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Nicolás Guagnini, David, 2014, vitrified glazed ceramic, book, 8 1/2 × 7 1/2 × 6".

Nicolás Guagnini

Bortolami Gallery

Nicolás Guagnini, David, 2014, vitrified glazed ceramic, book, 8 1/2 × 7 1/2 × 6".

“Who’s screwing whom?” I wondered as I observed the slightly oversize ceramic conversation pieces that occupied the main space of Nicolás Guagnini’s recent exhibition at Bortolami. Formed from an inventory of feet, noses, ears, and penises, these maudlin assemblages of appendages invert Deleuze’s euphoric idea of a body without organs, offering heaps of organs without bodies instead. Handcrafted and doused in a series of variegated vitrified glazes—molten lava reds and drippy ectoplasmic greens—these works, like so much artwork today, insist on a deep interest in a kind of lo-fi materiality that borders on the naive and speaks to the decorative tendencies long repressed in advanced art; Rosemarie Trockel’s silvered ceramics, Michaela Meise’s clay faces, and Josh Smith’s crafty tchotchkes, to name examples from three very different artists, come to mind as kindred spirits.

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