Magazine article Artforum International

Fausto Gilberti: Galleria 1000eventi

Magazine article Artforum International

Fausto Gilberti: Galleria 1000eventi

Article excerpt

For the past ten years, black-and-white, quasi-geometric figures--with round, bright eyes, long noses, and toothpick-thin arms and legs--have peopled the work of Fausto Gilberti. He has painted them on canvas and inked them onto photographic backdrops taken from the pages of newspapers and glossy magazines. Until now, however, the "omino" (little man), as the artist calls the recurring figure, always remained stark black and white. But as the title of his recent show, "Materia grigia" (Gray Matter), suggests, Gilberti has added a new color: gray, in all its many hues. As a result, the little man appears to have finally entered the world of volumetric pictorial space, an imaginary third dimension.

Gray entered Gilberti's oeuvre through the medium of graphite. The exhibition included twenty-one works on paper from 2006, all 13 x 18 7/8 inches. The male and female figures are drawn with pencils of varying grades from soft to hard, lending each "character" a personal "identity mark," as the artist explains. They are placed within fantastical settings dense with details from classic iconography, popular culture, and art history--sometimes all in one image: Gary Hume Sculpture (all works 2006) features one of the British artist's snowman sculptures (helpfully identified with a scrawling script that reads GARY HUME SCULPTURE), an omino wearing a neck ruffle and labeled REMBRANDT, another figure with a bladder-shaped head and called PAUL MCCARTHY, and a bloblike creature that resembles Barbapapa, a character (whose name actually means "cotton candy") from a series of French children's books; they stand in front of a circus tent, with mountains in the background. …

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