Mamco, Genève: Cavalcade: sculptures and drawings, 1963-2001

exhibition view, Photo: Ilmari Kalkkinen, Mamco, Genève

Bruno Gironcoli
Cavalcade, sculptures et dessins 1963-2001 MAMCO Genf
06.06.12 – 16.09.12

Bruno Gironcoli (born in Villach, Austria, in 1936; died in 2010) is mainly known for his monumental sculptures. In this, his first exhibition in Switzerland, his work is presented on two floors of Mamco under the title Cavalcade, sculptures et dessins 1963-2001 (‘Cavalcade: sculptures and drawings, 1963-2001’).

The third floor is mainly devoted to a historical, documentary set of his sculptures and large drawings from between 1970 and 2000, sketches and hitherto unpublished small works that illustrate the artist’s relationship to objects. The first floor is taken up by five moulds or prototypes formed by an organic assembly of objects and collages. Made of polystyrene, wood and plaster, the copper-, gold- and silver-coloured objects symbolise this cavalcade. What we see here are the existential, complex themes that preoccupied the artist: male-female relations, sexuality, violence or enslavement.

Widely known in his native country, Bruno Gironcoli trained as a goldsmith before studying applied art in Vienna and
becoming a teacher at the city’s Academy of Fine Arts. In the middle of the pop era, a stay in Paris introduced him to existentialism and Alberto Giacometti, who was to have a lasting influence on him. On returning to Austria, he frequented Viennese Actionist circles, and began to include objects from everyday life in his work and use them for his own purposes. As he himself put it, ‘in department stores I kept looking for plastic cups, household products, water bottles, soap-dishes, cans – things that don’t represent the world of luxury but are an essential part of everyone’s daily lives. I am touched by all of this. My aim is to rediscover the significant and the insignificant.

I was impressed by people’s material faith in such tangible objects.’ Talking of sculpture in general, he said
‘Sculpture had no view of humanity to offer except this one accumulated from the assembled scraps of views of humanity,
without the collective dream of a social stage production.’

Closely bound up with the artistic and political history of the twentieth century, Bruno Gironcoli’s work has been exhibited in such venues as the Austrian pavilion at the 2003 Venice Biennale and, in 2007, the Palais de Tokyo.

The museum is open Thuesday through Friday from noon to 6 p.m., the first Wednesday of the month until 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed the 1st August and the 6 September 2012.

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