Marco Grassi aka Pho


February 01 until March 15, 2014

Vernissage: January 31, 19:30 – 22

Circle Culture Gallery Hamburg presents the new solo exhibition [Plù-ri-mo] by Marco Grassi aka Pho. The Italian artist shows a selection of his most recent artistic research. Thereby, [Plù-ri-mo] becomes a reservoir for Grassi’s varied and broad experiences which at second glance, all seem to be connected with each other.

Grassi’s work is highly diverse and involves art pieces containing multiple materials ("Walls"), ceramics, works on paper  ("Monotypes"), as well as his recent "Rayographies”. A strong relation in the pictorial gesture and the use of different materials are the main characteristics of his artwork. The varying bodies of work are based on various conceptual, formal and technical approaches by always keeping a coherent aesthetic. The series "Walls" is composed of found objects and detritus from urban public spaces that Grassi utilizes as a subsurface for his strong and expressive abstract paintings. The artist started to produce the series in 2012 which later became a manifesto, revealing the essence of his work and the dialogue between the used materials and media.

Since 2005 Grassi creates ceramics in collaboration with the famous crocker Marco Tortarolo. On behalf of [Plù-ri-mo], Grassi presents a new series of ceramics crafted in 2013 in Albissola, a meeting point for international artists like Lucio Fontana, Asger Jorn, Wilfredo Lam and the Cobra Group. As with ceramics, the “Monotypes” paper works  – also part of the exhibition - emphasize the intrinsic need of the artist to commence a dialogue with different materials. Furthermore, Grassi introduces two selected “Rayographies” of his most recent project called “Le Grand Verre” that were produced in collaboration with the artist Matteo Bologna. Therefore, the two artists have adapted ancient techniques of photo mechanics to envision the correlation between matter and light.

Marco Grassi’s work is influenced by professor Luciano Fabro who is well known for swaying the Arte Povera movement and whose class Grassi attended at the Brera’s Academy of Fine Arts in Milan. Also Grassi is recognized as one of Italy' s key figures in progressive graffiti writing. The artist (*1976) lives and works in Milan.

“Often the artist seems to take the place of the atmospheric agents, the passage of time and it’s wear and tear. His materials are those once used by man, at first “put into working order”, then later abandoned to decay. The painter sharpens the characteristics of each one (metal, wood, paper, cement) in a particularly dramatic and expressive way. There is a particular cruelty, almost that of mediaeval torture instruments, in the protruding nails and screws, the sharp, chipped edges of the rusty metal sheets. These slices of different kinds of space are put together in a concise dialogue, a rhythmic entablature tending to create blurrings, an off-balance which slightly disorientates the observer while opening up form to perceptual doubt and interrogation.“

From “As if the eyes had fingertips” by  Elisabetta Longari