Triennale di Milano presents an exhibition by artist Nick Mauss, his first solo institutional presentation in Italy. Curated by Milovan Farronato under the artistic direction of Edoardo Bonaspetti, the exhibition occupies the atrium of the Triennale and extends to the Torre Velasca, in the “Acquario” space on the ground floor, hosted by Urban Up Unipol Project Cities.
For the Triennale, Mauss realizes a site-specific body of work at the building’s entrance, a mural of dispersed and recomposed painted elements. Ceramic plaques of varying scales hover near one another in an overall scheme of affiliations and disunions, taking over the monumental entrance wall, and charging the negative spaces between them. At times, individual fragments become pendants to larger images, while others are still magnetizing or repelling towards a formation, given to a puzzle logic that defies itself. Each part of the whole is a unique investigation into the legibility of images, emphasized by an invented technique that reveals--through an experimental painting and firing process adapted from resist-dying--Engobe drawings on unglazed clay tearing through the gloss of Majolica painted passages curdling on the surface.
At the Torre Velasca, an architectural landmark in the city center realized by studio BBPR in 1954, Mauss situates a mise-en-scene that can only be seen from the exterior facets of the hexagonal, glass-walled, street-level space. Two paintings on mechanically moving scrolls are in perpetual slow motion, like strange narratives unfurling, or like rotating advertising panels. Photographs and drawings silk-screened on oversized metallic sheets of paper are strewn about BBPR-designed desks, while floor lamps by the architectural collaborative stand in the space as sentinels, with their half white, half blue lantern light. In this reimagining, the Acquario generates multiplications and reflections, becoming an impenetrable space that invites looking in as much as looking through.