Otto Zoo gallery is pleased to present NUN, an exhibit including the works of artists Gregory Forstner and Giandomenico Sozzi, curated by Marco Tagliafierro.
NUN, now, signifies the instant in which heterogeneous signs find the possibility to come together; a casual and unexpected encounter, the product of a lucky combination that produces energizing misunderstandings, able to open up new forms of language.
This is what usually happens in the artist’s studio and what will take place in the gallery: a spatial and temporal dimension able to act as catalyst for elements that come from differing contexts. It is the artist’s perspective that creates harmony among them.
Curator Marco Tagliafierro references the artist’s studio, a fundamental visual archetype in contemporary debates on aesthetics. By going back to the studio, Tagliaferro creates a visual reference that synthesizes the concept of semantic resonance among different signs. Furthermore, the reference to the artist’s studio recalls a sense of continuity with the last exhibit hosted by Otto Zoo, entitled ICI. ICI dealt with the intellectual dimension of artistic work in relation to the medium of painting.
NUN’s challenge is to bring painting back to the forefront. The exhibit does this by looking for new areas of development for the medium within unfamiliar techniques, as well as in processes that do not deal with painting directly, except for in the orthodoxy of the artistic practice.
Gian Domenico Sozzi was born in Cremona in 1960. In his artistic work he is interested in understanding how the signs that define the everyday naturally come together, moved by randomness. His work consists of objects and fragments found by chance. These objects come from opposing worlds and yet, in his work, they reveal themselves as inextricably linked, giving rise to unexpected scenarios. Above all, the subject of his work is the encounter between two worlds, the natural and the human. In Sozzi’s work, these worlds are immortalized in the instant in which they are reunited, the moment in which anything is possible.
For Gregory Forstner, the French artist born in Douala Cameroon, in 1975, the absurd as a recurring element in the conjunction of events has always been a source of inspiration. Within the development of his artistic career, the aesthetic of the grotesque continues to exist as a primary reference. Ultimately, the grotesque becomes a pretext through which to delve deeper into the complex dynamics through which paradoxes and illogical situations manifest themselves.In this show unusual, fragmented discoveries, which appear to be incomprehensible, come together in a mental path that lacks narrative. Nonetheless, they come to signify a justifiable sequence, representing the inner motions of the soul. This happens often in Gian Domenico Sozzi’s work.
Indeed, Gregory Forstner does not work following logical sequencing. The subjects portrayed in his work stem directly from his everyday interests. Ultimately, the subjects combine with each other spontaneously, as a result of continuous automatic associations. The only connective tissue that remains possible is the artist’s own taste. In his studio, Fortner experiments closely with how things come to have meaning on their own, in free confrontations with each other.
Gregory Forstner’s painting expresses the physical nature of color and of the substance of which that color is made. It is a continuous challenge with the canvas and with the difficulties the canvas poses, such as existential questions. The key to Forstner’s identity as a painter is the fact that he constantly allows himself the luxury to take risks and to take on new paths in his work. This takes precedence even on his identity as an artist. His brush strokes evolve without premeditated gestures.
Just as objects come to be part of Gian Domenico Sozzi’s imagination and sign system, appearing to have chosen him, as the artist admits, so it is with Gregory Forstner that the canvas appears to seek him out in order to challenge him.
Gregory Forstner (Douala, Cameroon, 1975; lives and works in New York City)
Solo shows 2009: Musée de Grenoble, Grenoble (F); 2008: The waiting room, Galerie Zink. Munich (D); 2007: Easyover, MAMAC, Musèe d’ art moderne et d’art contemporain de Nice, Nice (F); The Party, Galerie Zink, Berlin (D); 2006: Dit is de minj, Galerie del l’UQAM, Montréal (C); 2005, Pièce unique, Centre cultural français, Torino (I); 2003, 2004,2005, Galerie Jocelyn Wolff, Paris (F). Group shows 2009: Nun, Gregory Forstner, Giandomenico Sozzi, Otto Zoo, Milano (I); 2008: Stultifera Navis: the ship of fools, Porta Sant’Agostino (BG-I); Fait en France, National Art Gallery of Sofia (BU)/ Latvian National Museum of Art, Riga (LV); Dialogues Méditerranéens, St. Tropez (F); De leur temps II, Musée de Grenoble, Grenoble (F); 2006: Villa Holiday, Warsaw(PL); Timesharing, Galerie Jocelyn Wolff, Paris (F); Everything is wrong – Kunsthalle Palazzo, Liestal (CH); Nos amours de vacance – CIAC de Carros, Carros (F); PROFILS – 15 ans de création artistique en France – Péra Museum, Istanbul (TR); Benaki Museum, Athen (GR); Tennewpaintings, Parker’s Box, New York (USA); Galerie Jocelyn Wolff, Paris (F); 2005: La Réserve, Les Ponchettes, Nice (F); Etats de peinture,Maison des Arts, Malakoff (F); Eurostars, Galerie S.E, Bergen (N); 2004: Décomplexés / Without complex, Norbert Bisky, Steven Black, Gregory Forstner, Galerie Jocelyn Wolff, Paris (F); Denis Castellas, Valérie Favre, Gregory Forstner, Galerie Soardi, Nice (F); Body Bilder, Teisseire Kunsthalle Palazzo, Liestal (CH); 2003: Lee 3 Tau Ceti Central Armory Show – Villa Arson, Nice (F); 1999, Question de corps, Galerie Grégoire Gardette Editions, Nice (F); Exposition 109, Sophia Antipolis, Nice (F)
Gian Domenico Sozzi (Cremona, Italy, 1960; lives and works in Milano and Noto). Solo shows 2008: BRAVA, Furini Arte Contemporanea, Arezzo (I); 2007: BRAVA, Canal at Peer, London (GB); Galleria Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin (D); Musée Fesch, Ajaccio (F); Galleria Civica Montevergini, Siracusa (I); 2006: BRAVA, Galleria Zero, Milano (I); 2002: prendo tempo, Studio De Carlo, Milano (I); 2000: Anatra muta, Studio Stefania Miscetti, Roma (I); 1997: A&M Bookstore, Milano (I); Galerie Montenay-Giroux, Paris (F); 1996: cielospettacolo, Studio Stefania Miscetti, Roma (I); 1993 Studio Casoli, Milano (I); 1992: Tète-à-Tète, Studio Stefania Miscetti, Roma (I); 1989: Galleria Thomas, Munich (D); 1987: Galleria G7, Bologna (I); 1985: Galleria Schema, Firenze (I). Group shows 2008: L’Angelo sigillato, Museo di Icone Russe “F.Bigazzi”, Peccioli (PI- I); Falling from an apple tree by mistake, Wilde Gallery, Berlin (D); Ad’A, Rocca Sforzesca, Imola (BO-I); Chroma, Sala dell’Arengo, Palazzo del Broletto, Novara (I); Left Over, Micamoca Berlin, Berlin (D); 2006: The Three Cities, Anna-Catharina Gebbers e Paolo Zani, ex Fabbrica Presbitero, Milano (I); 2005: (In)visibile (in)corporeo, MAN, Nuoro (I); 2004: Per amore, Galleria Civica Montevergini, Siracusa (I); 2003: Sulla strada, Castel San Pietro, Bologna (I); 1998: Disidentico, Palazzo Abatellis, Palermo (I); Subway, Metropolitana Stazione Duomo, Milano (I); 1997: Decomposizione, S.Michele a Ripa, Roma (I); 1994: Dislocazioni dell’arte, Galleria Civica d’Arte Contemporanea, Termoli (CB –I); 1991: Terra Terra, Bottega dei Vasai, Milano (I); 1990: Italia ‘90: Ipotesi Arte Giovane, Fabbrica del Vapore, Milano (I); Musica da camera, Loggetta Lombardesca, Ravenna (I); 1989: Per un museo, Loggetta Lombardesca, Ravenna (I); 1988: Duetti d’artista, Studio Ghiglione, Genova (I); Bartolini, Desjardin, Sozzi, Galleria Montenay, Paris (F); Under 35, Arte Fiera 88, Bologna (I); 1987: Alta tensione, Palazzo delle mostre, Alba (CN-); Europa-America, ex Birreria Peroni, Roma (I); Equinozio d’autunno, Castello di Rivara, Rivara (To -I); Il Passo dell’acrobata, Auditorium S.Giovanni di Dio, Salerno (I); 1986: XI Quadriennale Nazionale d’Arte, Palazzo dei Congressi, Roma (I); Mandelzoom, Biblioteca Comunale, Marta (Vt-I); Italiana 1950-1986, Madrid, Barcelona, Santiago de Compostela, Valencia (E); 1985: Desideretur, Palazzo della Ragione, Bergamo (I).