Colla, Pinna, Pomodoro at the Ronchini Gallery
Brought together for the first time in the UK by curator Marco Meneguzzo, the esteemed Italian artists Ettore Colla, Alex Pinna, and Arnaldo Pomodoro have set up in Dering Street. Their works, which vary from abstract, to geometric and figurative, line the walls of the diminutive Ronchini Gallery.
Arriving at the exhibition – a cocoon of calm – it is hard to believe that you are just behind the chaotic hustle and bustle of Oxford Street. The Ojai atmosphere is the result of either some top notch industrial soundproofing or of the stupendous quality of the art rendering all else mute – though odds are on the latter.
Three huge, gold pillars stretch up to the ceiling, their alluring exteriors glinting magically. However, despite their smooth perfection, it is not the outer shells but the interiors of these giants that fascinate the most. Through a series of incisions and structural absences, Pomodoro peels back the skin of these sculptures and lets his audience see their insides. Both tribal and skeletal, these intricate interiors are the building blocks for what we see at first glance, like the bones in our bodies. There is a rawness to these sculptures, just as there is to humanity: confident exteriors masking jagged imperfect interiors.
To the right of Pomodoro’s pillars, pinned up high, a work of Colla’s steals your attention: a battered and rusty circular shield out of which juts a devilish pitch fork. Perhaps a social commentary on industrialisation, the shield blocking the arrival of new technology and the fork fighting off change, Colla’s piece manages to ignite the Luddite within us all.
Pinna’s figurative sculptures reside at the back of the gallery, but they are worth the wait. Two stick insect-like human forms, so thin they look like they’ve spent a decade on the torture rack, bend over each other dramatically. One supports, one is supported. Neither definitively male nor definitively female, we know nothing about the androgynous duo aside from the fact that they are there for one another. And it is this simple yet moving fact that makes watching the pair a truly cathartic experience.
Colla, Pinna, Pomodoro comes highly recommended; an escape from the chaos of Oxford Street, you will not be disappointed.
Colla, Pinna, Pomodoro is on at the Ronchini Gallery until 28th March 2013. For further information visit the gallery’s website here.