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Daniel Steegmann Mangrané's first solo exhibition in Italy opens at Pirelli HangarBicocca
Daniel Steegmann Mangrané Orange Oranges, 2001 Installation view at Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan, 2019. Courtesy of the artist; Esther Schipper, Berlin, and Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan. Photo: Agostino Osio.

MILAN.- Pirelli HangarBicocca presents Daniel Steegmann Mangrané’s first solo exhibition in Italy from September 12, 2019 to January 19, 2020. Over twenty works, produced from 1998 to today, engage visitors in an artistic investigation on the theme of ecological complexity and on the dialectic between man and nature.

Daniel Steegmann Mangrané (b. 1977, Barcelona; based in Rio de Janeiro since 2004) works with organic elements and technology and creates artworks through a variety of media—drawing, installation, photography, sculpture, film, video, holograms and virtual reality—often tracing the boundary between nature and artifice, where the separation between subject and object disappears and the collective experience is radically transformed. At the same time, intrigued by the richly biodiverse Brazilian rainforest, Steegmann Mangrané offers a reflection on the fragility and the possible disappearance of this environment, directly involving the observer in an intimate encounter with a depiction of nature and its animal and vegetal components.

The exhibition, curated by Lucia Aspesi and Fiammetta Griccioli, presents more than twenty works produced since 1998, including one of his first pieces, Lichtzwang (1998–ongoing), a series of hundreds of geometrical and abstract watercolors that constitute a sort of generative process of all his production. The encounter between living and chaotic elements with linear and clear-cut shapes is often present in Steegmann Mangrané’s works, as in one of his most iconic pieces: the film Phasmides (2012) characterized by an organic and geometrical setting in which he explores the interconnection between the natural and artificial worlds through the observation of a phasmid, the entomological name for the stick insect. This creature becomes a recurring motif in his oeuvre, reappearing later in the wall-drawing Morfogénesis-cripsis (2013), holograms like Holograma (estructura con bicho) (2013) or A Transparent Leaf Instead Of The Mouth (2016–17): Steegmann Mangrané conceived this last work as a glass environment in which local trees and shrubs cohabit with different species of exotic stick and leaf insects.

As evoked by the title of the exhibition, “A Leaf-Shaped Animal Draws The Hand,” the artist creates a poetic paradox in which the animal and human worlds seem to merge through drawing, questioning pre-established orders and behaviors.

Some of the most relevant international institutions have hosted Steegmann Mangrané’s solo shows, including IAC – Institut d'art contemporain, Villeurbanne; Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham (2019); CCS Bard College, New York; Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona; CAC, Vilnius (2018); Fundação de Serralves, Porto (2017); Medellín Museum of Modern Art, Antioquia; The Green Parrot, Barcelona (2016); Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro; Casa Modernista, São Paulo (2015); CRAC Alsace Centre Rhénan d’Art Contemporain, Altkirch (2014); Casa França-Brasil, Rio de Janeiro (2013). His works have also been presented in numerous group shows, such as: the Centre Pompidou-Metz, Metz, 14th Lyon Biennale (2017); 9th Berlin Biennale (2016); New Museum Triennial, New York; Kadist Art Foundation, Paris (2015); 9th Mercosul Biennale, Porto Alegre (2013); 30th São Paulo Biennale (2012). Daniel Steegmann Mangrané’s practice also involves curatorial projects, such as the recent show by Peruvian artist Armando Andrade Tudela at CA2M – Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Madrid.

On the occasion of the exhibition, a monographic book on the artist’s production will be realized. Edited by Lucia Aspesi and Fiammetta Griccioli, the catalogue will be published by Skira and is a collaboration between Pirelli HangarBicocca and IAC – Institut d'art contemporain, Villeurbanne. It will feature contributions by art historians Kaira M. Cabañas, Flora Katz and a re-publishing of an interview between the artist and curator and writer Lauren Cornell, as well as texts by IAC’s Director Nathalie Ergino and the curators of the show in Pirelli HangarBicocca. In addition to an in-depth photographic documentation of the exhibition, it will present the first comprehensive index of all the works produced by the artist in his career until today. The graphic design is conceived by Studio Manuel Raeder.

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