Review of the exhibition Infinite Present, Baert Gallery, 2017.
Much of Ludovica Gioscia’s maximalist exhibition at Baert Gallery is based on a dream in which she created a glowing Abstract Expressionist canvas that hovered in the air and happened to contain everything, “just like the Internet.”
Indeed, it does feel as if the London artist has tried to squeeze as much as possible into her show. The gallery is a riot of installations, hanging fabric panels, sculptures and wall pieces dominated by saturated non-primary colors and shimmery metallics. Materials include all manner of traditional artistic ones, as well as cosmetics, debris and wallpaper “from the future.”
“Dream Gate” consists of 11 “portals,” or door-shaped fabric panels suspended at various heights from the ceiling. Some feature collages or screen prints of various imagery; others are sheets of translucent or reflective fabric. Each is enclosed in a wavy frame that suggests in hokey, pop-culture style that the portal is vibrating in space. It’s a naive device, but it’s fun to think of each panel as a kooky doorway to some other reality — just like the Internet.
The wall collage “Pregnant Cloud Sparks Moist Blue Skies” is intriguing for its layering of multiple sheets of wallpaper, on which Gioscia has drawn or painted on both sides. After adhering the sheets to the wall one atop another, she has peeled back parts to reveal imagery underneath and on the backsides. The piece from "Ludovica Gioscia: Infinite Present" at Baert Gallery. (Joshua White / Ludovica Gioscia and Baert Gallery)
certainly evokes the rough gestures of Abstract Expressionism, but it’s also a study in the passage of time: how one moment can be papered over and then reappear, layered over the present.
I believe this is what Gioscia means when she describes her materials as “from the future.” The idea that something an artist lays down is intended to persist, perhaps to change or decay, suggests that it is already a part of what is to come.
An installation in a black-painted corner of the gallery addresses this anachronism more directly. The off-kilter, salon-style arrangement mixes contemporary pieces with paintings the artist made in the 1990s. The past, the present and the future crowd into the same moment, which is pretty much the situation we live in, just like the Internet.