Nevine Mahmoud (London, 1988 – lives and works in Los Angeles) and Margherita Raso (Lecco, 1991 – lives and works between New York and Milan) both root their practice in melee with materials and techniques: marble, alabaster and blown glass for the first, mechanical or manual frame work for the second.
For Mahmoud, the formal result consists of stand-alone objects, sensual representations of body pieces, or natural elements that appear as “closed” forms, self-referenced sculptural worlds. Raso fabrics, on the other hand, are works that don’t seem to have fixed shape. They are surfaces of great tactile and visual quality that occupy spaces hanging from the ceiling, clinging to the walls, resting on surfaces…
Both start from the body, from the evocation of its form which results in a formal quality, almost marginal compared to how important the material nature of their works is.
Raso motifs emerge from the weaving of Jaquard loom-woven threads and are barely recognizable, camouflaged by textile decor: on each drape a myriad of body silhouettes is composed, repeated and superimposed in a fast pattern that could also recall movements cartoon animation, or short chronophotographic sections. But the material impact of the fabric, with its colors, the opaque-glossy play, the contradictory sense of draped weight and the impermanence of the form, precedes and dominates the recognizability of this subject.
Mahmoud follows a more surrealistic trajectory, translating passages of female body and winking fruits in the most polite of marbles or in vaguely decadent blown glasses. In a continuous play of surfaces, which also involves the supports – from time to time the sculptures rest on opaque or transparent, colored and linear bases, his sculptures play a double charter of seduction: the sensuality of the subject (a tongue, a breast, of enormous cherries) is enhanced and contradicted by the cold and composed tactility of marble and glass.
IThe comparison between the two artists is summarized thanks to the intervention of a third artist: Derek MF Di Fabio (Milan, 1987 – lives and works between Perdaxius and Berlin), who is asked to intervene with a display. Di Fabio’s work often consists of workshops, whose final result is of relative object importance. His poetic attention is shifted to situations, to how we can listen and interpret.