Mauro Staccioli

In his indoor as well as his outdoor installations, Mauro Staccioli’s sculptures set up a tension between the work itself and the exhibition site. Staccioli is perhaps the only sculptor in Italy doing work on such a monumental scale. Impressive in its structural solutions, without being too dependent on the language of Minimalism, it comprises circles, semicircles, rings, triangles, and long elliptical lines that rise from the earth to the sky. Placed in open spaces or next to buildings, these works have a colossal force, yet their structure and the way in which they carve the space belie their weight.

Once enclosed within a defined space, however, the sculptures seem at once constrained and as if they are attempting to overcome their limitations. In this show six long, irregular polyhedrons were installed at an angle. The bases and vertices touched both the floor and the ceiling against which they precariously rested. They were made from cement-clad iron, and covered in red, green, yellow, gray, and black iron oxide. The texture and colors of the cement recalled the plastered surfaces of homes, whereas the form of the sculptures themselves suggested columns or perhaps supports for an unstable structure. Every rule of construction was broken by the slanted positions of the polyhedrons and the shapes of their bases, which interacted with the linear structures of the real walls and columns to create an energetic design.

Moving through this space, the spectator could observe the disturbing yet dynamic relation among these pieces. In addition to seeming something less than stable, Staccioli's sculptures have a tendency toward verticality, which leads the spectator to experience them as forces capable of shattering the space or as vectors that mark a trajectory of traversal.

Giorgio Verzotti

Translated from the Italian by Marguerite Shore.