The exhibition presents two different types of sculptural works by Loredana Sperini (b. 1970) and Manon Wertenbroek (b. 1991). Both artists present and construct their work very differently, Loredana’s ceramic sculptures stand throughout the room while Manon’s leather and suede assemblages hang on the wall. Each work is produced through a mastered craftsmanship that has required laborious use of the hands and body. This process, within the context of these works of art, shares an association with the body and its connection to identity, fetish, desire, and loss.
Loredana’s ceramic mounds are abstract and flesh-like, their organic and phallic masses hold and support each other's structure creating a tension that is both familiar and distant, they are attractive and desirable, intriguing with a hint of disgust. We cannot completely understand them, as they are very different to who we are and very much their own thing. Yet their social logic is familiar, reminding us of the fundamental experience of individuals growing together. These are clearly new works in Loredana’s oeuvre. The work is more subterranean, more muted, but just as captivating. In one work, there is a bronze mould of a mouth, this motif was a central element of her earlier work and gives us, the viewer, the possibility to go beyond our own temporal experience.
Manon’s folded, compressed and pierced work which mounts the walls of the exhibition form a clear connection with the human skin, the largest organ of the body and the first to interpret and make sense of world around us. The work is produced from recycled leather which is then stretched on wooden panels. Through closer inspection of the artwork, symmetrical patterns, in the form of windows or curtains become more apparent in structure of the work. Like the skin, windows allow us to shut out or enter the world and explore it.
Seeing these works of art together, I am reminded of what art means to me. Art is not an object, but a tool, allowing us to communicate with our unconscious. The body is a similar tool when communicating with people, when coming into contact with a person our emotion communicates a physical adjustment. I find this the same with art and I certainly want to stay in contact with these sculptures.
Text by Marc Bauer, written in Centovalli, TI, August 2023.