Umberto Mariani, PIOMBI

Milano, 5/2 -27/3, 2015

Jerome Zodo Gallery is proud to present an Exhibition of Umberto Mariani, created between 1994 and 2014, that offers an open perspective of the different solutions adopted, above all, in his recent work.

With the title ‘Piombi’ (Lead), Mariani confrms the priority importance he bestows upon the material
with which he works, combining the potential of weight and malleability of metals with the
impalpability of colour that further modifes its nature. Material that becomes paint, volume that
coagulates around a completed motif, yet remaining open to infnite and varied possibilities, Mariani
has used lead for over twenty years as a privileged component in the creation of his works that
investigate hidden forms. The spectrum of creative solutions of these proposed works by Mariani, in
fact, stretches across a multiple range of possibilities: isolated letters, such as those introduced at the
time with ‘Alfabeto Afono’ (Aphonic Alphabet) in the 1970s, geometric shapes in the negative or
positive, creations that allude to the value and meaning of a frame or a theatre curtain.

The original and immediate character of his work is fuelled by a sense of colour, always monochrome
not to reduce the expressive force, but to increase the qualities of it. The various shades of which
each work is created are an integral part of the solution adopted each time, in harmony with shape
and colour.

The Exhibition stands out due to the nature of each single piece, within an homogeneous and
continuous path but aimed at adding value to the qualities of a work making use of different
chromatic matrixes – the blues of the Berber people, the greys of industrial production, the gold of
different artistic traditions and cultures, directed at giving form to the immaterial – to continue the
tracks of a project with great breath, in which the sense of theatre, refection on a sign, the
relationship between the immediacy of form and its hidden origin, are included and renewed in each
series of his work.

The Exhibition will be documented in a catalogue published with images of the same displayed
pieces. The textual criticism by Francesco Tedeschi, who was the curate of the last Umberto Mariani
Exhibition held in Milan in 2009, refects on the different directions present in the works of Mariani,
and in his being suspended between the expectation and the verifcation of form, between illusion
and reality.

With the curatorial contribution of Professor Francesco Tedeschi.