Namsal Siedlecki: Viandante
Magazzino Italian Art, in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute in New York and Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò at New York University, 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 28, from 6:00–8:00 p.m. Guests must be able to provide proof of vaccination in order to attend.
On view from October 29 through December 4, 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.
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.
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 placed 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 canvasses 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.