curated by Paolo Cortese

25.10.2023 – 31.01.2024


Curated by Paolo Cortese 

25.10.2023 – 31.01.2024

The exhibition presents 40 two-dimensional and three-dimensional works in cement, tar, resin, cellulose and glass.
Starting from La rete, a work dating back to 1971 in which Cataldi began to explore the possibility of leaving the canvas behind and applying an iron mesh to it, the exhibit follows the artist’s journey in making art with a variety of materials that she would find in her environment and would eventually attract her attention. Since the beginning of her artistic journey Cataldi has proceeded in cycles, has dedicated herself to different materials, studied their characteristics, appropriated them, combined them and subsequently transformed them.
As she puts it: “It’s the materials that look for me, not me looking for the materials. They come to me and spark the idea."
This anthological exhibition documents the artist’s research on materials which has been carried out for more than 50 years.
The works included in the exhibit are mostly sculptures, panels and book objects, all made with different materials such as cement, tar, resin, paper, cellulose, glass. Over the years, Cataldi felt the need to combine the process of her research and experimentation with the matter with the form of narration, something that is well documented in this exhibition through the presentation of large panels in which the artist summarizes her stories. The autobiographical element is also present in some of her works where the artist represents herself in a fully original and coherent way.
In Cataldi’s practice, the use of wire is frequent as well, although it is made of tar, copper or iron. This makes her a special case in the universe of fiber art, however, she did take part in the most important exhibitions of the field curated by Mirella Bentivoglio and Sveva Lanza in the 1980s.
In her works, the conceptual drive is closely connected with the gestural one, in the same way that research and experimentation are in dialogue with juxtaposition and narration. This happens as a response to an inner justice that the artist welcomes and fulfills: she creates works whose stories require years of research and experimentation in order to be told, as in the case of her artist’s books and large wall panels.

The exhibition, organized under the auspices of the Italian Cultural Institute of Athens, is part of the project “Le ragazze di Mirella” (Mirella’s girls) that Gramma_Epsilon Gallery dedicates to Mirella Bentivoglio, and the artists she supported. The exhibit will be followed by a catalogue edited by Paolo Cortese with contributions from Francesca Cataldi, Paolo Cortese, Micol Forti, Azzurra Pizzi.