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Carl D'Alvia


31 août - 19 octobre 2019 (fermeture 25 sept. - 3 oct.)

Vernissage samedi 31 août, 15h - 22h



8th edition of Passage Pas Sage

With the galleries christian berst art brut, SatorIsabelle Gounod and Papillon


Carl D'Alvia’s Baroque Minimalism

Strange creatures covered with feathers, scales or hair, totems grooved like tree trunks or dripping with spaghetti, tangled intestines that look like earthworms... so much existence sculpted by Carl D'Alvia whose symbolic dimension is linked to the living, human, animal or vegetal. His hybrid works, half fictional, half real, seem to come from a biological process of growth, in line with Gauguin's idea that artists were nature’s "chosen ones" working towards a "continuation of creation". They populate a magical garden where the Headless Horseman would reign, the hero of Sleepy Hollow, a city in New York State where Carl D'Alvia was born in 1965. This fantastic legend, published in 1820, was perhaps known to the surrealists with whom the artist, who dreamed of being an illustrator or cartoonist, shared the same sense of humor. Each of his sculptures seems to affirm in the way of Magritte: This is not a penguin, nor even a hat. But Carl D'Alvia is not a ready contradiction: while he favors the elementary simplicity of the forms, he also covers them with meticulously worked ornamentation, thus creating a kind of baroque minimalism reinforced by the play of colors. "I choose those which are difficult to know whether they are natural or not," says this graduate of Providence's Rhode Island School of Design and winner of the 2012 Prix de Rome. "I like to explore the boundary between the two".

Whether brownish orange, greenish yellow or uniformly white, his anthropomorphic pieces, balanced between abstraction and figuration, are timeless. Endless, a gigantic column cut up and exhibited broken up on the ground, celebrates the chance encounter between Constantin Brancusi's The Endless Column and Carl André’s 144 Tin Square, a work composed of 144 uniform tin squares arranged on the ground to form a square. Carl D'Alvia attaches great importance to the relationship of his works with space: not only is the pedestal not reduced to its supporting function, it is an element in its own right (Aretino or Kitty), but the possibilities of mobility of each of the pieces within a set reflect his ambition not to freeze them like inert objects. "It is not the external form that is real, but the essence of things" Brancusi said. And like his illustrious predecessor, D'Alvia's hand fades away to make room for different mediums such as marble, bronze or ceramic. The result is a wonder of materials, an extremely gentile humility.

Sabrina Silamo
July 2019

Carl D’Alvia – Né en 1965 à Sleepy Hollow, New York, vit et travaille dans le Connecticut et à New York où il est représenté par Nathalie Karg Gallery.
Diplômé de la Rhode Island School of Design de Providence, D’Alvia a remporté le prix de Rome en 2012. Il a présenté de nombreuses expositions personnelles et collectives aux États-Unis et également en Europe, notamment à l’American Academy de Rome (Italie).

© Carl D'Alvia, Barboncino, 2019, marble