Marzia Marino

The steel creatures of Andrea Forges Davanzati

After the blue gate there is an avenue; after the avenue a villa, hidden in the greenery of a garden, indeed, of a small park in which four stainless steel sculptures amiably dialogue with the surrounding space. They are living forms, more or less complex structures that, apparently motionless, gravitate poised, so that the slightest touch is enough to cause them to move, to break that magical and unnatural balance.
Paramecio Ciliato Riccio Madrepora, this is the title of the exhibition by Andrea Forges Davanzati, sculptor, set designer and designer, which can be visited until next Tuesday, Feb. 23, at the Ied (European Institute of Design) headquarters, at 39 Viale Trento in Cagliari. The event is the second in a series of events organized by the Villa Satta Association, tangible proof of the institute’s important role in the promotion and enhancement of art, photography and design, which have always been its cornerstones.
Andrea Forges Davanzati, born in Milan in 1963, has lived and worked for several years between the Lombard capital and the city of Cagliari. After studies with Bruno Munari, Carlo Mo, Kengiro Azuma and Giancarlo Marchese, the artist, who not coincidentally often points out that he is the son of an architect and a biologist, has directed his research to the analysis and study of living organisms, a continuous source of inspiration for the creation of small works and monumental sculptures.
And if before the protagonists were the insects suspended on water and the silver microsculptures called Larvae, the subjects of his works are now small aquatic organisms. Forges Davanzati observes them, examines them and then reproduces
them; he upsets the order of things and magnifies their size as if observing them under a very powerful magnifying glass.
The Paramecium lives in fresh and stagnant waters where it moves with oscillatory motion, through cilia, evenly distributed over the ovoid surface. Andrea dedicated a sculpture to this organism, with which he won First Prize for the Museum of Modern Art in Pavia. Composed of several stainless steel tubes, these can be assembled in different numbers, depending on the space available for its placement. Its open form and curved, fluid and synthetic profile invite one to touch it and suggest the gentle and harmonious oscillatory movement that characterizes it. The Ciliate is a protozoan, a single-celled organism that, like the paramecium, moves thanks to the thin cilia distributed on the surface of the cell. The sculpture created by the artist appears to us to be suspended, almost floating in the air: just touching one arm transfers motion to all the other elements placed in a radial pattern.
Firmly established and more complex, closed in on themselves, almost architectural constructions, Hedgehog and Madrepore, the latter a species that lives in colonies in marine waters, forming siliceous concretions of various shapes and sizes. The steel catches the light and, in the negativity of the space, with the continuous alternation of solids and voids, draws plastic volumes of rare beauty. Among the fruit trees, palms and climbing ivy we discover a small outbuilding. A glass wall reveals to us four panels, also made of stainless steel, on which are reflected, as in the mirror of water, the changing colors of the sky, the evening lights, the changing greens of the enchanting scenery.
Marzia Marino