Speakless,the first personal exhibition by the American artist Cheryl Pope.
The American artist, whose work has always been concerned with society and the female figure, is offering an unprecedented artistic project for the event, which represents a sort of revolution in her work: for the first time, in the quest for Cheryl Pope, her own autobiographical experience has become a source of inspiration for a universal reflection, in this case, about the difficulty of being a woman in contemporary Western society; despite an apparent equality, women are still subjected to a subtle and “unspoken” discrimination.
Curated byMartina Corgnati, the exhibition presents a new body of work that includes sculptures, installations, paintings and works employing a mixture of techniques. Trait d’unionof the whole is a subtle and suggestive dialectic of form and deformation, regularity and irregularity, shadow and substance, which is resolved in a poetic and expressive silence, which is openlySpeakless,without words, as the title suggests. For her first solo exhibition at the Galleria Bianconi and in Italy, the artist (who was born in Chicago in 1980, where she obtained a master’s degree from the School of the Art Institute and is now a visiting professor) constructed a “sensory space” strongly unified however by heterogeneous objects, including works from the series “In the absence of”which features sculptures of algae and graphite, those from the “Nights become fall into day” cycle of pseudo-dresses made from non-wearable neopreprene, which have recurred for a long time in her research, which is highly sensitive to the theme of the dress, which is intended as a protection as well as a conditioning for the body, in a social, sexual and cultural sense. Works that break up habits and fragments between the different aspects of the visual, and subtend a rarefied, open narrative, in which the visitor is left free to reformulate nodes and phrases, to interpret the internal relationships, or to respect the substantial silence.
Cheryl Popeaspires to construct a suspended space, which is dense, but unified and punctuated by different objects. In her reflections, the artist refers to the experience of supporting without “carrying”, according to which “…the materials in each work are physically challenged by weight, tension andpostures, to reveal a poetic that feels visceral, psychological, and physical “. The experience thus becomes a force that has been impressed into the flesh of things and which, even without displaying a concrete weight, has its shape defined as an invisible shadow from within. It is in factthe shadow that is the most pervasive and omnipresent protagonist of this recent research: in “Knowing that the horizon would lay bare”, she explores a large tent, or curtain, crossed along its entire length by a horizontal line that divides it into two visually distinct parts but which remains at the same time impalpable, like a shadow line projected by the presence of an external horizon that also becomes internal and acts “within” space, things and ourselves. More poetic and melancholic, are “Felt more still in solitude at a distance” and “Sound boardfor a split decision”, two series of works in velcro that show the silhouettes of dying flowers, black on black, simply connected by a golden-headed or deep red-headed pin. However, the two cycles mentioned above, “In the absence of”– bags of apparently deformed organic material (actually designed to contain their own deformations) – and “Nights become fall into day”,like clothes hung to dry but “stretched” downwards, are all reminiscent of a certain “anti-form” atmosphere, particularly similar to the installations and materials used by Eva Hesse, but also staying sensitive to the works ofNick Cave,with whom Pope worked for years.
During the exhibition,which can be seen until October 31st, the Bianconi Gallery will organisean evening in which the Curator, Martina Corgnati, will meet the publicto share her reflections on the works of Cheryl Pope. On this occasion, the exhibition cataloguewill be presented by Martina Corgnati.