The Vegetable Eye is a citation from Dylan Thomas, the Welsh poet who in the early twentieth century wrote of neo-romantic sensuality, of humankind’s aspirations and its spiritual inadequacies. Borrowed from When all my five and country senses see, (Collected Poems, 1952), it becomes the title of Galleria Marcolini’s new group show.
By now the focus on the vegetable element is part of the identity of the gallery. Artists are sometimes faber, makers of their own creations, other times they are custos, guardians and conservative medians on nature’s behalf.
The Vegetable Eye includes works by Renata Boero. Astrid Svangren, and Giorgia Severi. It is the gaze of these three artists; here, they document instead of interpreting, they announce the preservation of the natural element before its final vanishing.
Like Severi, Renata Boero often uses paper; the works included in the show belong to her two most iconic cycles, cromogrammi – chromograms (developed in the Seveties) and germinazioni – germinations (started in the 2000s). The former are chromatic interventions on folded canvases, which, once unfolded, unveil an unforeseen mark, only hinted by the artist, and mostly effected by nature, namely coloured pigments. Through germinazioni (works in paper stored in wooden cases), meant as the first stage in the development of an organism, the artist investigates the pigments’ chemical composition and their transformation at given environmental conditions.
Astrid Svangren’s drapes are the installation core of the exhibition; textiles, like Japanese silk, fall from the ceiling and hint at a place to explore.