Irina Razumovskaya | Mariko Wada: Ritual Voids
Officine Saffi, Milan, Italy, 29 September until 9 November 9.
A Russian artist living in London and a Japanese artist living in Denmark are the protagonists of an exhibition at Officine Saffi in Milan, a gallery and laboratory specialising in contemporary ceramics. They show two very different approaches to reality: Irina Razumovskaya, the Russian artist, 25 years old, works with a very conceptual approach. Her objects are infused with her structuralist and constructivist Russian heritage that she reinterprets. Mariko Wada, the Japanese artist, 44 years old, creates joyful works that stimulate the senses and invite us to play. The entire exhibition is based on this contrast between the artists. The title 'Ritual Voids' arises from the fact that, for both artists, the void is the starting point of their production. For Wada it generates a playful movement, for Razumovskaya a more cerebral structure. 'Ritual' refers to both artists' practice of creating series. Mariko Wada presents a series of works inspired by underwater life, and another that refers to human organs. In Irina Razumovskaya's oeuvre there is a series dedicated to Giorgio Morandi's paintings, which the artist realised after working in a ceramics company had inspired her to reflect about seriality. Another series is called 'My Russian Melancholy': while the surface of the object imitates birch through a very complicated procedure completely created in the kiln and without painting, the form is reminiscent of constructivist lines. The works in the 'Construct' series are inspired by Chinese vessels which were used in 2.000 BC in funerary rituals. They were incredibly thin as they were meant to be buried with the deceased person and to turn to ashes — an ode to the fragility of life.