Vittorio Corsini


Upon entering Vittorio Corsini’s recent show, one saw the top portion of a house suspended upside-down from the gallery ceiling, its roof covered with brick tiles that are typical of Tuscan architecture. A faint yellow light was shining through a window that was visible in one side of the structure. In the next room one encountered Deposizione (Deposition, all works 1997), a beautiful chandelier crafted by the artist from Murano glass, which was illuminated and delicately stretched out on a sawhorse. The gallery’s third space contained a shelf arrayed with several quotidian objects—a glass, a pitcher, and a pot—that had been shaped out of cobalt-blue glass.

Although this thirty-eight-year-old artist’s oeuvre is extremely diverse, he continually returns to certain themes. One is the idea of transparency, reflected in his use of clear materials, like the glass he handcrafts in a Tuscan glassworks to incorporate into works like Deposizione and Still. Another recurring theme is language and how it relates to our daily surroundings. Still, for example, subtly alludes both to the term “still life” and to the various meanings of the word “still.” In a similar fashion, Deposizione carries within it the symbolic elements of one of the most frequently represented events in Western art—Christ, the body, and life beyond death—while it also deals on a more fundamental level with the displacement of an object from one position, and perhaps function, to another.

These concerns also animated the show’s centerpiece, Luce gialla (Yellow light)—the house that was overturned and illuminated from within. The reversal of perspective in this piece compelled the viewer to look at the otherwise ordinary structure as though seeing a house for the first time. One wondered about the meaning of the yellow light spilling out of the window. Was it a signal sent out in the dead of night? Did its faint, golden glow point to another, previous era? Was the house a metaphor for life? All of these questions could be responded to in the affirmative. As in his earlier work, here Corsini presented a landscape that was oddly familiar, but without false intimacy or nostalgia.

Marco Meneguzzo

Translated from the Italian by Marguerite Shore.