Milan

Claudia Losi, Untitled⎽Animals, 2017, ink-jet print on silk dyed with natural tinctures, 19' 8 1/4“ × 4' 5 1/8”.

Claudia Losi, Untitled⎽Animals, 2017, ink-jet print on silk dyed with natural tinctures, 19' 8 1/4“ × 4' 5 1/8”.

Claudia Losi

Monica De Cardenas | Milan

Claudia Losi, Untitled⎽Animals, 2017, ink-jet print on silk dyed with natural tinctures, 19' 8 1/4“ × 4' 5 1/8”.

Sphere of Influence, 2017, installed in the gallery’s first room, perfectly captured the themes broached by this exhibition. The work is a photographic print of a fertilized egg, taken from a scientific publication, in which the artist has intervened with cotton threads as if the photo were a canvas. The threads surround and outline the image, then, soft and light, cascade outside the frame. If one did not know what the picture was of, the enlarged egg might seem like a distant and mysterious planetary system, made up of celestial bodies growing within one another. Sphere of Influence hints at the origin of life and its endless possibilities, and, like birth, the incommensurability of the universe. All of the works in the show allude to the delicate balance of life, touch, and transformation, and, ultimately, the cyclical nature of everything. Near Sphere of Influence, the artist installed another piece, this one made of a grouping of wool and silk spheres that hung from the ceiling (Untitled (struttura globulare) [Untitled (Globular Structure)], 2017). These structures, clumped together like molecules, suggest proliferation and mitosis. On the spheres’ surfaces, Losi has stitched drawings reminiscent of images of prehistoric art. In this way, the artist progresses from the microcosm of the egg (in Sphere of Influence) to the macrocosm of the universe (in Untitled) by way of human history. Both works engage diverse yet overlapping time frames—the period of gestation, human historical time, the immeasurable time of the cosmos.

The six sculptures in the series “Asking Shelter,” 2016, are simple huts like those that humans have always built to protect themselves. These small sculptures are constructed from bronze castings of rose branches, creating a natural tension between the organic material—the branch—and the enduring alloy in which it is encased. This inverse can also be found in a series of four marble works from 2017, two titled Thresholds, and the others respectively titled Images⎽round and Images⎽pages. Here, Losi has carved the figures of delicate, ethereal moths and butterflies into the polished surface of the marble. Her etchings seem like the imprints of fossils, where an instant of life is frozen; once again the work intersects the transitory and the eternal. Two videos projected on the wall showed butterflies while they eat, copulate, or emerge from the chrysalis (Beating Wings—Making Words, 2014–17). These vulnerable species’ attempts to adapt to and mimic their environments correlate with the human need to find shelter and a place in the world, however momentary.

Three banners of pure silk, composed of overlapping fabrics (each titled Untitled⎽Animals, 2017) occupied another room in the gallery. Two of these were suspended from the ceiling like theater sets, while one hung on the wall. Printed onto the fabric’s brilliant and warm hues, images of animals were grouped by physical typologies, finally forming a circle. Just as a threshold is a place of passage, Losi’s forms overlap and interpenetrate, always emphasizing moments of dynamic transition.

Alessandra Pioselli

Translated from Italian by Marguerite Shore.