Artist to Watch

Christine Takengny, Contemporary Art Society, October 25, 2018

Ludovica Gioscia (born 1977, Rome) is best known for her vibrantly coloured and immersive installations. She often employs an eclectic mix of materials, including custom made wallpaper, papier-mâché, clay, resin, plexiglass and fabric.


The ‘Infinite Present’ is Gioscia’s modus operandi since 2016. She describes it as a reflection of the new ways of thinking (particularly our understanding of time) that have emerged with the digital revolution. Her working methodology has evolved into a non-linear process and her studio has become an alchemist laboratory in which artworks from the past, future and other dimensions are constantly de-assembled, recycled and reconsidered. Unless they enter a collection, Gioscia’s creative accumulations are in a constant transition, always remaining open to a new life.


The notion of the ‘Infinite Present’ becomes manifest in her exhibitions. Her solo show at Baert Gallery in Los Angeles titled Infinite Present, 2017 showcased works of art that were composed with fragments of past and present works, but also merged with elements from what she describes as ‘alternative multiverses’. The installation Dream Gate (2017) consisted of 11 portals that were suspended from the ceiling at different heights. It was informed by a dream that the artist had in 2016 when she imagined that she had painted an abstract expressionist canvas that hovered in mid-air with a glowing aura. Just like the internet, it contained everything, being at once singular and expansive.


Gioscia’s display Shapeshifters at Max Mara in London last year resembled a domestic interior with shelving, wardrobes and chests of drawers in which a cacophony of objects – ranging from makeup cases cast in various metals, plaster and resin, to paper sculptures – were placed.


Her pleasure in working with different materials is also reflected in a group of colourful ceramic shapes that were on view in the exhibition If You Can’t Stand the Heat, 2018, which brought together a group of artists at Roaming Projects, all having a shared interest of experimenting with clay.


Nuclear Reaction Cosmic Interaction currently on view at Ex Elettrofonica in Rome takes the artist’s late mother as the main protagonist. Gioscia imagines her in her basement laboratory doing research into fringe physics, which the artist re-created first in her studio and later in the gallery space. ‘Giant Decollages’ are made by layering Gioscia’s trademark custom screenprinted wallpaper that is then ripped to reveal the strata beneath.


Works telepathically transmitted to the artist from her future-self cover certain areas of the exhibition space. Some walls are dotted with fan-like shapes, referencing the collection of antique fans that her mother kept in her bedroom. During the opening the artist was wearing a lab coat, which is part of a new series called Mad Lab Coats, which bears witness to the creative experiments that take place on a daily basis in the artist’s studio.


Gioscia’s theatrical and vividly coloured room-filling installations seem to oscillate between kitsch, craft, high art and pop culture. Like the manifold fragments of information that blur our understanding of time and what is real in the digital era, her work seems to continually reshuffle the past and the future, the private and the public, the magical and the real world. The use of often perishable material such as papier-mâché and glue give her work a fluid presence and temporal aura. She successfully manages to transform the exhibition space into a psychedelic ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’ to be activated by the viewer.  If you want to fully immerse yourself into the curiosity of Gioscia’s world, I recommend you visit her current show at Ex Elettrofonica or if you are not able to travel to Italy before 21 November, visit her at Thames Side Studios in London.


Also, from 17 November onwards Ludovica Gioscia’s work can be seen in the exhibition THE MATERIAL LIFE Eight Rooms, Eight Stories at the Palazzo Magnani Foundation in Reggio Emilia.


In 2019, Baert Gallery (Los Angeles) will present Gioscia’s second solo show with the gallery and VITRINE (London/Basel), who have this month also announced representation of Gioscia, will present her first solo show with the gallery and in Switzerland.


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