Alice Cattaneo: Galleria Suzy Shammah

By Verzotti, Giorgio | Artforum International, March 2006 | Go to article overview

Alice Cattaneo: Galleria Suzy Shammah


Verzotti, Giorgio, Artforum International


What was so striking about Alice Cattaneo's first solo exhibition in Italy was her unusual ability to get surprising results with very simple means. The first room in the gallery contained a sculpture composed of sheets of gray cardboard, colored cubes used to teach elementary math, and thin sticks of wood, the sort that hobbyists use in constructing their model airplanes and sailboats, all held together with fragments of duct tape. This ephemeral "plastic complex," somewhat reminiscent of those Constructivist reliefs located in space in the most unexpected manner, was striking for its skillful alternation of solids and voids, with cardboard rectangles and slender sticks rising upward from the floor. The work took on whatever configuration the surrounding space allowed, and it could have been a fragment of an infinite proliferation that, from a distance, might resemble the skyline of an imaginary city.

The installation that climbed the walls in the last room of the gallery was even more surprising. Composed solely of the same little wooden struts, connected to each other and to the walls by adhesive tape, the work in this case made the space seem as if it had been taken over by some aerial skeleton, both impalpable and flexible. Its linear structure, where the "directional lines" (it is difficult to avoid Futurist terminology) proved to be studded by small cutouts of duct tape, the connective element for the entire work, imbued the space with the energy of a tangle of signs, at once solidified and dynamic. …

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