Federica Schiavo Gallery is pleased to present the exhibition L’Ultima Sigaretta, second solo show of Andrea Sala in Rome. The new works come from reflection and careful study of the famous panels on the 'chimneys' of the architect and engraver Giovanni Battista Piranesi.
In Piranesi's intentions in composing, the fireplace becomes a pretext and a display of his own complex cultural system of reference related to stylistic elements derived from Egyptian, Etruscan, Greek and Roman architecture. Similarly, Andrea Sala exhibits a series of sculptural groups that, together, they stage the same idea of display as a system for presenting his own personal world of forms.
As in Piranesi’s works, where the point of view is strictly determined by the author, even Sala invites to interact with the works from a vantage point, proposing a specific approach concerning the surrounding shapes. In fact, in his displays, the artist inserts a series of sculptural bases that also serve as seats for the spectator; out-and-out 'pedestals' that project and integrate him into the work. Widening to the viewer the relationship between the exhibition path and the forms contained in it, the artist optimizes the potential of the space and suggests a guided experience of the whole exhibition.
In the repertoire of Piranesi’s production, the representation of 'smokes' is the central element of the whole illustration. The spirals of smoke entered in the mouth of the fireplaces are in fact the only organic element that breaks the formal rigidity of the composition. To achieve them, the engraver does not indulge himself in any expressive freedom but designs and sketches them in a plastic way, breaking down their form upon out-and-out contours. In his displays, Sala brings into focus a sculpture designed according to the same design principles, but shaped through a stratification of plaster castings that are not entirely controllable.
Any other sculptural element that revolves around the three-dimensional 'smokes' by Sala is built from pure geometric shapes - triangle, circle and square - and primary colours, presenting a set of details made using the old method of the acid bath of the engraving plates. However, the formal results achieved by Sala differ between them in two aspects: the intrinsic properties of the selected materials such as copper, bronze, plaster, stone and iron, and the various processes of technique production tested in the workroom by the artist. These forms, originally designed without any narrative intent, allude now to a series of signals directed to the visitor, being converted into a new geography and a new opportunity to beat the time within the space.