Andrea Mastrovito

Babel

1+1+1
A project by Elena Quarestani
with Marco Sammicheli

April - May 2019

Andrea Mastrovito

Babel

1+1+1
A project by Elena Quarestani
with Marco Sammicheli

April - May 2019

from April 3 to May 11
Wednesday to Saturday, from 15:00 to 19:00 and by appointment

Andrea Mastrovito - Babel ©Giovanni Hänninen

Guided tours:
Saturday 11 May – at 4:00 and 6:00pm
Info & booking: info@assab-one.org

Andrea Mastrovito, artist, expresses himself with equal amounts of creative energy using a variety of means, from drawing, to installation, to video. For this exhibition, Mastrovito pays homage with a monumental work to the production of the well-known Milan-based company – GEA – which had its headquarters in the spaces of Assab One. It is a kind of loving restoration/mending of the floor of the former factory, rebuilt today with a camouflage fabric of over thousands of puzzle pieces made from green book covers, collected thanks to the participation of friends and residents of the neighborhood. He lives and works between New York and Bergamo. This is his third exhibition at Assab One.

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For the third time, Assab One will once again host a large installation by Andrea Mastrovito based on books — in homage to the works produced by GEA (Grafiche Editoriali Ambrosiane), the well-known Milanese printing business whose headquarters were previously located on the premises.

‘Babel’ began as a restoration of the floors in the gallery spaces. Over the years, with the dismantling and moving of large-scale printing machinery, several parts of the green cement flooring had been removed, leaving behind a series of black areas, the two largest measuring 150 and 100 square meters respectively.

Thanks to a series of open calls in the neighbourhood, via the press and social networks, and through a dense network of contacts and friendships spanning the globe from India to America, around 3000 books with green covers were collected, published in dozens of different languages. The various covers, once removed from the books, were glued onto 1.5 mm thick boards, then sheared with a puzzle die in a uniform size, each measuring 3.5 cm by 3.5 cm.

The resulting thousands of tiles created with the book-covers became the tesserae of a huge mosaic, laid one by one, in Assab One’s large “black areas.” The resulting camouflage-like green fabric reconstructed the floor by perfectly filling in the broken parts, creating a continuum between the art work and the surrounding cement that by virtue of the joints between the pieces of the different books, established a new relationship between the various books and the various languages and cultures.

A veritable Babel of languages that does not seek the sky but spreads out across the earth!

Biography

Born in Bergamo in 1978, Mastrovito has lived in New York for years. In 2007 he won the New York Prize, awarded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in 2012 the Moroso Prize and in 2016 the Ermanno Casoli Prize. His work has been exhibited in major national and international museums, from MAXXI in Rome to the Museo Novecento in Florence, from MART in Rovereto to the Museo Pecci in Prato, from BPS 22 in Charleroi to the Manchester Art Gallery, from MUDAC in Lausanne to the Laznia Center in Gdansk, from the Kunsthalle Osnabruck to the Belvedere 21 in Vienna, from the Museo del Novecento in Milan to the Gamec in Bergamo, to the Queens Museum, to the Magazzino Italian Art and to the Museum of Arts and Design in New York.

  • Andrea Mastrovito - Babel ©Giovanni Hänninen
  • Andrea Mastrovito - Babel ©Giovanni Hänninen
  • Andrea Mastrovito - Babel ©Giovanni Hänninen
  • Babel - Andrea Mastrovito
  • Babel - Andrea Mastrovito
  • Babel - Andrea Mastrovito
  • Babel - Andrea Mastrovito
  • Babel - Andrea Mastrovito

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