Brought together for the first time in the UK by curator Marco Meneguzzo, the esteemed Italian artists Colla, Pinna and Pomodoro have set up in Dering Street. Their works – which vary from abstract, geometric and figurative – line the walls of the petite Ronchini Gallery.
Arriving at the exhibition; a cocoon of calm, it is hard to believe that you are just behind the chaotic hustle and bustle of Oxford Street. Whether this ojai atmosphere is the result of some top-notch industrial soundproofing or the stupendous quality of art rendering all else mute, would call for a revisit. Though, now thinking of the huge gold pillars that steal your gaze as soon as your foot is through the door, odds are on the latter.
These three gold pillars stretch up to the ceiling, their alluring exteriors glinting magically. However, despite their smooth perfection, it is not the outer shells but the interiors of these giants that fascinate the most. Through a series of incisions and incompletions, Pomodoro peels back the skin of these sculptures and lets his audience see their insides. Both tribal and skeletal these intricate interiors are the building blocks for what we see at first glance, like our bones to our bodies. There is rawness to these sculptures, just as there is to humanity; confident exteriors masking jagged imperfect interiors.
To the right of Pomodoro’s pillars, pinned up high, it is now a work of Colla’s which steals your attention: a battered and rusty circular shield out of which juts a devilish pitch fork. Almost a social commentary on industrialisation; the shield blocking the arrival of new technology and the fork fighting off change, Colla manages to ignite the Luddite within us all.
Pinna’s figurative sculptures reside at the back of the gallery, but they are worth the wait. Two stick-insect-esque human forms, so thin they look like they’ve spent a decade on the torture chamber rack, bend over eachother dramatically. One supports, one is supported. Neither definitively male or definitively female, we know nothing about the androgynous duo aside from that they are there for eachother. And it is this simplistic yet moving fact that makes watching the pair a truly cathartic experience.
On display until the 28th March, I highly recommend escaping the chaos of Oxford Street and popping into the Ronchini Gallery, you will not be disappointed.
**** Alice Audley
Ronchini Gallery, 22 Dering Street, London W!s 1AN