press release

The exhibition Untitled by Jacob Kassay continues at Collezione Maramotti. The show –inaugurated on 22 May in the presence of the artist– runs through 3 October 2010.

The project for Collezione Maramotti comprises ten new pieces, some of which are mounted on the wall, while others are lying on the floor.

The canvases have the look of reflecting panels which convey the ghost-like presence of the underlying paint while absorbing and rendering the external surrounding space of the piece. The canvases on the floor, as sculptural elements, are conceived as rejects, surging to the value of possibility/potential.

Kassay's work is based on a minimalist praxis where the industrial process for the production of the art-piece subtracts the quality value of the artefact to replace it with the value of objectuality, turning it into something of interchangeable quality.

The conceptual elements of monochrome, the objectification of paint pigments, the reflection of colour, movement and form, become central in the artist's research, and are codified and translated into a new metaphysics of the painted surface, in a new form of abstraction, strongly lyrical, where the reference to photography appears evident.

The pieces are conceived starting from the priming of the canvas with wide expanses of an acrylic base to make the surface water-proof, and the subsequent application of a silver finish coat which, through a chemical process similar to the industrial process of an electroplating bath, crystallises the accidental components of the painting on canvas, thus creating irregularities on the mirror-like surface. The electroplating process also produces singeing and burning on the uncoated elements along the edges of the canvas, and the appearance of unevenly burnished and oxidized areas on the metal-like surface which are out Kassay's control.

Kassay, who has a photographic background, has transposed many of these techniques in his painting practice. The chemical process of mirror plating on the canvases is comparable to the old photographic process using a suspension of silver salts in gelatin: both techniques produce a transmutation where the light becomes the central element for the sensitization of the base and for the perception of the work.

With this exhibition Collezione Maramotti continues its activity taking place in the space dedicated to specific projects, which houses art pieces made specifically by guest artists. The pieces become then part of the permanent Collection in order to merge together acquisition practices for the expansion of the collection with the practice of public viewing.

Pattern room, as this dedicated space is called, was at one time – when the building was a manufacturing plant - the place where models and prototypes were designed. Therefore the dimension of project designing and experimentation merge together as the true vocation of this space, in a continuum between past and present.

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Jacob Kassay