Liliana Moro

Galleria Emi Fontana

At the heart of Liliana Moro’s recent show was an electric toy motorcycle. Slightly raised from the floor so that its rear wheel turned, Soffio (Blow), 1999, not only gave the exhibition its title but also introduced the possibility of speed and movement into the static space of the gallery, an incongruity that taps into childhood fantasies of breaking the rules. Intertwined with the sound of the bike’s motor, one could hear a guitar solo lifted from a ’70s rock song, a juxtaposition that perhaps proposed the vehicle’s and the music’s rhythms as twin velocities.

Another kind of music could be intuited in Tamburo (Drum), 1998, a circle some eighty inches in diameter drawn on the floor of the gallery in white chalk. Two drumsticks, also drawn in chalk, appear to rest on top of it. Despite its simplicity, the drawing seems to resonate with the invisible beat of the world, and the innumerable footsteps that tread on it.

With a sense of lightness and immediacy, the exhibition continued in the second space of the gallery with an installation of two separate works. A glass sculpture, La Spada nella roccia (The sword in the stone), 1998, is placed before three monochrome works in red pigment on paper, titled Rossi (Reds), 1998. The allusion to the legend of the sword in the stone juxtaposed with the “stylized” monochromes, whose intense hue recalls early Color Field painting, perhaps challenges the viewer to extract some primal emotion from them.

The world reduced to miniaturized dimensions, the power of sound, and the natural inclination to look downward, or perhaps back, are recurring themes in Moro’s work, which effects shifts that subtly alter the potential of everyday existence.

Francesca Pasini

Translated from Italian by Marguerite Shore.