Namsal Siedlecki: Viandante

September 30, 2021

Namsal Siedlecki, Nuovo positivo, 2021, electroplated copper, 11.8 x 9.8 x 8.7 in. (30x25x22cm)
Namsal Siedlecki, Nuovo positivo, 2021, electroplated copper, 11.8 x 9.8 x 8.7 in. (30x25x22cm). Photo credit: Namsal Siedlecki.

Namsal Siedlecki: Viandante Opens at the Italian Cultural Institute in New York in October 2021.

Cold Spring, NY – September 30, 2021 – Magazzino Italian Art, in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute in New York and Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò at New York University, will present the first U.S. solo exhibition and new site-specific work by artist Namsal Siedlecki. An opening reception will be held at the Italian Cultural Institute on October 28th from 6:00–8:00 p.m.

On view from October 29th through December 4th, 2021, Namsal Siedlecki: Viandante features new and recent bodies of work in a variety of media, ranging from sculpture and painting to installation. Siedlecki’s work typically explores dichotomies, such as the natural and manmade, as well as the relationship between nature, time, and human intervention. This exhibition illuminates his ongoing investigation of these concepts while taking a particular interest in themes of travel, transformation, and extinction in the artist’s practice.

“The Italian Cultural Institute is proud to present the first solo exhibition of Namsal Siedlecki’s work in the United States. Siedlecki is an artist that embodies the cultural relations between Italy and the U.S. and also generates an essential dialogue on a global level,” says Fabio Finotti, Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in New York.

Namsal Siedlecki: Viandante takes the wayfarer (“viandante” in Italian) as its point of departure: travelers in constant motion, transforming in relation to the places and environments they spend time in. This exhibition applies the concept of a wayfarer’s transitory state to materials by including works created through alchemical processes that involve physical changes over time and pieces that trace almost entirely depleted natural sources to revitalize them in new forms.

“Magazzino is proud to be able to present the work of Namsal Siedlecki in the U.S. He is the first Italian-American artist we will showcase at Magazzino, representing a significant step for our institution as we seek to create a bridge between the two cultures and to present work outside of any particular national lexicon,” says Vittorio Calabrese, Director of Magazzino Italian Art. “The exhibition is representative of an important collaboration between three Italian institutions in NY and it is a great privilege to be able to present this show within the new galleries at the Italian Cultural Institute.” 

Through its title, Namsal Siedlecki: Viandante directly recalls a history of travelers, traveling, exploration, and conquest, and creates a unique dialogue between past and present. All of the works included in the exhibition invite visitors on a journey through time and space and also address the impact humans have had on the natural world.

Highlight works by the artist on view include:

Serpentino antico (2021), which takes its title from a rare type of marble that has been entirely exhausted by human exploitation through quarrying. The artist uses 3D scanning to archive the negative space within an original bronze bust – choosing to memorialize the form inside of the sculpture through a material that no longer exists.

Verneuil (2021), a cast bronze sculpture of a machine used to produce synthetic rubies. This piece addresses the ability of human beings to create machines that artificially replicate, accelerate, and take control of a typically natural process. It acts as a time machine by giving us a glimpse into the future we are rapidly heading towards.

Viandante (2021), from which the exhibition takes its name. Sculptures of a human figure, meant to represent the traveling person referenced in the title, are place within a galvanic tank that initiates a continual process of material loss and gain. While complete upon entry, the sculptures start a new journey within this chemical bath, one of transformation and unending change.

Siedlecki’s Deposizione series (2020), realized through a process of sedimentation. To create the four canvases on view, Siedlecki submerged them in a “petrifying fountain” filled with calcium-rich water. After approximately four to six months, the flat surfaces of the canvases organically accumulated crystals of calcite and transformed into richly textured, sculptural reliefs. Here, as in much of Siedlecki’s work, time and its transformative potential play a crucial role in the creative process.

Nuovo Positivo (2021), a sculpture conceived in the same way as Serpentino antico. Siedlecki uses a 3D printer to create another version of the original bronze sculpture’s internal void, this time in wax, which is then immersed in a galvanic tank. Copper settles onto the shape, forming the sculpture’s new skin.

In conjunction with the exhibition at the Italian Cultural Institute, Siedlecki has premiered a new installation, Trevis Maponos (2021), located inside the dwelling area of Magazzino’s Sardinian donkeys.

About Namsal Siedlecki

Namsal Siedlecki (b. 1986, Greenfield, USA), lives and works in Seggiano, Italy. His practice explores different dichotomies and the relationship between nature, time, and human intervention. Through a diverse range of media and processes, including 3D printing, casting, and intricate chemical treatments, Siedlecki’s work interrogates questions of transformation, change over time, and extinction.

His works was recently exhibited in venues such as: MAXXI, Rome; Gamec, Bergamo, Palazzo Reale, Milan; Musèe Bargoin, Clermont-Ferrand; Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin; American Academy in Rome, Rome; Villa Medici, Rome; 6th Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, Moscow; Fondazione Bevilacqua la Masa, Venice; Magazzino, Rome; ChertLüdde, Berlin; Galleria Acappella, Naples; Very Project Space, Berlin; Frankfurt am Main, Berlin; Galeria Boavista, Lisbon; Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato; Galeria Madragoa, Lisbon; Villa Romana, Florence; Cripta747, Turin. In 2015 he won the Cy Twombly Italian Affiliated Fellow in Visual Arts at the American Academy in Rome.

About Magazzino Italian Art

Located in Cold Spring, New York, Magazzino Italian Art is a museum and research center dedicated to advancing scholarship and public appreciation of postwar and contemporary Italian art in the United States. The nonprofit museum serves as an advocate for Italian artists as it celebrates the range of their creative practices from Arte Povera to the present. Through its curatorial, scholarly, and public initiatives, Magazzino explores the impact and enduring resonances of Italian art on a global level.

Meaning “warehouse” in Italian, Magazzino was co-founded by Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu. The 20,000 square-foot museum, designed by Spanish architect Miguel Quismondo, opened its doors in 2017, creating a new cultural hub and community resource within the Hudson Valley.

Admission is free to the public.

About the Italian Cultural Institute

The Italian Cultural Institute in New York was founded in 1961 by the Italian government. Its mission is to promote Italian languages and cultures in the United States. 

Under the guidance of its trustees at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, its advisory board, and its staff, the Italian Cultural Institute of New York fosters cultural exchanges between Italy and the U.S. in a variety of areas, from the arts to the humanities, to science, and technology.

Central to the Italian Cultural Institute’s activity is its collaboration with the most prominent academic and cultural Institutions of the East Coast. The scientific exchanges, the organization of, and support to, visual arts exhibitions, the grants for translation and publication of Italian books, inspire and nourish the Institute’s initiatives.

In particular, we focus on the relation between memory and innovation, identity and identities in Italian civilization. The Italian Cultural Institute of New York, therefore, provides an “open window” on main cultural and social aspects of past and current Italy.

About Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò at NYU

Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò, home of the Department of Italian Studies at New York University, was established—thanks to a generous donation from the Baroness Mariuccia Zerilli-Marimò—as a permanent and constructive homage to her husband, Guido Zerilli-Marimò. Casa Italiana was inaugurated in November 1990 with the mission to promote the deepening of knowledge of Italian civilization in the United States. Casa Italiana develops a rich and qualified program of extracurricular, cultural events ranging from Italian literature to political theory, to figurative arts, to the history of science. Begun by the first Director, Professor Luigi Ballerini, the Casa began to collaborate with both public and private Italian centers and institutes that have the common objective of extending Americans’ understanding of Italian culture. In 1998, the direction of the Casa was passed to Professor Stefano Albertini, whose leadership has allowed the Casa to become an esteemed center for cultural discussion, making New York University one of the most important centers of European and international studies in the world.

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