Alberto Di Fabio

Studio Stefania Miscetti

With alchemical skill, Alberto Di Fabio’s first solo exhibition synthesized chromatic, sensual expressionism and the didactic images of introductory handbooks on minerals. The high walls of the gallery were covered with large sheets of colored paper that saturated the organic with color, practically injecting throbs of pulsating life into an aspect of creation traditionally considered inert.

The artist seemed to want to contradict peremptorily the definition of “life” as something distinct from the mineral realm. A dialectic was created between the weight and stasis of rock and the potential perishability and delicacy of paper. The sheets, nailed onto deep frames without glass, fluttered, almost as if attempting flight, in contrast to the gravity of the mass represented through them. Titles like Ossigeno in attesa del carbonio (Oxygen awaiting carbon) were representative of Di Fabio’s attempt to point toward the perpetual transformation of the universe.

Obvious attention was also given to the very latest scientific discoveries, reviewed and reorganized in an art context as a metaphor for the unpredictable and continual reinterpretations of reality in both art and science. The ever-more-sophisticated exploration of the subatomic world has contributed to the discovery of quarks, infinitesimal particles that interact, forming protons, neutrons, and mesons, which until recently were considered the smallest fragments of matter. This play of Chinese boxes is recorded and then painted on the paper. The result is a synchronicity of the represented and the representable—an ideal that is testimony to an active and inner (in that it is humanly invisible) life of matter, even matter that seems inert. The exhibition concluded with a series of posters for transvestite night spots from the ’60s, randomly juxtaposed to sharp outcroppings of rocks, like yearnings of different life forms, that are part of the same mystery of the universe.

Mario Codognato

Translated from the Italian by Marguerite Shore.