Leila Heller Gallery is pleased to announce Plastic Resonance, the first U.S. solo exhibition of Italian artist Francesca Pasquali, on view from September 8 – October 22, 2016. Through the saturated hues of site specific installation, wall reliefs, and undulating, folded sculpture, Pasquali’s work redesigns the contours of organic forms through ready-made inorganic material, rendering elegant, playful designs.
In Pasquali’s work, inert plastic and industrial material—straws, neoprene, polyurethane foam, bristles, balloons—take on an appearance flush with life. Often colorful and always laboriously arranged, cut drinking straws adopt the appearance of coral structures or microscopic topographies; vibrantly-hued plastic bursts for Spiderballs, once intended to serve as cobweb dusters, clustered on wall mounted reliefs, recall prolific sea urchins far more than prosaic domestic equipment. Indeed, stripped of their use value, Pasquali’s materials at evoke the influence of Arte Povera in their quotidian banality turned into objects of uncanny movement and beauty.
For Pasquali, material is also metaphor. ‘Plastic’ means adaptable, prone to its environment, subject to being molded, to impressions, touch, or change. Likewise, works such as the polyurethane foam cocoons of the Bozzoli series, respond to the presence of the spectator. The Frappa series, inspired by the layered Italian pastry of the same name, invites the caress of the viewer. Their delicately patterned layers of black, white, or grey neoprene take on the appearance of flesh—animal, insect, or otherwise.
In this inaugural U.S. exhibition of Pasquali’s oeuvre, the evolutionary and mutative state of microcosmic textures of plants and animals is mirrored in the weaving of reused industrial plastic materials that form the core of her sculptural works.