Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaduengo presents “Quarters”, the first Italian solo exhibition of Magali Reus.
Magali Reus works a whole range of formal influences and art-historical references into her sculptures: she alludes to the domestic as well as the industrial, to the functional and also the decorative. As her formal point of departure, she uses the kind of objects we rely upon daily but which we scarcely notice. All objects in our day-to-day orbit fulfill either a specific role, which the individual object’s design is geared towards, or alternatively, they serve an aesthetic purpose. Nevertheless, they invariable have a connection to man, to his actions and to his body. This very relationship is manifestly apparent in Reus’ sculptures: the way in which the occasionally austere and smooth object can be charged with meaning, value or, to a certain extent, even personality by virtue of its interaction with man.
Reus is presenting two series of works. The first one is “In Place Of” dedicated to the curb as a spatially structural and structuring element in which many personal effects remain trapped, duly mutating into public archaeological relic. The second one is “Leaves”, that is concerned about padlocks, namely their specific job of concealment yet at the same time vividly exposing their inner workings and functionality. As in all of Reus’ work, each one of these elements is compulsively detailed and has been elaborately designed and manufactured by the artist. Not one single piece of apparent detritus on the curb is a found object. Thus, Reus plays upon those immaculate surfaces so distinctive of today’s industrial design. The functional design of Reus’ sculptures gives them a familiar look but at the same time they are imbued with individual traits as a result of her interventions.
Colliding the macro logic of daily architecture with the more microscopic or metaphorical projections of a body inhabiting space, Reus’ exhibition focus on the physical and psychic space of the street curb. Despite the abstract outturn, Reus’ curbs contain fragments of objects and textures: they appropriate the logic of urban terrain and yet transmit a persistent anxiety emanating from the repetition of familial forms partially shown and ambiguously placed. Linked with the metaphorical idea of an epidermis, they are surfaces that come between external and internal worlds. A new series of smaller sculptural “lock” works expose a perversity of mechanical detail. Like archaeological markers, these works become enigmatic containers for a sort of numerical shorthand that evades translation. A date or a period of time set a structural liability but, as with the curbs, they create a perplexing collapse of boundaries, blurring the graphic and the emotional dimension.
This exhibition is a co-production with SculpureCenter, New York; Hepworth Wakefield, Yorkshire e Westfälischen Kunstverein Münster.