Paolo Canevari

Self-Portrait | Autoritratto

Londra, Cardi Gallery
dal 21 Febbraio al 6 Giugno 2021

The exhibition

Cardi Gallery presents Self-portrait / Autoritratto, the first major solo show in the UK dedicated to the work of Paolo Canevari (b. 1963, Rome). Unfolding over four storeys, it presents a portrait of the artist’s practice through installations, sculptures, and drawings the Italian artist produced over the last thirty years, many of which are on display for the first time.
Breaking away from the tradition of painting and the renewed interest for the medium dictated by the growing art market, by the late 1980s Canevari chose to move in the footsteps of American Minimalism and Arte Povera. By the early 1990s he began working with the industrial, readily available materials that he soon became associated with: inner tubes and tyres.

Canevari employs a brutalist aesthetic that allows him to operate at the threshold of irony and disquiet, confronting the audience with stark, political, and philosophical commentary. His manipulation of materials transforms them into ambiguous symbols of the systemic violence that permeates today’s declining globalised world, where the threat of war – whether in the name of spiritual or monetary values – is constant and humankind’s memory is tragically too short. While his works speak of the ecological failure of humankind, highlighting the rhetoric of socioeconomic power structures, the artist leaves them open to interpretation in a non-prescriptive, poetic manner.