The Vegetable Eye is a citation from Dylan Thomas, the Welsh poet who in the early twentieth century wrote of a neo-romantic sensuality, of humankind’s aspirations and its spiritual inadequacies. Borrowed from When all my five and country senses see, (Collected Poems, 1952), it becomes here the title of Galleria Marcolini’s new group show.
By now the focus on the vegetable element is structural to the gallery’s activity; its aesthetic research on nature, and, more specifically, on how artists act or adapt themselves to nature, aim to expose humankind’s diverse facets. Artists are sometimes faber, primary makers of their own creations, other times they are custos, guardians and conservative medians on nature’s behalf.
The Vegetable Eye includes works by Renata Boero, the Italian artist whose free canvases are known internationally, having been synonym of experimentation since the Seventies, Astrid Svangren, Swedish artist known for her refined use of textiles and drapes often on Plexiglas, and Giorgia Severi, who works between Italy and Australia, where she collaborates with Aboriginal communities.
The Vegetable Eye is the gaze of these three artists; here, they document instead of interpreting, they announce the preservation of the natural element, as in the case of Giorgia Severi, before its vanishing.
Like Severi, also Renata Boero often uses paper; for The Vegetable Eye she presents three works, also known as cromogrammi (chromograms). They are chromatic interventions on paper and canvas measuring time (righelli - rulers) and the consequent colour’s metamorphosis. Boero’s work documents matter evolutions at given environmental conditions and mirrors a faber nature, which the artist attentively archives and decodes.
Astrid Svangren’s drapes are the installation core of the exhibition; textiles, like Japanese silk, fall from the ceiling and hint at a place to explore. Svangren’s works ask for a not-only-frontal fruition, for they can be observed from different perspectives. Here is the performative element that all three artists share.
The intergenerational dialogue between Boero, Svangren and Severi proves the on-going and unsolvable vegetable and natural presence within the arts. Moreover, each of them, through heterogeneous media, tells of a womanhood that doesn’t scream out loud its gender, but it rather curates an elegant and refined maternal discourse, and in so doing, it weaves, once again, connections between women and nature.