Banca di Bologna is proud to present the first solo show in Italy by Canadian-born, New York-based artist Erin Shirreff. Entirely made up of new pieces created specifically for the occasion, the exhibition offers Italian viewers their first major opportunity to experience the work of an artist who, in her early forties, can already be found in the collections of prestigious international museums such as the Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), MoMA (New York) and the Guggenheim (New York).
The exhibition will open to the public on February 2 at 6:30 PM in the Banca di Bologna Hall of Palazzo De’ Toschi, and will run until March 4.
This solo show by Erin Shirreff is one of ten events chosen for the Art City cultural program, a joint initiative in which the Bologna City Council and BolognaFiere have selected a calendar of high-profile curatorial events to complement Arte Fiera.
The exhibition will also build on the partnership between Banca di Bologna and the Accademia di Belle Arti di Bologna that began in January 2016 with the group show LA CAMERA: Sulla materialità della fotografia. This year as well, for the entire length of the exhibition, students from the art academy will greet visitors and be on hand to provide information about the pieces by Erin Shirreff.
The exhibition is made up of two works: a video projected at movie-screen scale (5 x 8 meters) and a more intimate grouping of sculptures. Interweaving still and moving images with actual and artificial source material, Shirreff’s new video, Son, is a long animation rooted in her experience of the solar eclipse that was visible in the United States in the late summer of 2017. Over the course of the video, a large, dark, circular form slowly takes shape and shifts identity, changing size as it locates itself within a cosmic plane and then inside the artist’s studio. Shirreff exploits and undermines the often cartoonish quality of standard celestial photography to create a mood that shifts radically from awe to absurdity, pointing to the ungraspable nature of events like this and their dissonance with the scale of daily life.
The second work, Many Moons, is a large collection of dark plaster objects informally arranged on a surface covered in overlapping broadsheets of newspaper; they are cast from the interiors of assorted bottles, cups, bowls, and plates. These plaster casts lend matter to a void, a hollow; presented as a group, they form a kind of inverted daily landscape, the negative of a still life. Many Moons alludes to the daily labors of an artist’s work table (and to the compositions of Giorgio Morandi, an artist Shirreff has long cherished) but also evokes a sense of stasis and futility.