New York

Gianni Piacento

Esso Gallery

For the Italian Futurists, who celebrated velocity, tumult, and the headlong thrust toward tomorrow, a speeding car was more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace. For Turin-based sculptor Gianni Piacentino, the choice between a Ferrari and a classical marble might not be so simple. An automobile racing by assumes an ideal smoothness and formal simplicity not unlike that of a stone figure worn by centuries of weather and the touch of thousands of hands, and such are the forms suggested simultaneously by Piacentino’s elongated carlike (or airplane-like, or motorcycle-like) objects, which escape immediate perception to enter the permanence of memory. As a wheel spinning at a certain rate no longer seems to be moving, Piacentino’s sculptures capture that moment of strange perceptual flu when speed turns into stasis and dynamism into immutability—just as they evoke the affective tipping

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