Daily Unfamiliar

Cassina Projects

Apr. 26, 2024 - Jul. 27, 2018

508 W 24th St
New York, 10011
PHONE (212) 242-0444


Cassina Projects is pleased to announce Daily Unfamiliar, a group exhibition featuring Italian artists Bruna Esposito, Antonio Fiorentino, Alberto Garutti, Maurizio Nannucci, Pino Pascali, Perino & Vele, Michelangelo Pistoletto, and Gilberto Zorio, with artworks ranging from the 1960s to present. The exhibition coincides with the 50th anniversary of Pino Pascali’s passing.

In Daily Unfamiliar, diverse generations of Italian artists converge as a result of their bridged interest in the transcendental and evocative qualities of everyday objects, materials, and physical transformations. Through varying practices and visual languages, the artists aim to elevate familiar aspects of daily life while translating them into artworks that are catalysts of energy and time. Objects and habits that were once usual to us, now seem strange and unfamiliar.

What happens to the rooms when people have left? Conceptual artist Alberto Garutti, invites us to take a careful look at the furniture now inhabiting the gallery space-although of ordinary appearance, they secretly glow while we sleep, while others remain invisible, existing solely as voids on a carpet. The interactive dialogue between the viewer and the surrounding environment plays an essential role in the perception of the exhibited works. This is also an overarching theme of Arte Povera artist Michelangelo Pistoletto, particularly distinguished for his Mirror Paintings of the 1960s. In his more recent work, Color and Light, Pistoletto continues to experiment with reflective surfaces in order to integrate the spectator as a major component and participant of the work itself. Concrete Poetry artist Maurizio Nannucci, similarly explores the limitless possibilities of interpreting and reading our milieu. Through white neon lit words, we are literally faced with the inescapable reality of choosing What to see and what not to see.

The exhibition further ventures into the ethereal and sublime character of mundane objects and materials that have evolved from one state to another. A characteristic of Arte Povera, Gilberto Zorio uses non-traditional mediums such as black leather, copper, iron, ampoules, and fluorescein, as well as chemical processes such as dissolution and evaporation. The Stella or star, cosmic, and alchemical motifs, have been a recurring subject of his experimental practice, often relying on symbols and metaphorical language. Like Zorio, Contemporary artist Antonio Fiorentino, assumes the role of artistic creator and alchemist, both converting matter into a cycle of transient and spontaneous forms. In Opusimago, Fiorentino combines elements such as vegetation, metallic compounds, liquid solutions, and minerals that contained in a manifold of glass amphorae, react to naturally produce an artwork that is continually changing. Placing the amphorae over a pavement of incised Carrara marble, he creates a landscape that reminds of a corroded laboratory surface mantled with froth.

Common objects and experiences release themselves from previous associations and acquire new meaning as they exude the artists’ own thinking process. In this disorienting present, Contemporary female artist Bruna Esposito, alters our perception of reality by placing untamed bamboo brooms and glistening fish eyes next to each other. While Esposito magnifies elements that were before unremarkable, in his famous Armi series, Pino Pascali oppositely reduces the dramatic and violent qualities of weapons. The Arte Povera artist reflects on the impression that popular military culture left on his early life through a kind of ironic adult-childlike lens. Contemporary artistic duo Perino & Vele, also manage to generate varying interpretations from the audience by showing recognizable objects in alternate contexts. Characteristically relying on papier-mâché made from Italian newspapers, Perino & Vele recycle and reshape a humble material to form a unique body of work capable of invoking important social issues of today.

In this immersive group exhibition, Italian artists explore the revealing and expressive nature of artworks that have been instilled with life. Inexplicably awakening various facets of our daily lives, our senses are challenged to experience and glimpse into this unusual world with fresh and inquisitive eyes.

For press inquiries or further information, please contact Cassina Projects at [email protected] or +1 (212) 242-0444 Join the conversation on Facebook & Instagram @CassinaProjects – #CassinaProjects #DailyUnfamiliar

About the Artists:

Bruna Esposito (b. 1960, Rome, Italy) lives and works in Rome. She studied Architecture at the University La Sapienza in Rome and in 1980 moved to New York. In 1984, she was selected for the Whitney Museum ISP and later settled in Berlin receiving a grant from the Internazionale Bauhaustellung. Her work has been featured in various institutions and galleries such as MAXXI in Rome (2017), FL Gallery (2014), Museo MACRO in Rome (2012), the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago (2009), Museo d’Arte Contemporanea del Castello di Rivoli (2002), and Clocktower P.S.1 New York (1999). She has also participated in international events including the Venice Biennale (1999, 2013), the Istanbul Biennial (2003), and Documenta X (1997). In 2012, she completed Out of the Blue, a site-specific work commissioned for the grounds of the Olnick Spanu Collection in Garrison, New York. In 1999, she was awarded the Venice Biennale Golden Lion for the Italian Pavilion Dapertutto with other four artists.

Antonio Fiorentino (b. Barletta, Italy, 1987) lives and works in Milan. He received his BA from the Academy of Fine Arts in Carrara (2010) and his MA from the Accademia of Fine Art Brera in Milan (2014). His work has been exhibited in various institutions such as MUSAC in León, Spain (2018), ISCP in New York (2017), MUHNAC National Museum of Natural History and Science of Lisbon (2017), and the National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rome (2016). In 2015, he was the recipient of the Talent Prize in Rome.

Alberto Garutti (b. Galbiate, Italy, 1948) lives and works in Milan. His work has been featured in various institutions and galleries such as Galleria Massimo Minini in Brescia (2016), Mudac in Lusanne (2011), MAXXI in Rome (2009), Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago (2009), Palazzo Grassi in Venice (2008), and S.M.A.K. in Ghent (2000). In 2012, his work was the subject of a solo show at PAC in Milan curated by Paola Nicolin and Hans Ulrich Obrist. He has also participated in international events including the Istanbul Biennial (2001) and the Venice Biennale (1990).

Maurizio Nannucci (b. 1939, Florence, Italy) lives and works in Florence. His work is associated with Concrete Poetry, Fluxus, and Conceptual Art. His work has been exhibited at various institutions and galleries such as Galleria Fumagalli (2017), the Peggy Guggenheim Foundation in Venice (2004), Museum Ritter (2015), Galleria degli Uffizi (2010), and the MACRO in Rome (2012). His work is featured in the collections of museums such as the MoMA, the Stedelijk Museum, the Centre Georges Pompidou, and the Paul Getty Art Center in Los Angeles.

Pino Pascali (b. 1935, Bari, Italy, d. 1968, Rome, Italy) was a leading figure of Arte Povera during the 1960s. He completed his studies in scene painting and set design at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome in 1959. His first solo exhibition was held at the Galleria Tartaruga in 1965. Pascali died in 1968 at the young age of thirty-two after a tragic motorcycle accident. This year marks the 50th anniversary of his death. His work has been featured in various museum and galleries such as the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice (2016), the Fondazione Prada (2015), the MACRO in Rome (2009), and Gagosian Gallery (2006). The Pino Pascali Museum was founded in 1998, now the Pino Pascali Foundation.

Perino & Vele: Emiliano Perino (b. 1973, New York, USA) and Luca Vele (b. 1975, Rotondi, Italy) currently live and work in Rotondi. They have been collaborating since 1994 and they have exhibited in various institutions and galleries such as the National Gallery of Art in Tirana (2017), Temple University Rome (2016), MAC in Lissone (2016), Museo MADRE in Naples (2014), Anna Marra Contemporanea (2014), Galleria Alfonso Artiaco (2013), and MACRO in Rome (2013). Their work is featured in institutions and public spaces such as the Museo MADRE and the Salvatore Rosa Station in Naples.

Michelangelo Pistoletto (b. 1933, Biella, Italy) is one of the major proponents of Arte Povera. His first solo exhibition took place in 1960 at Galleria Galatea in Turin and from 1961-1962 completed his first iconic Mirror Paintings. In 1966, his first solo exhibition in the United States was held at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. His work is featured in various museums and public collections including the MoMA, M HKA Museum of Contemporary Art in Antwerp, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, Tate in London, MADRE Museum in Naples, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, and the Walker Art Center. He was the recipient of the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement on the occasion of the 2003 Venice Biennale.

Gilberto Zorio (b. 1944, Andorno Micca, Italy) is currently based in Turin and is a major exponent of the Arte Povera movement. He studied painting at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Turin from 1963-1970 but dedicated his artistic practice to sculpture, his first solo show of three-dimensional works taking place at Galleria Sperone in 1967. This year, Castello di Rivoli is hosting a solo exhibition of his work completed over the last 50 years of his career. He is featured in various museum and public collections including the Centre Georges Pompidou, Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna in Rome, Guggenheim Museum in New York and Venice, MoMA in New York, Stedelijk Museum, and Tate Modern in London.

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