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Axel Vervoordt Gallery in Hong Kong opens the first solo exhibition by the Belgian artist Renato Nicolodi
Installation view. Courtesy of Axel Vervoordt Gallery.


HONG KONG.- Axel Vervoordt Gallery announces the first solo exhibition in Hong Kong by the Belgian artist Renato Nicolodi (Brussels, b. 1980). The exhibition’s title, “IBANT OBSCURI”, is a quote from Virgil’s The Aeneid, which also shares its name with a black marble sculpture featured in the installation. The rear of this sculpture is placed closed to the entrance, encouraging visitors to be physically engaged with the artwork from their very first impression, symbolically and literally embracing the guiding concept of the exhibition: the subterranean.

One of three new paintings included in the exhibition is titled, Hades, as an explicit reference to the underworld as well as an implicit sign for a passage to unseen spaces. Through the new works, Nicolodi reflects on the concept of invisibility and how its various readings may assist humanity in getting closer to our own individual inner space. Reliquiarium I, a sculpture in brass, furthers this notion by metaphorically preserving the relevance of existence in a subjective space.

Renato Nicolodi seeks to evoke a universal sacrality through the expressions of his diverse production of art. His sculptures and paintings imagine spaces with corridors and stairs leading to closed-off passage-ways. Light and shade draw the gaze of the spectator to the inside of the constructions, which remains invisible. The core of the work seems to conserve a type of emptiness. The artist refers to archetypical buildings from past times and cultures, stripping them from their original function, ornament, and dogma. He creates monuments, relics, and shrines that conserve both the memory and the thought of the maker as well as those of the spectator.

Nicolodi’s sculptures and paintings form mental beacons for people who live in an age where society has gone in overdrive; in a time where everything is questioned: science, technology, nature, culture and the position of man within all of this. The works are visual anchors that invite the spectator to meditate and reflect. They form the physical and mental access points through which the spectator can meander through his or her own mental space.

Axel Vervoordt Gallery plays a crucial role in presenting artwork from the Zero and Gutai art movements, throughout the exhibition of its principal artists to Europe. Axel Vervoordt Gallery is enhancing its vision to strongly support artists beyond the boundaries of space and time. The Hong Kong space opened in 2014 as a platform to consolidate the dialogue with the East, which has consistently been a central mission. In 2017, the Belgian gallery site relocated to the Kanaal in Wijnegem (Antwerp), a former industrial malting distillery, with a strong accent to site-specific projects.





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