silvia bächli

verso

may 20 – august 28, 2021

via a. stradella 7

Drawing is the protagonist and common thread between the three solo shows by Silvia Bächli, Jessica Stockholder, and Allyson Strafella on view at Galleria Raffaella Cortese from May 20, 2021. Each artist has developed their own drawing practice differently, but with the shared desire to cross the boundaries of the sheet of paper and overcome the limits of the frame and of the two-dimensional surface. The medium, in all three exhibitions, takes on an installative dimension and expresses a desire for osmosis with the space it inhabits.

After decades of drafting her vision of the world on white sheets of paper of recurring sizes, testing their edges and their surfaces, Silvia Bächli has constructed a vocabulary of brushstrokes that have explored infinite degrees of the black and white and which have entered the world of the specificity of color.

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Drawing is the protagonist and common thread between the three solo shows by Silvia Bächli, Jessica Stockholder, and Allyson Strafella on view at Galleria Raffaella Cortese from May 20, 2021. Each artist has developed their own drawing practice differently, but with the shared desire to cross the boundaries of the sheet of paper and overcome the limits of the frame and of the two-dimensional surface. The medium, in all three exhibitions, takes on an installative dimension and expresses a desire for osmosis with the space it inhabits.

After decades of drafting her vision of the world on white sheets of paper of recurring sizes, testing their edges and their surfaces, Silvia Bächli has constructed a vocabulary of brushstrokes that have explored infinite degrees of the black and white and which have entered the world of the specificity of color.

While the signs on the wall have always mattered as much as the blank spaces, for this exhibition Bächli investigates even further the surface of the wall that contains her language: for the first time at the gallery, and one of the very first ones in her practice, her drawings float freely, outside of their frames, in new compositions.

Lines and larger fields of colors seem to trespass the dimension of the drawings and merge with the white wall. Her drawings are actions, her lines tell stories. What happens when these meet? What words can describe these encounters? What musical scores could they compose?

As visitors walk in the space, they are invited to reconstruct it as they walk along and manage to look at the details of the strokes.

“My ideal visitor, if he had chalk on the soles of his shoes” — says Silvia Bächli — “would define the space of the floor by drawing across the room, as in ice skating, curves and arches, approaching a detail, spinning and then backing away and re-establishing an overall view of the wall, letting his eyes wander, again and again, further and further away.”

The choreography that Bächli imagines exists only in the space, which is not only inhabited, but is newly drawn by the lines and surfaces on paper.

The long red lines running horizontally on the frontal wall, through sheets of paper, lead through drawings that are intense spectrums of bright greens, light blue and warm earth tones and then again towards objects that occupy a different kind of physical space.

Five sculptures, small angular plaster objects, cut along straight lines, lay on a table of light‑colored wood and stand as outlines of human heads. They are part of Bächli’s most recent production and were firstly exhibited in her solo exhibition at Kunsthalle Karlsruhe in 2019: composed of flat, porous surfaces, whose imperfect conjunctions contain the fields of colors, they recall the very same palettes that occupy the walls, and present the very same painterly qualities they own on paper.

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