From his earliest works, Armando Marrocco has been able to unite the abstract parameters of mathematics and geometry with a gesturality dense with mythical and ritualistic implications, inspired by his origins in Salento. Theories nourished by the study of Fibonacci and Luca Pacioli find form through craft practices worthy of a Renaissance workshop.
The ‘Intrecci’ series, begun in the 1960s, encapsulates the artist’s methodology and the allegorical dimension of his work. His interdisciplinary approach, resonating with the technological and industrial energy of the period, channelled his kinetic and methodical experimentation into an engagingly human register.
But how do Marrocco’s ‘Intrecci’ come into being? One might say that they are born from “a finite number of elements whose combinations multiply to billions”, as Italo Calvino wrote about the stories that make up his novel The Castle of Crossed Destinies.
The choice of bold monochrome, in the wake of the pioneering works “beyond l’informel” by Lucio Fontana, Piero Manzoni, Enrico Castellani and Yves Klein, is realised in varying shades of white, pink, gold and silver, rendered with potent physicality in his chosen materials of smooth and corrugated cardboard and hardboard. The balanced and linear compositional grid, derived from the golden section, results from complex layering: the monumental and static nature of the grid’s proportions interact with the dynamism generated by the interplay of shadows.
Beyond his apparently minimalist rigour, Marrocco is the first to recognise in the ‘Intrecci’ an innate relationality and, above all, the founding concept of sociality: in short, ‘ethics and aesthetics’. The artist asserts that his ‘Intreccio’ has always been an ‘interweaving of human situations, positive and negative’. Each work in this series is therefore involved with existence, with life in its ordinariness and in its infinite unfolding, including dreamlike activity made up of inextricable knots and mechanisms—unpredictable developments, we know, like the ‘chance’ that drives them.
Exhibition text by Sara Fontana
all images © the gallery and the artist(s)