Human simulacra

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Cardi Gallery, Milan – London is happy to present an online only exhibition bringing together works produced between 1965 and 2012 by Vincenzo Agnetti, Ashley Bickerton, Giulio Paolini, Michelangelo Pistoletto and Mimmo Rotella. Human simulacra presents a small selection of mixed media pieces where the human figure takes centre stage.

Mimmo Rotella’s photo emulsions and artypo exemplify different simulacra, and while the men and women populating his imagery are indeed human, they are elevated to the status of icons. In his hands, the human figure is rendered through the body of a lingerie model as in Untitled, constructed layer upon layer of advertising. In Arabesque through the mysterious, haunting beauty of Loren, and as the bodies of two lovers, neoclassical bodies with a faded identity making love on plinths, as in L’amplesso.

Mimmo Rotella
Untitled, 1966
Artypo on canvas
115.5 x 155.5 cm 45 1/2 x 61 1/4 in
Signed on the upper right on recto: "Rotella/66"

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Mimmo Rotella
Arabesque, 1965
Photo emulsion on canvas
51.3 x 44 cm 20 1/4 x 17 3/8 in

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Mimmo Rotella
L'amplesso, 1975
Photo emulsion on canvas
92.2 x 65.2 cm 36 1/4 x 25 5/8 in
Signed on the lower right on recto: "Rotella"

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Vincenzo Agnetti
Ritratto di amante (Portrait of Lover), 1971
Paint on felt
80 x 120 cm 31 1/2 x 47 1/4 in
Signed and dated ‘Agnetti ‘71’ (on the reverse)

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Lovers are the subject also of Vincenzo Agnetti’s work, Ritratto di amante (Portrait of lover) which non-figuratively addresses the theme of the exhibition. The piece offers a poignant portrayal that the viewer may form in her mind through the materiality of the poetic words carved into the felt and filled with paint, chiuso in se stesso nel corpo di un altro (closed into oneself [while] in someone else’s body).

Ashley Bickerton’s Silver Head I is a portrait of what looks like an exotic woman, a parody of the Western fantasy of tropical islanders. While painterly, with vibrant splashes of silver alongside a typically tropical colour palette, the work heavily incorporates found objects creating a perhaps slightly sinister character, an almost otherworldly alien figure amidst the detritus of contemporary culture.

Ashley Bickerton
Silver Head I, 2012
Oil acrylic coral and found objects on digital print on plywood
228.6 x 190 x 17.8 cm 90 x 74 3/4 x 7 1/8 in

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Giulio Paolini
Casa di Lucrezio, 1981-1984
Plaster works, fabrics and bases
Variable dimensions

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A more classical rendition of an otherworldly head can be found in Giulio Paolini’s Casa di Lucrezio. It is the simulacra of the Greek god of light, music, poetry, prophecy and medicine Apollo, its anthropomorphic form in plaster multiplied 11 times, presented whole or fragmented. Placed on or next to a plinth, each head is accompanied by a cloth the colour of the light from dawn to sunset, creating a metaphysical, labyrinthine installation activated by the viewer.

The multiplication of human presence, and the dialogue created between the fixed, life-size representation of a body and the body of the viewer, is brought forth by Michelangelo Pistoletto in Partitura in Nero - E, where the spectator’s own reflection enters the picture plane and becomes part of the artwork, a spatial and temporal extension of it.

Michelangelo Pistoletto
Partitura in nero - E, 2010-2012
Silkscreen on polished stainless steel
244 x 122 cm 96 1/8 x 48 1/8 in

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