ifa-Galerie Berlin presents Elisabetta Di Maggio: Mapping the Air from February 10 to April 30, 2023.
The organic shapes, in resonance with nature, the environment, and human connection networks, are important to Elisabetta Di Maggio’s artistic approach. Her paintings illustrate the tight connections that exist between webs, circuits, grids, structures, and meshes that belong to very diverse realms but are all part of the realm in which we conduct our daily lives.
When we think of circuits or webs, we think of the delicate venations of leaves, the tracery of lines on human skin, subway train routes, or the exquisite form of a nerve cell: upon closer inspection, these seemingly diverse phenomena echo one other in many ways. Illustrations of human brain synapses, for example, resemble the roots and branches of trees, and are as precisely detailed as pictures in an old botanical treatise. The plant world’s exquisite filigrees and the body’s channels suggest linkages, reminding us of the complicated networks of human communication.
The truth is built on maps made in the air. It does appear to be “mapping the air,” given how difficult it is to discover the threads and circuits in which life on Earth unfolds. This means that everything that maintains it or directs the activities of nature and humans is arranged into pathways and networks that cannot be seen or perceived but eventually prove to be the key structures supporting and connecting the world’s energies and entities.
Mapping the Air, Elisabetta Di Maggio’s complete project, is thus a symbolic reflection on human existence as parts of a whole, fragments of a natural universe that is always shifting and changing due to the remarkable fecundity of its laws at the microcosmic and macrocosmic levels.
Elisabetta Di Maggio (Milano, 1964) lives and works in Venice. She works with a variety of materials, from tissue paper sheets, to small or huge vegetable leaves, soap, porcelain, and with different surfaces, including the plastered walls. In this way her research becomes a metaphorical reflection on our human condition. Di Maggio’s works have been exhibited in national and international venues, including NMWA Washington DC (2020), Museo Maxxi, Roma (2019), Arter Museum, Istanbul (2019), Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venezia (2017) and are held in international museums, public and private collections, including Magazzino Italian Art Foundation (Cold Spring NY), Arter Museum (Istanbul).
Chiara Bertola (Turin, 1961) lives and works in Venice. She is Curator of Contemporary Art Program at the Querini Stampalia Foundation in Venice since 2000. She was artistic director at the Hangar Bicocca in Milan from 2009 to 2012 where she curated the international experimental project: Terre Vulnerabili – a growing exhibition. She was curator of the Venice Pavilion at the 52nd Venice Biennale, 2007 and has curated many exhibitions both in Italy and abroad. Among other: Danh Vo (2022), Roman Opalka (2019), Elisabetta Di Maggio (2017), Jimmie Durham (2015), Christian Boltansky (2011), Hans Peter Feldmann (2012), Ilya & Emilia Kabakov (1989, 2003, 2012), Michelangelo Pistoletto (2013, 2000), Mona Hatoum (2009, 2014, 2015), Kiki Smith (2005), Lothar Baumgarten (2001), Joseph Kosuth (2000).