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Marco Tirelli, an Italian artist in London
The style of the works on show – fashioned in a variety of forms, from sketches to sculptures – at first seems cool, detached, geometrical.



LONDON.- If you’d attended the vernissage of the Marco Tirelli exhibition at the Cardi Gallery in the UK capital last night, you wouldn’t have met the artist Marco Tirelli in the flesh. Covid regulations, sadly, prevented him from attending the opening of his first major show in the UK.

No matter: the exhibition is on all summer, and if you pay attention to the works – spread over four storeys of the gallery, based in a stunning Georgian townhouse in Mayfair – you will build up an intimate knowledge of the artist, all the same. Tirelli’s body of work is strongly metaphysical, and so his artistic aim is to reflect the inner workings of his mind.

Tirelli, one of the art-world’s hardest working men, has built up a stellar reputation in his home country. He broke into the limelight with a duo exhibition with Sol LeWitt in 1990, and has since enjoyed solo shows in many of the major Italian galleries, as well as exhibiting in the Italian Pavilion at the 2013 Venice Biennale. He has also enjoyed exhibitions further afield, lately in Antwerp and Hong Kong, shortly before the pandemic.

The style of the works on show – fashioned in a variety of forms, from sketches to sculptures – at first seems cool, detached, geometrical. The pieces are largely monochrome; what colour there is, is muted. This is because Tirelli’s art is a representation of the fleeting shadows of his memories, his thoughts, his hopes, his emotions, his desires, his dreams. He calls himself an “explorer”, likening his working process to “putting my hand in a dark space, and feeling what’s in there.” He plays with the boundaries between chiaro and scuro, between light and dark, between now, then and the hereafter.

It’s deeply serious stuff, then, but read between the lines – with Tirelli everything happens between the lines – and you’ll find playfulness and humour in evidence, too.

-Alex Leith

Cardi Gallery, 22 Grafton Street, London W1S 4EX, July 25 to September 4 (closed 8-22 August). www.cardigallery.com










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