Not Vital: De Pury & Luxembourg/Galleria Cardi & Co. (Reviews: Zurich/Milan).
But we would be mistaken to consider Not Vital's work a conceptual piece about language. Even if The Golden Calf owes its energy to this synthesis of name, image, and object, the work also operates on other levels of evocation, playing (as this artist's work always does) with the memory of an exotic place, the high Alpine mountain setting in which he grew up in the village of Engadine. Thus the calf is the biblical memory that mixes with the reality of a boy's rural surroundings, a reality full of calves, just as it is full of snowballs, play, and magical playthings. Seven hundred irregular spheres of white glass were sheathed within envelopes of transparent glass--snowballs preserved for eternity rather than consigned to the transience of their melting.
A love for places from the artist's own life and the evocative power that these convey were also seen in the exhibition in Milan, entitled "Voglio mostrare le mie montagne" (I want to show my mountains), echoing Giovanni Segantini and Joseph Beuys, both of whom said "I want to see my mountains." This show included a series of three-dimensional masses in bright white marble that reproduced the mountains around Engadine. Although speaking of a sculpture of a mountain may sound somewhat strange, just as it is strange to think about a portrait of a mountain, that is just what it is: a sculptural portrait of a series of mountains. While we have become accustomed to mountain landscapes, from Romanticism on, we may still be surprised by the idea of "mountain portraits," although each mountain has its own specific character, its own physiognomy. In all of Not Vital's work, a linguistic shift is effected that revolves around the concept of the image of reality and its metaphor. The mountain is composed of stone, and s o is its image (even if there is not even a bit of statuary marble in Engadine itself). In rural culture the mountain is anthropomorphic, and so--marble being the material of the portrait and the figure--the sculptural material turns it into a person; a landscape is transformed into an individual.
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||Apr 1, 2002|
|Previous Article:||Jean-Marc Bustamante: Galerie Daniel Templon/Galerie Nathalie Obadia. (Reviews: Paris).|
|Next Article:||"Casino 2001": SMAK. (Reviews: Ghent).|