Elusive but Alluring Symbols of the Universe
Maurizio Pellegrin at Barbara Krakov Gallery
in “The Boston Globe"
March 4th, 1993
One’s first impression of Maurizio Pellegrin’s wall assemblages, on view at the Barbara Krakow Gallery, is that they are the work of a conceptualist.
Found objects are presented as is, with minimal transformation.
But these turn out to be less visual facts in the service of an idea, more evocative containers of emotion-laden histories.
One of the seven works links two black dresses, an array of large wooden rope spools and a suspended metal rope. One dress is of the buttoned-up-to-the-neck variety, the sort of garment that might be worn by an elderly Italian woman. (Pellegrin is from Venice; he lives part of the year in New York.) The second dress is a sexy “Gina Lollobrigida” number. They suggest two types of women, or perhaps the same woman at different stages of life. The spools and rope imply that they are bound together, and a numerical system (these figure prominently in all the works) suggest duality. The numbers 8, 2, 9, 3 and 7, printed on the spools, add up to 29; if 2 and 9 are added, they become 11; one and one finally add up to two – the work’s essentials number.
Pellegrin’s sense of order is classical; objects are arranged to create harmonious, balanced compositions based on mathematical laws. Then is a clean, cool quality reminescent of minimalism, but also a deep romantic strain.
The relationships among objects lend the works apoetic identity and visual cohesion.