Doriana Chiarini “IN GRANDE! Scultura a dismisura”, curated by Mariuccia Casadio at Galleria Federico Vavassori, Milan
Architecture and furniture. Cinema and animation movies. History of comics and illustration, fashion, millinery and window dressing. The sculptures that Doriana Chiarini created in the early Eighties are the result of the confluence of different passions and languages, fore-shadowing the precious central contribution of memory in the imageries of Postmodern art. In unsuspected times, in fact, she short-circuited references to Gio Ponti’s pages on Domus and Stile or to Margot Besozzi’s brightly colored furnishings, tributes to comic strip characters such as Conselman and Plumb’s Ella Cinders or Soglow’s Le Petit Roi, indissolubly linking the work and its pedestal.
A plinth in colored iron rod or wood covered in fabric, inspired by the imaginative designs of window displays, becomes a graceful support for miniature armchairs and chaise longues. Furniture preciously made with watercolour paper, forged and colored by hand, which pay a tribute to the courageous inventions of Modernist design, from the Hollywood sets of Ernst Lubitsch to the interiors of Eileen Gray or Elsie de Wolfe.
Doriana Chiarini’s sculptures, exhibited at Artists Space in New York in a solo exhibition curated by Germano Celant (1984) and subsequently presented at Salvatore Ala’s galleries in Manhattan and Milan during the Nineties, have gradually evolved in their conception. Transforming the display into an increasingly wide-ranging and spectacular structure, with shelves jutting out into the space, which arise from geometric, monochrome wall-based modules evoking Donald Judd or Blinky Palermo. Or reducing the iron rod support to a slender vertical and longilineal mark, keeping it in balance on diverging bases, folded brass plates that recall in an abstract form the agile anatomy of animal legs.
Starting an observation of nature that not only radically transformed the key subjects of Doriana’s sculptures, but also attributed new lines, dimensions and functions to the supporting and the supported forms that still dominate her research, leading to the unpublished repertoire of works now on display in the solo show “IN GRANDE! Scultura a dismisura”, curated by Mariuccia Casadio at Galleria Federico Vavassori.
Games of wavy, slide-like shapes, ascending and descending planes, squared and rounded shapes evoke abstract habitable landscapes. Pedestals made to measure for different animals, which, from Volpino grigio to Cagnino comune, from Topo delle piramidi to Grillo dei cespugli, or from Volpe del deserto to Formichiere, to Lucertola Pinocchio, give life to a playful bestiary, converting Doriana’s original attitude towards the very smallest into an aspiration to the monumental.
Made in a maquette format and built with layers of watercolor paper, the sculptures on display strive for a large scale. And they represent possible urban furnishings, cross-sections of the natural world to be contemplated, but also touched, penetrated and experienced. Colorful, joyful and public moments of rest and play. And an artist’s dream of interaction with the existing.
At Galleria Federico Vavassori,
until 31 October 2019