Italiano (Italian)

*Featured photo: Francesca Cataldi. Diario di lavoro, 1982, paper, tar, net

Curated by Paolo Cortese

On Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 6 p.m., Francesca Cataldi’s solo exhibition “I work” curated by Paolo Cortese opens in Athens at Gramma_Epsilon Gallery.

Francesca Cataldi. Il bouquet, 1990, cellulose, reclaimed iron

On display are 40 two- and three-dimensional works in concrete, tar, resin, cellulose and glass.

The exhibition begins with La rete, a 1971 work where Cataldi begins to experiment with the possibility of stepping outside the canvas by applying an iron mesh to it.

From here on, the artist begins a journey in which he experiments with the possibility of making art with everything she finds in her environment that catches her attention. Cataldi proceeds in cycles, devoting herself to different materials, studying their characteristics, appropriating them, juxtaposing them and transforming them.

Francesca Cataldi. Intreccio, 1983, cement, wire mesh, tar
Francesca Cataldi. Intreccio, 1978, cement, wire mesh, tar

Says the artist about the materials she uses, “It’s the things that look for me, not me looking for things. They come and trigger the idea for me.”

This anthology documents precisely the research on materials carried out over more than 50 years.

These are mostly sculptures, wall works, objects or books, made in different materials: concrete, tar, resin, paper, cellulose, glass.

Francesca Cataldi. Piccolo rosa, 1979, cement, pigment, iron waste
Francesca Cataldi. Piccolo bianco, 1986, white cement, marble powder, cardboard

Over the years Cataldi has felt the need to combine the work of research and experimentation on the subject with that of narration, which in this exhibition is documented by large panels in which the artist summarizes his stories. The autobiographical element is also present in some of the works where the artist represents herself in a completely original way that is consistent with her art.

In Cataldi, the use of wire is also frequent, but it is made of tar, copper or iron. This makes her a completely peculiar case in the fiber universe, although she is present in the most important exhibitions of the sector in the 1980s curated by Mirella Bentivoglio and Sveva Lanza.

Francesca Cataldi. Giallo, 1988, cement, pigments, cellulose
Francesca Cataldi. Frontiera, 2004, print and oxide on paper

In her works the conceptual thrust is closely connected to the gestural one, the research and experimentation to juxtaposition and narrative. This occurs as if in response to an inner instance of justice that the artist welcomes and fulfills by making works where years of experience are functional to stories to be told, as in the case of many artist’s books and the large wall panels.

Francesca Cataldi. Lo specchio, 1984, mirror, concrete, tar wires
Francesca Cataldi. Le forbici, 1980, collage and cement wires on photocopy

The exhibition, organized under the patronage of the Italian Cultural Institute of Athens, is part of the “Mirella’s Girls” project that Gramma_Epsilon Gallery is dedicating to Mirella Bentivoglio and the artists she supported, and will be accompanied by a catalog, edited by Paolo Cortese with contributions by Francesca Cataldi, Cortese, Micol Forti, and Azzurra Pizzi.

Francesca Cataldi. Il nodo, 1999, fusion glass, scrap metal, metal knot
Francesca Cataldi. La rete, 1971, oil on canvas, wire mesh
Francesca Cataldi. La finestra, 1992, cellulose, wire mesh