Vincenzo De Cotiis, Crossing Over
Carpenters Workshop Gallery, Paris
Paris, France: Carpenters Workshop Gallery presents the exhibition Crossing Over, featuring over 20 pieces by the Italian artist Vincenzo De Cotiis. Considered one of the protagonists of international collectible design, his body of work is an investigation of contemporary urban environment imagery, where the city becomes a place of contamination and a culture of displacement. The distinct collection, with its dark, monochrome and raw expression, differs significantly from his previous collections Éternel and En Plein Air, but continues the artist’s signature expression of rich surfaces. The recovery of materials is a fundamental part of the development of Crossing Over and becomes its primary creative act. Recycled fibreglass, glass, stone and metals combine in new assembly processes and contribute to a new organicity.
Crossing Over resembles the work of an ethnologist who, through the study of cultures and traces, combines the differences and similarities within a given period. Inspired by Marc Augé’s “To be inside and outside, near and far”, De Cotiis thinks of pure time as undatable, absent from our world of images, simulacra and reconstructions.
The works include tables structured on stilts that encompass the East to La Serenissima, sculpted seats and wall paintings that reflect the many contradictions of the city. They
are avant-garde, poetically brutalist and functionally simple – their formal and material appearances become the voice for an unprecedented and unheard-of language. Anthropomorphic sculptures reinterpret the history of man, and neo-primitive low tables and armchairs are rooted to the ground, like massive thrones. A monumental cabinet presents its black fibreglass façade as a shard of ancient material on a modern scale. Each work demonstrates the artist’s introspection into linguistics, perception and materiality.
De Cotiis comments: “Crossing Over is a journey, an exploration in search of places that I have seen and spaces that exist in my imagination. I have pursued cultures in search of symbols and iconographies that overlap with mine. It is a research on contamination. All that is layered inside me, which belongs to me, but above all, what I still haven’t yet encountered.”