Carlo Guaita and Noriyasu Soda

Dec 16, 2017 – Mar 2, 2018
Opening: December 16, 2017, 18:30

Press release

In the exhibition “Vuoto occidentale/ Vuoto orientale”, Galleria Gentili presents works by Carlo Guaita and Noriyasu Soda, an Italian artist and a Japanese artist.

East and West, distant, distinct, but with an elusive border, feed each other in a continuous cultural comparison. The title of the exhibition mentions, intentionally, the book of poetry by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe - “Western-oriental sofa”.

The “oriental” aesthetic element presupposes that the void is both generative and affirmative, i.e., present; all of the attention is placed on the void itself, and this is what creates its opposite, almost as if the void were present and the fullness were absent. It is the void that indicates the fullness. In the “western” void the path is the inverse. Generally, it is by removing and eliminating the fullness that the void is determined. This will be the remainder, indicative of something that was there before and will be seen as a lack. The “western” void is negative, one of absence. Noriyasu Soda uses enamel to create his works. In Japanese culture, enamel is not simply a material or a technique, but also takes on symbolic meanings. Thanks to the application of a shiny layer in gold, black and red, but also in pearly tones, the surface of an object (in our case, the support of a painting) becomes sublimated to the point of being unrecognizable. Even when it hardens, the enamel continues to form a dense surface, similar to fluid. It has the capacity to look like a mirror, like something shimmering. For this reason, the paintings by Noriyasu Soda, some of which are small in size, have surfaces with infinite depth and great capacity for suggestion, like the mirroring of the mythical Narcissus, who fell in love with himself.

Carlo Guaita, in his monochromatic pieces, works by adding, by stratifying thin final layers of semi-transparent black paint, so as not to create images but, insisting on absences, providing a sort of strong presence, a saturated void. His monochromes are not made by removing and eliminating but by adding and repeating.

In the case of Soda and Guaita, who both work in monochrome, the one, from the eastern void /fullness moves and looks to the west, and the other, from the Western void/void, moves and looks to the east. Both have the same aim: to give fullness to the void.