Studio Matters+1

Bartolini otrafiesta

Massimo Bartolini (Cecina, IT, 1962) is considered one of the most important Italian sculptors of his generation. 

The work best known to us is his BOOKYARDS (2012), an open-air library he created in the vineyard of St Peter’s Abbey as part of the city-wide TRACK exhibition. The exhibition ‘Studio Matters +1’ for the first time combines a large-scale installation (‘+1’) with a unique selection of small sculptures (‘studio matters’). The relationship between Bartolini’s better-known installations and his intimate, more biographical studio work has until now remained virgin territory.

Otra Fiesta (‘+1’) Bartolini has created a work specially for the S.M.A.K., ‘Otra Fiesta’ (2013), an organ several metres high made of metal scaffolding pipes. ‘Otra Fiesta’ works like a barrel organ that plays automatically: the air blown through the pipes first passes through the holes in the music roll, giving rise to variations in tone and length. For the S.M.A.K. version, the free jazz musician Edoardo Marraffa has written a new composition. The jazz singer Deirdre Dubois sang lyrics by the Argentine poet Roberto Juarroz to this music. Bartolini sees the ‘void’ in Juarroz’ poem and the void that the metal scaffolding visualises as a metaphor for the present state of architecture. Studio Matters The object sculptures and two-dimensional works on show next to ‘Otra Fiesta’ took shape in the sheltered setting of the studio over the last ten years. The ‘studio matters’ in the title refer to these small objects: ‘studio matters’ means both ‘studio materials’ and ‘the studio is important’. There are ink drawings, collages of found objects and prints that have suffered some damage, but there is also a judo belt stretched between the floor and ceiling, an irregularly-shaped stone balancing on a pearl and enlarged apricot stones in alabaster. They are exercises in the sculptor’s craft that offer an insight into the poetic world of Bartolini’s imagination.

The Fruitmarket Gallery The ‘Studio Matters +1’ exhibition is a joint project by the S.M.A.K. and the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh, where a differently arranged version was on show from 1.2 to 14.4.2013. Catalogue The catalogue, ‘Massimo Bartolini, Studio Matters +1’ (Roma Publications, 2013) contains an introduction by Fiona Bradley, director of the Fruitmarket Gallery, and Philippe Van Cauteren, director of the S.M.A.K., as well as a conversation between these two directors and Massimo Bartolini. EXPO GUIDE Download expo guide

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