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Two concurrent exhibitions by Diego Perrone on view in New York and Milan
Diego Perrone, Herbivorous Carnivorous. Installation views Massimo De Carlo, Milan-Ventura. Photo by Roberto Marossi. Courtesy Massimo De Carlo, Milan/London/Hong Kong.

MILAN.- Massimo De Carlo gallery and Casey Kaplan are presenting Herbivorous Carnivorous and Self Portraits, two concurrent exhibitions by Diego Perrone. Debuting across both galleries, Perrone presents new glass-casted sculptures accompanied by biro on paper drawings.

Diego Perrone approaches his practice with aesthetic inventiveness, reimagining stylistic and more classical technical processes in sculpture and drawing. Using these mediums as a starting point for his investigations, Perrone expands these mediums accessing a transitory space that merges representation with the indescribable. For this exhibition, the bridge between convention and innovation is built through the time-honored technique of cast-glass. Within this process glass is cast by turning molten glass into a mold where it solidifies: through this technique Perrone is able to create distinct yet amorphous shapes and imagery. As individual fragments of glass are heated and fused together, gradations are produced within pigment-infused minerals and oxides. Clouds of color filter through translucent glass, each layer caught between crystal and soil.

Perrone’s interpretation of the cast glass process originated from a series of fiberglass sculptures titled “La fusion della campana (The casting of the bell)” (2005-2008). Conceived from traditional metal and bronze casting techniques, Perrone merged the three stages of bell casting into objects that were not bells, but bizarrely abstracted tubular and natural forms connected to bell shells. Unifying the individual steps involved in the conventions of this process, Perrone compressed tradition, time and space into a liquified structure resembling an excavated landscape.

In a 2013 presentation at Museion Bolzano, Italy, Perrone applied this process using glass, presenting a series of sculptures in which representations of an ear and its spiral innards emerged. The repetition of the ear canal throughout the artist’s practice, initially appearing in biro on paper drawings in 1995, connects an anatomical anomaly to organic forms within nature. To Perrone, a material’s capacity to simultaneously cloak the passing of time through a physical object merges notions of permanence with the elusiveness of elements forever in motion.

The spherical glass heads contain recurring motifs within Perrone’s practice. Imagery of koi fish and tractors circle the space of the artist’s psyche. The repetition of symbols rooted in the artist’s rural upbringing alludes to living landscapes, by land or by sea, as they persist within the artist’s consciousness. In a surreal daze the tractor plows through from the corporeal to the cerebral.

In direct dialogue with the sculptures, Perrone’s works on paper embody similar perspectives. Viewed from peculiar downward angles, Perrone’s red biro self portraits are guided by striations of color and line, converging in compositions that exist as multidimensional forms in the round.

Natural shapes and industrial landscapes dwell within the artists’ mind, which translates the physical and mental consumption of these surroundings in the vocabulary of art. Each work in Self Portraits and Herbivorous Carnivorous addresses and challenges an overwhelming yet calming feeling of emptiness, where even the most fleshly actions are coated by a tangible mist.

Diego Perrone was born in Asti (Italy) in 1970, he currently lives and works in Milan. Solo exhibitions include: Scultura che non sia conchiglia non canta, Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York (2013); Il Servo Astuto, Museion, Bolzano, Italy (2013); La mamma di Boccioni in ambulanza e la fusione della campana, CAPC Musèe d’Art Contemporain, Bordeaux, France (2007); Totò nudo e la fusione della campana,Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Italy (2005). His work has been exhibited internationally in prominent institutions such as: Animations, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York (2001); Perspectif Cinema 2003-2004, screenings, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France (2004); The Shapes of Space, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2007); After Nature, New Museum, New York (2008); Nathalie Djurberg & Diego Perrone, Whitechapel Gallery, London (2008); Ennesima. Una mostra di sette mostre sull'arte italiana, Triennale di Milano, Milano (2015); Curated by (?), Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo (2016). Diego Perrone’s work has been included in the53rd Biennale di Venezia - Il Palazzo Enciclopedico, Venice, Italy (2013) curated by Massimiliano Gioni.

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