Gilberto Giovagnoli-Lord Auch
Scaramouche Gallery

The Worst (works:
1983 – 2015)

Opening:   Friday, May 15, 2015,

Exhibition dates:   May 16 – June 28,

Gilberto Giovagnoli’s work is driven by
contemplations of sovereignty, tyranny, eroticism and transgression – all given
free reign within his self-conceived utopian chaos. Giovagnoli was born in 1954,
in the tiny Republic of San Marino, and received his BA from the Accademia di
Belle Arti di Urbino, Italy in 1975. After several years of critical success,
his artistic career experienced a self-imposed six-year hiatus, during which
time his focus shifted to existential ruminations on politics, dictatorships and
Stalin. Following this period, the artist never fully conformed to modern
luxuries (i.e driver’s license, smartphone, internet, television), instead
submerging himself in literature, in particular that of Louis-Ferdinand Celine
and Georges Bataille, and the music of The Animals.

In his first-ever trip to and
exhibition in the United States, Giovagnoli brings “The Worst” of the past three
decades in a distinctly unprecedented body of work. Among the pieces in the
exhibition are three large-scale plasticized drawings and collages, two
paintings from the early 80’s associated with the Italian Transavanguardia
movement, a hand-made book of drawings in homage to artist Paul McCarthy, an
extensive work on paper composed of 49 portraits of Nazi generals, and a
transfigured Voodoo Christ statuette.

Giovagnoli’s work, while reminiscent of
Art Brut, is laced with ironic violence, irreverent text, and salacious human
desire. Pieces of hallucinatory reality push the limits of censorship, yet are
rendered with bright colors and the “sprinkling” of confetti made out of
construction paper, cut-out images and candy wrappers. Objects and human-like
creatures pile up on one another like the ruins of a fantastical and chaotic war
of living that never ceases. The critic Luca Beatrice writes of the artist’s
universe: “…Giovagnoli’s organization of space and thought takes its cue from
the psychic automatism of Andre’ Masson, from Pollock’s early drippings, until
arriving at Alighiero Boetti’s Tutto (Everything): but this is a
Tutto/Rutto (Everything/Belch) that comes straight from the sewer,
where everything is waste itself, bad art, bad cinema, images to be thrown away,
entirely covered by plastic tape, as the ulterior lowering of the artistic
level, the worthy burial of painting, not in the least, a philosophizing about
its death.”

One of the exhibition’s prominent
pieces entitled Lord Auch or Lord to the Shithouse, is a
massive painting, six yards wide, that the artist has completely sealed in
transparent tape. At first glance, the work has the appearance of a delicate
Persian rug, but upon closer inspection, an imperial orgy takes shape. Inspired
by the outré novella “Story of the Eye” by Georges Bataille, Lord Auch
brings to life the wickedness within the body and thoughts, as troublesome
taboos are liberated in a microcosm that surges with compelling issues of our
common humanity and present society.
The spectral delirium of the work
“Vampyr” is palpable as the canvas transforms into a playground of supernatural
haunts, evildoers and souls trapped in a parallel world. Creatures are
intertwined with mutated limbs, caterpillars and fish bones. The piece, while
layered with malignity and madness, achieves a sublime, dreamlike state. And
like so much of Giovagnoli’s work, the experience is like opening a newspaper,
or walking down the street, eating the news, the forms, the colors, the
passersby, the sounds – and then spewing it all out, including yourself, onto
the painted surface.

has been featured in exhibitions throughout Europe including
Palazzo dei Diamanti, Ferrara; Grand Palais, Paris; 40th Venice Biennale;
Palazzo Lanfranchi, Pisa; Galerie Springer, Berlin; Antonio Colombo, Milan; and
1st Drawing Biennale, Rimini. Solo exhibitions include Emilio Mazzoli, Modena;
Studio Cavalieri, Bologna; Diagramma, Milan; Galleria d’Arte Moderna e
Contemporanea, San Marino; Mondo Bizzarro, Roma; D406, Modena; Municipal Museums
of Rocca di Cento. Giovagnoli’s work has been the subject of texts and
exhibitions curated by Achille Bonito Oliva, Alberto Boatto, Maria Luisa Frisa,
Italo Mussa, Luca Beatrice, Valerio Deo’, and Alberto Zanchetta, among

A special thanks to D406-Fedeli alla
Linea, Modena, Italy for their collaboration.
  1. GGiovagnoli-Paul McCarthy book

For more information please contact the
52 Orchard Street  New York, NY 10002
 tel. 212.228.2229

Hours: Wed – Sat 12N-6pm, Sun 1-6pm,
and by appt.
Ciao, sono Emanuela, donna, moglie, madre e blogger con studi classici e formazione giuridica, eclettica per natura e per destino, “nerd” quanto basta.


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