New paintings and sculptures by contemporary British artist Toby Ziegler (1972) unveil his personal reading of the work of two Italian masters, Medardo Rosso (1858-1928) and Giorgio Morandi (1890-1964).
By producing a limited number of sculptures using different media and introducing minimum variations, Rosso was a pioneer in addressing ideas of authorship, originality and reproducibility of the work of art. Image repetition and alteration also characterises the oeuvre of Morandi, who investigated the abstract reality of painting by depicting few recurrent objects, extrapolating them from their original function.
In spite of the differences between the work of these two artists, Toby Ziegler detects a common denominator: a fluid dialogue between figuration and abstraction, which also stands at the core of his own practice. Ziegler examines the loss of images’ content deriving from their digital circulation. His works distort and fragment a visual matrix, which simultaneously falls apart and survives in new shapes and media. The artist’s research questions today’s fruition of images, revealing the “soft power”, which tacitly transforms them and provides them with new, unexpected meaning. As to Morandi, figuration is to Ziegler the fundamental means for questing the abstract quality of all images. Like Rosso’s sculptures, Ziegler’s creations reveal their ambiguity: are they losing definition or assuming a new shape?