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rosenfeld porcini opens exhibition of Italian sculptor Roberto Almagno's work
Roberto Almagno, Tremula, 2004. Wood, 50 x 50 x 10 cm. Photo © Roberto Almagno and rosenfeld porcini.

LONDON.- rosenfeld porcini presents Italian sculptor Roberto Almagno’s exhibition ‘Suspended in Space’. This follows his first inaugural UK solo show ‘The Perfection of Form’ (2012) and his participation to the gallery’s fourth themed group exhibition ‘WOOD’ (2014), which gathered four artists who all sculpt with wood, yet use the medium in diverse ways, both technically and from a narrative point of view. The gallery will feature new sculptures and works from earlier periods in Almagno’s career.

For many years, Roberto Almagno's mastery with wood produced works of a classical simplicity that in some way recalled the timelessness and purity we find in Brancusi. The artist's preoccupations have always been concerned with lightness and a seemingly impossible precarious balance. His dream was to see his works suspended in space as totally free spirits. Almagno’s most renowned piece being a 24 metre installation shown in the Palazzo Venezia Museum in Rome (2006) where 7 metre sculptures appeared to be like animals flying in the air; this sense of an almost unreal experience was increased by the ashes which covered the floor of the installation. His participation however, in rosenfeld porcini’s 'WOOD' exhibition (2014), represented an extraordinary departure for Almagno. The artist produced a very large installation specifically for the gallery, ‘Jungle’, where the wood took on all kinds of strange contorted shapes; the simplicity was now replaced by a baroque wildness. Previously most viewers had mistaken Almagno’s black pieces of wood for metal and expecting heaviness were amazed to discover the complete opposite. In ‘Jungle’ there could be no mistake although one was just as stretched to imagine that these rich and hugely contorted shapes could be wood.

Almagno's lifelong obsession with wood has given him an absolute mastery over his chosen material. He works alone and is concerned with every part of the creative process from finding his raw materials in the forests which surround Rome, the city where he lives, to the finished object. The wood in Almagno’s new sculptures appears no longer as metal but almost as painted string. His piece ‘Jungle’ has taken his art in a completely new direction. Only truly great artists manage to successfully reinvent their art in later life and Roberto Almagno can now be counted amongst this rarefied group.

Almagno’s new exhibition ‘Suspended in Space’ will feature his latest sculptures and whilst some still hark back to the breath-taking simplicity of his earlier works, the majority will show, for the first time in a solo exhibition, this new really indescribable freedom and baroque wildness; to imagine that both type of sculptures are fruit of the same mind is rare indeed. There is a constant, however, and that is the continuing obsession with lightness and air. These new works appear to be 'suspended in pure space' with only the tiniest connection to a hard surface. Almagno’s dream of creating a sculpture that is floating in air defying all commonly held views of gravity is edging ever nearer.

Roberto Almagno (b.1941; Aquino, Italy) graduated at the Insituto d’Arte in Rome (1971) under the tuition of sculptor Giuseppe Mazzullo, with further studies at the Fine Arts Academy, Rome (1972) under Pericle Fazzini. He currently lives and works in Rome both as an artist and a teacher at the Estudio d’Arte. Almagno exhibited with numerous galleries in Italy and had many exhibitions in museums, including group exhibitions at the National Museum of Fine Art, Buenos Aires; the Carlo Bilotti Museum, Rome; and the Museum of Contemporary Sculpture, Matera; and solo shows at Palazzo Venezia, Rome and Pericle Fazzini Museum, Assisi. Almagno’s sculptures are in numerous public and private collections such as Collection of Contemporary Art, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rome; BNL Collection of Contemporary Art, Rome; Museum of Contemporary and Modern Art, Michetti Foundation, Francavilla al Mare; Collezione Valadier, Rome; Luisa Longo, Bologna; Luigi de Simone, Rome; Enzo Spadon, Milan; to name but a few. The artist was most recently exhibited at the Casa Italiana Zerilli – Marim in NYC.

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