curated by Achille Bonito Oliva
opening: 20 febbraio 2018 h.18-21
The Time of Form by Achille Bonito Oliva
Sculpture is an artist’s declaration of war on the facts of existence – the harsh realities that beset mankind and encircle men’s lives. Space against space. An occupation of territories public and private, answering only to the creative will of its maker. Everything is condensed into the material distilled into immobile and definitive form. Giuseppe Pulvirenti relieves his work of the burden of this engagement by means of procedures that do not focus exclusively on the solid volumes of the Western sculptural tradition but shift the emphasis of the creative process towards the void and the miniaturising of form.
Here, sculpture is not striving to be recognised or compared, via any plausible resemblance, with the things that crowd our daily lives. Pulvirenti is not celebrating the perfect definition of the materials: he is, rather, shifting his focus onto the abstraction of Time. His work is happily becoming an authentic form of chamber sculpture: objects so concentrated in their dimensions that they can be clutched in the hand or seen at a glance. The void, here, is not an affirmation of some pessimistic vision, but opens up new horizons pointing towards reflection and interrogation. Rather than an assertion and celebration of a state of mind, the work of art becomes a question. In this way, sculpture comes to represent the zeitgeist of our postmodern era. It is a record of the eternally present time of a form and seems to urge us to contemplate something beyond the hedonism of pure recognition, pushing us to consider the armistice of a judgement that accepts the utter indecision of a meandering gaze.
In Pulvirenti’s sculpture, the element of indecision represents not an agnostic’s route to knowledge but rather the fact that knowledge is a prerequisite for mental longevity.
The minimalism of these works as objects results in a visual intelligibility and an ease and versatility of enjoyment thanks to which their materials are conceptualised and detached from any accommodating message.
Pulvirenti drives sculpture towards a paradoxical condition of impossibility and thus affirms the profound value of an art deliberately dominated by the pure signifier.
In a society that places emphasis on the production of that which is useful and the functionality of every gesture, art responds by divesting itself of practical motivations and recognisable verisimilitude. Pulvirenti, therefore, is the maker of an art that affirms the felicity of interrogative volumes that seek not to occupy the spaces of our lives but rather to give sculpture an opportunity to represent a new time of knowledge. Which also means lengthening its life.
Besides, his sculptures’ materials (cast bronze, acrylic paints, milled aluminium) reflect the artist’s desire for his works to last. The idea alone does not suffice. Precisely in order to guarantee the durability and permanence of the concept from which the form emerges, materials must, inevitably, be involved. The autonomy of the form is the starting point for a creative practice steeped in a cultural history that runs from East to West, from the Baroque to the ready-made, metaphysics and minimalism, geometrical allusion and ironic enigma.
So, all told, Pulvirenti’s creative adventure continues to move between cultural nomadism and stylistic eclecticism and has freed the sculpture of any burden of gravity, pushing it into areas that explore the time of form.