Steam and Steel

19/08 – 23/09/2017

‘Steam and Steel’ is a story about water; rain water turns to mud, which then becomes a puddle on the ground. Reflecting water which then holds a piece of the sky, creating a mould from a vacuum of vaporised water. And iron-water: everlasting forged mirror of a peak, kept in the earth.

The installation of Fabio Dartizio for Exchiesetta in Polignano a Mare pays hommage to the earth and to the work of Pino Pascali. The transition from his most well-known works made of water and soil during 1967-1968 into the most recent sculptures in aluminium, gives us a sense of the relationship, both problematic and seductive, between natural and artificial elements.

Dartizio has crystallized the fallen and ephemeral presence of the organic materials, into a metallic and transluscent matter.

This presence is further heightened by the holy space of the Roman church, where the symbolic value of water turns into a spritual mystery, which evokes the traditonal pictorial style of Middle Ages. In the Baptism of Christ by Piero della Francesca (1440-50) the large puddle under Christ’s feet incoporates the landscape and other characters around him, without showing the incorporeal presence of Christ, likewise, Dartizio’s puddle reveals the deep relationship with the space, by multiplying the intricate architectural details and reflections of ambient light.

Through the perspective of Exchiesetta, the sculpture on the floor decreases along the longitudinal axis of the church, crossing at the end into the column bearing the final sculpure, posessing the entire space right to the top. Thus the artist subtracts gravity and consistency from the matter and sublimates it, as ascensional steam, leading it upward towards the threshold of the sky, symbolized by the dome of the twentieth-century building.

About the artist:
Fabio Dartizio born in Vaprio d'Adda (MI) 1989. Lives and works in London.
Recent Exhibitions: 2017, Double Edge, Folkestone Triennial, Tokyo University of Art in collaboration with Central Saint Martins. Folkestone, United Kingdom; Metaphors and Spaciality, Wuhouci Art Gallery, Chengdu, China; Somehow you and I collide, The Laundry, London; This is an art school, programmed by Central Saint Martins, Tate Modern, Tate Exchange, London; Passenger, The Flat-Massimo Carasi Gallery, Milan; 2016, Death of a star and elsewhere, Francesco Messina Museum, Milan; Big Space VI, The street–Central Saint Martins, London; Oltre Roma, Palazzo Falconieri, Rome; Il paradiso inclinato, Ex–Dogana, Rome; 2015, Distante, Alessio Moitre Gallery, Turin; Milano Città Mondo, Fabbrica del Vapore, Milan; 2014, Tesla Babilonia, EContemporary Gallery, Trieste.

Why did you separate me from the earth?, 2016, detail
Steam and steel, 2016, installation view in Exchiesetta
Why did you separate me from the earth?, 2016, sand casting anticorodal aluminium, square galvanized iron tube, bitumen, variable dimension
Why did you separate me from the earth?, 2016, detail
Why did you separate me from the earth?, 2016, detail
Fabio Dartizio