Giuseppe Gabellone upends the notions of authenticity and rationality in his process-intensive sculptures. His unlikely objects, in this case, two rigid urethane foam woodblock prints, are presented without an explicit context, yet they allude to art history, architecture, and nature.
Curator Francesco Bonami describes Gabellone’s work as “baroque, constantly subverting the discipline of the style from within.” This surprising twist on our expectations compels viewers to rethink their initial impressions, because the pieces themselves often seem to reference the ways in which we process our understanding of the work. Gabellone suggests that an outer surface illuminates an inner nature.
Growing up in the town of Brindisi, the artist began crafting his sculptural pieces, structures, and finely crafted boxes, which are both earth-derived and biomorphic, from clay, wood, and metal. Elegant and visceral, the works often invite the viewer’s touch.
For his residency exhibition, the artist recreated two 18th century Japanese woodblock prints. Utilizing modern materials, including urethane foam and silicone rubber, Gabellone has transformed the flat image into three-dimensional form. Skilled in the technical aspects of mold making, Gabellone deftly manipulates these materials, thoroughly engaged in the transformative process. Like many early Italian masters, he follows a long tradition of simulation—of recreation—using different materials over and over again. His abstraction or perversion of the original, results in work with a harder edge that is more open to interpretation. Gabellone gives equal attention to the material as to the process and to the image.