Born in 1944, it is hard to tell whether Gilberto Zorio is an artist or an alchemist. The Italian sculptor was part of a radical movement in the late 1960s, called Arte Povera. Translated to mean 'poor art', you immediately understand the why he uses the materials that he does. Zorio makes most of his sculptures out of found objects such as wood, lead, copper, and steel. These are not manmade, but elements of the earth.
For the first time in five years, Zorio is holding an exhibition of his work in the UK. Additionally, this will be his first solo exhibition which will be presented by the Blain Southern Gallery up until the 28th September.
Many of the installations on display appear to 'unfinished', as if they are incomplete sets. This is a key motif in Zorio's work, which is often described as being in a 'state of flux'. I think this is partly because of the chemicals he uses. He is a bit of an alchemist at heart. In chemistry, the mixing of certain chemicals can create a transformation. For example, Leads II (1968) mixes copper sulphate with hydrochloric acid to form a crystallised braid.
There will also be new works on display, such a star-shaped sculpture lit up by UV lamps. These lights reveal phosphorescent marks that change colour like a mood ring.
Visitors will be able to interact with some of the installations too. For example, in Microphones (1968), you climb a series of concrete breeze blocks, where microphones are hanging from the ceiling. Record your voice, and listen to the echo effect on playback.