Vedova Mazzei

Studio Guenzani

One day while walking down the street, a pair of Neapolitan artists came upon a gravestone inscribed with the phrase “vedova Mazzei.” At that moment, they decided that this was the name under which they wanted to be known. Rather than being a clue to their identity, the name symbolizes their working methodology, for their art is also made out of whatever they stumble upon, whatever occurs more or less by chance, giving rise to the creation of unexpected syntheses of form and meaning. For Vedova Mazzei, these syntheses often evoke the body’s life force and the senses, and are usually expressed in humorous language, in which the sexual and the visceral serve at once as a means of playing things down and as agents of provocation. (That the two artists come from Naples must count for something.)

The works and cycles of works in this show were very different from each other. One series of

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