Home Shows Conquering Lightness

From 22 November to 2 December 2023, iKonica Art Gallery hosts the personal exhibition of the sculptor and painter Marco Di Piazza entitled “Conquering lightness”.

The exhibition, curated by Francesca Bianucci and Chiara Cinelli, brings together a selection of particularly representative works of Marco Di Piazza artistic career, an author of Roman origins, trained in Tuscany, between San Gimignano and Florence, and who currently operates between Italy and Germany, where he lives since 2003.

We could not fully understand Marco Di Piazza’s work if we ignored the origins of his journey, the ground from which his creativity drew inspiration. His art has its roots in a family history intimately marked by the human and artistic influence of his parents, Francesco Di Piazza and Maria Rebora, both animated by a profound passion for art and humanistic culture, which is still evident today finds traces in the artist’s works.

While on the one hand, in fact, her mother was an excellent and refined painter, trained at the Accademia delle Belle Arti of Rome, his father, a philosopher and psychoanalyst, also loved to express himself through the visual codes of art, as well as cultivating a deep passion for music. From this fertile and extraordinary soil, Marco Di Piazza draws the seed of his art, and then along the way finds his personal way of expression, marked by the profound humanism that permeated his origins.

In fact, at the center of his research we find Man: among the recurring subjects, also present in this Milanese exhibition, we encounter human figures or more often groups of figures, almost always in movement, together with maternities, couples, or some rare solitary figures. In Marco Di Piazza’s works, be they drawings, paintings or sculptures, the human figure is brought back to its essential lines: over the years, the artist progressively frees the sign, making it increasingly spare and dry, and conquers a dimension of lightness, where voids prevail over solids, and the human figure is free to vibrate, becoming pure movement itself.

Essentiality and movement are characterizing traits of his entire work, of which we already find clear expression in his drawings. Drawing, in fact, plays a fundamental role in the creative process which leads the artist to translate his vision from the two-dimensionality of the work on paper to the three dimensions of sculpture: “The drawing is the essential origin of every sculpture and guides the form with functions of a model – observes Marco Di Piazza -; each line that composes it leaves the surface of the paper and rises into the three dimensions of space. A sequence of stages which, through a particular technique, allows you to gain solidity. A solidity that will still let them vibrate, and the wind will impart vibrations to the works intended for outdoor use which will not cause them to deform”.

“The sculptures of Marco Di Piazza – observe the curators Francesca Bianucci and Chiara Cinelli – portray human figures suspended in the air, caught in the act of vibrating, as if shaken by a light breath of wind or by a sudden emotion: movement, combined with the essentiality of the lines and the pulsating fullness of the voids, it is no longer just a formal element but a conceptual instance, an expressive urgency that leads the artist to delve into a spiritual dimension that manifests itself in an almost tangible way in his works. The human figures seem driven, in unison, by a common yearning towards an ideal, which transcends the earthly and finite dimension of the human being. They are works pervaded by an immaterial tension accentuated by the incompleteness of the forms, which leaves room for the imagination and the indefinite”.

“An incompleteness which – as the artist observes – arises within the artistic process, reflects intentions of essentiality already present in the drawing which are naturally transferred into the forms of sculpture”.During his artistic career, without ever abandoning drawing, Marco Di Piazza explores the material, first stone and bronze, then iron and steel, progressively emptying it of its “weight”, to arrive at a dimension of lightness which is today an essential feature of his art making, as the artist himself says: “In the fifteen years in which I worked in stone and bronze, continuing to draw, the theme of motherhood and the couple produced solid and quiet figures: ‘they were already dance and movement but both contained. Then the liberation in a certain
sense from matter…

At the beginning of the 2000s, in the wake of drawing, which in tracing the human figure had always been simple and immediate and now became even more essential and dynamic, I began to create steel sculptures which, in the composition, made the voids prevail over the full. Here arises an immediate and inevitable ‘spirituality’, not sought with intention, but encountered and achieved. A dimension that was born from a fortunate and tiring research that provided me with the technical expedients to create sculptures that were stable and solid in each of their ribs. Suddenly the possibility of emptying heads, limbs and bodies opened up in my hands, creating works capable of fully feeling the sensitivity and hierarchy of the lines typical of the original drawings”.

Marco Di Piazza is also the author of important works of public art, located in Italy and abroad, which represent a central aspect of his artistic production, of which precious testimony is given in the monograph entitled Noi delle strade, published by the Effigi Publishing House, which will be presented at the historic Bocca Bookshop in Milan, Thursday 23 November, at 5.00 pm.

This monograph is the fruit of different points of view and experiences: on the one hand it is a catalog of the artist’s works which are found above all in the territory of San Gimignano, in religious and public spaces and along the streets of the Via Francigena. For another it is an approach to street art, and to the relationship that exists between works of art and modern pilgrimage, between the aesthetic sphere and the sphere of the sacred.

But the book is also the story of the artist Di Piazza’s education in the context of a family affair that linked him to the city of towers and to the world of art across the board. Son of art, artist of a territory and of the world, Marco Di Piazza is told and is told from different points of view (artistic, anthropological, of traditional and modern pilgrims, of Germans and Italians) which make his journey dense and complex and show the roots that his artistic practice has in the land and in the landscape.

Exhibited artists

All Exhibited Artists