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John Isaacs - The Architecture of Empathy

January 13, 2014 by Kay

Opens 18th January 2014

Galleria Massimo Minini

For his first show in Italy, John Isaacs is presenting a single new work in the main room of the gallery: a large sculpture, made with Carrara marble, whose traditional technique calls to mind a famous artwork from the past. It is a very striking physical presence that summons up varied insights and emotions, riveting viewers with the intrinsic beauty of its material and the perfection of its form.

“And so that sculpted piece of mountain becomes a piece of soul, telling us something about how we long for life to continue, about how we can invent it as a work of art, about how useless art is if it’s only about itself and cannot turn marble into flesh, about how life is a dream to be dreamed both in light and in darkness, and about how art can reveal it, even by covering it with a veil.” This is how Didi Bozzini describes it to us in the catalogue.

In this exhibition, Isaacs looks to the past through an art-historical citation that immediately invites new interpretations, new ideas about art, beauty, and life. Pathos and wonder once again flow from the work, in a more sophisticated and subtle way compared to the more caustic pieces of previous years. “Form and content are completely linked. Sculpture, if it is anything, is the spatial relationship of the human body to its surroundings. The act of inhabiting space is itself a form of communication with the environment one is in – it’s not possible for me to separate one from the other,” Isaacs says.

An eclectic artist, John Isaacs has been working for over fifteen years with a wide range of materials – wax, fabric, bronze, neon, ceramics, painting, collage, photography – which he uses to explore the complexity of inhabiting the modern world, the paradoxes of everyday life, the identity of man. His often grotesque, yet uttering fascinating and technically flawless sculptures are a critique of our society, with its waste and extravagance, its consumerism, its pollution. A new book will be released in connection with the exhibition: John Isaacs - The Architecture of Empathy, with texts by Didi Bozzini and Massimo Minini.