Painting is a mute poem and poetry is a blind painting, and both proceed by imitating nature as far as their powers make it possible…
Leonardo da Vinci
Von Buren Contemporary is proud to present Muta poesia (Mute Poem), the major new exhibition of Italian sculptor Alessio Deli. The show sees Deli returning once again to his Renaissance roots, studied and revisited in a modern key.
This time the artist’s muses are female figures whose graceful, oval-shaped heads and ethereal, dreamlike expressions bring to mind the marble busts sculpted by Francesco Laurana in the late 15th century. In reference – and deference – to the paintings of Botticelli, natural elements dot Deli’s sculptures, reinforcing their role as symbols of life and renewal.
The link between past and present is also evident in the techniques used by the artist. Bronze sculptures are flanked by ceramic works, made following the steps used by the Della Robbia family in the creation of their famed polychrome-glazed terracottas.
The exhibition also includes Deli’s preparatory drawings and sketches, as well as a series of photographs taken by the artist of his sculptures and printed on corroded sheets of iron. In addition, Deli has allowed his private sketchbook to be recreated. Containing drawings, notes and preliminary plans jotted down by the artist in the months leading up to the exhibition, the sketchbook is an art object in itself, as well as providing context for some of the final pieces. Available in just 50 signed and numbered copies, each ‘sketchbook’ features pages that have been hand embellished by the artist.
Alessio Deli was born in Marino near Rome in 1981. After studying at the Art Institute of Marino, he went on to graduate from the Academy of Fine Arts in Carrara where he specialized in sculpture.
Sculptures by Deli are to be found in many permanent collections including the Basilica of Santa Maria in Aracoeli, Rome; the MacS (Sicily’s Museum of Contemporary Art), Catania; the Civic Collection of Contemporary Art at Palazzo Simoni Fè, Bienno; the Roberto Bilotti Ruggi d’Aragona Museum in Rende, Cosenza; the National Gallery of Calabria, Cosenza; the Municipal Palace of San Quirico d’Orcia, Siena; the Antico Collegio Martino Filetico, Ferentino; the New Church of St. Peter the Apostle, Cosenza; the S. Bonaventura Cloister in Rome and the Porporati Park in Turin.