The first solo UK exhibition of the Italian artist’s exquisitely carved and abstract sculptures
Rosenfeld Porcini is pleased to present The Perfection of Form by the Italian artist Roberto Almagno. This will be the first solo UK exhibition of Almagno’s work and will include both sculpture and works on paper, displayed over both floors of the gallery. His striking work ‘Memory’ previously featured in Rosenfeld Porcini’s 2011 group exhibition Memory: Contemporary International Sculpture.
Roberto Almagno sculpts exclusively with wood, which he collects in the forests outside his native city of Rome. He refines the wood into works of great formal beauty that retain a contemporary lightness and reveal a dedicated mastery of his medium. They evoke both the material’s fragility and its transformative powers as the sculptures inhabit a world that rests between nature and the manmade. Almagno’s works on paper share the strength of his sculpture and contain the same concerns with the natural elements, in this case with ash and soot.
“I realised that art was, above all, humility; I want to make sculptures which seem to rise into the sky with force yet remain full of harmony; works that express the prayer and sacrifice of men when faced with time and infinite space. We, compared to them, are like the flash of a thought.” Roberto Almagno
In the 1970s, under the influence of primitive and classical art, Almagno began to experiment with ash, earth and rocks, which he collected from the Italian mountains. He began to distance himself from his early masters by turning to wood and perfecting a woodcarving technique that derived from oriental culture. The artist’s work assumes a profound spirituality that he describes as “no longer bearing the weight of life.” After carefully collecting his material, Almagno files off any rough edges before smoothing the wood with a combination of fire and water, allowing him to mould and shape the works as he searches for a formal perfection.
Born in 1954 in Aquino, Italy, Almagno trained at the Instituto d’Arte and the Academy of Fine Art in Rome. In the early 1970s, he worked as an apprentice to the sculptor Giuseppe Mazzullo after which Almagno began to develop his own unique approach to sculpture.
Almagno currently lives and works in Rome where he combines his work as an artist with teaching at the Estudio d’Arte, Rome. His solo exhibitions include Palazzo Venezia, Rome; Pericle Fazzini Museum, Assisi; and Palazzo Massari Pavilion of Contemporary Art, Ferrara. His sculpture ‘Memory’ will be exhibited in Naples this month, as part of Rosenfeld Porcini’s group exhibition Memory: Contemporary International Sculpture, which is on tour at the PAN museum until 19 June 2012. He has a further exhibition alongside the painter Sandro Sanna, curated by Lorenzo Canova, at the Carlo Bilotti Museum in Rome until 8 July 2012.