the works presented in the exhibition are structurally similar to Campanini’s earlier oeuvre, they are organized on different levels and less unified under a single theme.

From the first group of busts, in which the formal construction of the subjects is paired with a representation that borders the limits of the grotesque, one passes to two large scale paintings that, on the contrary, underline the strong sculptural element of the represented subjects. It is here that the relation between modern Italian architecture is engendered, namely with the sculptor Umberto Mastroianni (1910-1998), a protagonist of Italy’s post-war ‘celebratory’ sculpture, characterized by the construction of memorials and monuments.

Campanini presents objects suspended in time and space creating virtual scenes that evoke familiarity on the one hand yet in their sculpted form distort the reflection of what they recall. Treated as hollow shells, Campanini’s sculptures are shapes looking for a dimension to which they can belong.

Inspired by Kosmos by Polish author Wiltold Gombrowicz and the “Renazzo Meteorite” which fell to earth in 1824, Campanini has produced a new series of photogravures that will also be featured in the exhibition. Kosmos begins with the narrator's discovery of an antique engraving, depicting a bird hung to death. The novel’s two protagonists attempt to unmask the perpetrator of a series of crimes, such as killing birds and cats by hanging. Unable to solve the crime the protagonists conclude these occurrences are nothing more than a chain of mysterious events. For Campanini, there is an analogy between the mysterious events described in Grombowicz’s novel and the inexplicable “Renazzo Meteorite” which struck in a village not too far from where Campanini lives. In Campanini’s choice of colors and forms these black and white photogravures exude an erotic primal force, as starkly lit bulbous objects protrude, hang heavily and dangle by a single cord. Campanini imagines these images tell a story full of signs, hints and clues. To that end, these etchings serve as a monument.

In 2004, Pierpaolo Campanini presented a major solo exhibition at Spazio Aperto, Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Bologna. He has also had solo exhibitions at galleria francesca kaufmann, Milan; Corvi-Mora, London; Salon 94, New York. Recent group exhibitions include: Etc., Le Consortium, Dijon; and Quadriennale of Rome; VERNICE, Sentieri della giovane pittura italiana, curated by Francesco Bonami, Villa Manin, Passariano (Udine), Italy; Apocalittici e Integrati: utopia nell’arte italiana di oggi, MAXXI, Museo Nazionale Delle Arti del XXI Secolo, Rome. He will be included in the upcoming exhibition Italica at Palazzo Grassi, Venice, Italy, which will travel to the MCA Chicago. Pierpaolo Campanini lives and works in Cento, Italy.

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