Casey Kaplan

Artist News, Gallery News

Diego Perrone in Artforum

MASSIMO DE CARLO | LONDON

55 South Audley Street
September 5, 2014–October 8, 2014

Diego Perrone’s latest exhibition engages the viewer in a conversation on the relationship between morphology and history. In the first room of this gallery/apartment, Perrone has chosen to “cool” the space, covering the floor with black linoleum onto which he has drawn a large red dragon. This legendary animal is here an iconic element, or rather an extraordinary motif, which is linked to two nearby sculptures in cast glass, each approximately thirty inches tall. Inspired by Alexander McQueen’s “Armadillo” shoes, these latter works feel like a kick to the face, and on close examination reveal an ear and an eye like fragments of a visage. The artist here also plays with chance, since he does not control the various chemical substances held in these works, which change color, particularly under the strong gallery lights. The sculptures also seem to have no texture: At times, they appear to turn into a transparent frame that allows one to see through them.

Along with his interest in alchemical processes, Perrone also plays with the opposition between the coagulation of materials and the instability of forms. On the gallery’s second floor he tackles ancient bas-relief technique. Here he shows five pieces, each created using various materials (plaster, sheet iron, PVC). Molded chairs emerge from the material, like bodies from the bowels of the earth. Four drawings in red ballpoint pen on paper complete the project; their subjects revive the motif of the glass sculptures in the first room, like the cast of an idea that has produced an autonomous image.”

—Paola Nicolin