Magazine article Artforum International

Mattia Bosco: Federico Luger

Magazine article Artforum International

Mattia Bosco: Federico Luger

Article excerpt

A bare, rough stone floor modulated into a shiny, anonymous, reflective surface: The first floor of the Federico Luger gallery in Milan appeared in this new state thanks to an intervention by Mattia Bosco (all works Untitled, 2012). Over almost the entire accessible floor surface, the young Milanese artist had deposited seventy-two tiles of a type of gray granite known as beola bianca; the project initially called for eighty-eight tiles, but the artist adapted his plan to the dimensions of the gallery. Each module measures about twenty square inches, while their thickness varies from less than an inch (for the shiny tiles) to a maximum of about four inches (for the rough ones). Bosco worked the stone, collaborating with artisans who sliced certain portions of rock from the mountains in the Ossola region, north of Lake Maggiore, near the Italian-Swiss border. This area, known for its ancient quarries, is also characterized by dry valleys whose rocky profiles have inspired generations of painters, drawn precisely to the mountain ranges' unusual morphology. Bosco now seems to have interpreted these from a sculptural point of view, explicating the plastic nature of those surfaces. It is for this reason, I believe, that he juxtaposes totally smooth, milled tiles with others that have one side left in their natural, unworked state, taking care to match up the uneven rock surfaces, as in a puzzle, with those that have been completely smoothed out. The rough, unworked portions seem, paradoxically, to draw the eye more than the shiny, highly polished ones, as if to suggest that nature is the highest art, and that the sole role of art is to emphasize this truth. …

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