“I think art is able to generate any kind of story; to narrate the world’s poetics. it’s a space where logic is allowed to abstract itself, the only one with the strength of a telling dream.” – Tresoldi

The work of Italian sculptor Edoardo Tresoldi is a duality of the seen and the unseen. Both perspectives are present simultaneously. His use of wire mesh enables a viewer to snatched glimpses of something there, that isn’t there – a solid form that is transparent. The juxtaposition is beautifully unavoidable as the mesh itself seems to hover between one dimension and another – the dimensions of substance and void integrated into one material.

‘Looking For’ was a temporary installation for Roskilde Music and Arts Festival in Denmark.
image © Fabiano Caputo

All of his works involve some form of duality. Other similar relationships include that of the industrial and the poetic, the temporary and the permanent, or the classical and the contemporary. An inherent characteristic of his material of choice is contradictions. That is what makes it so appealing for him and also what makes it so effective at expressing the intangible. With wire mesh, he is able to capture the poetry of an absent thing.

“I see in wire mesh poetics the depiction of a mental projection or, when related to history, the representation of what used to exist but is no longer there.” – Tresoldi

His artistic journey began with painting under the guidance of Milanese painter Mario Straforini when he was but a young child of 9 years old. Then when he was older he moved to Rome where he started working in scenography, sculpture, and cinema. Here, he used a vast number of mediums and techniques that became a stimulating platform for experimentation. This was essential for the following developments in his research.

“Wire mesh allows me to conceive an ephemeral spatial narration that holds the context, both from a visual then a conceptual point of view.” – Tresoldi

He was inspired to focus on only using wire mesh when he discovered it’s poetics dimension while building structures for set designs as a scenographer. What initially drew him to the material as an art medium was its lightness and the capability to tell the absence of matter, the immaterial side of things. Through transparency, he is able to keep a direct link with the environment and to establish a new kind of immersive experience for visitors.

“Think of a landscape as a sculpture. Sculpting the landscape. Get in touch with the dentistry and sacredness of a place.” – Tresoldi

His interventions are all realized and fully handcrafted by him together with a team of professionals formed in his studio. He always spends a good amount of time before studying and understanding the characteristics of the site to contextualize the installation to the locality. What the sculpture ends up looking like depends on the story that he would like to tell as well as the dialogue established with the given context.

“I deeply feel the charm of places and I recognize their expressive potential.” – Tresoldi

Most all of his installations are in public spaces. To the artist, the viewers are an integral part of the artwork he creates. Every piece he makes carries with it his hopes that the installation will inspire people as they go about their business in the city.

In 2017 he was included by Forbes among the 30 most influential European artists under 30. His work is so captivating that he has quickly become internationally famous with projects all over the world. Here are a few of his most mesmerizing works:

Limes: Faces Sculpture On The Roof Of A Barcelona Building

Here, faces fashioned from wire overlook the streets of Barcelona from a rooftop. It was a site-specific public artwork lined up along the edge of the building’s roof. It is made up of six mask-like reliefs of human faces shaped from wire mesh, that each stand 5.5 metres tall.

“Limes wants to highlight the role of L’Illa as a public space; its shiny faces overlooking Barcelona are a reflections on the human relationships and the spatial perceptions.” – Tresoldi

Photography is by Robert Conte.

Basilica Paleocristiana Of Siponto: The Reconstruction Of An Ancient Roman Church

In 2016 he recreated an early Christian church on an archaeological site in Siponto, a port town in southern Italy. The historical site used to house a church built in the Roman settlement between the 11th and 12th centuries. It was deserted following earthquakes in the 13th century and the church was never rebuilt. The huge installation was placed atop its scarce, ancient remains. A member of the sculptor’s team explained:

“The brief was the reconstruction of the basilica, but there are no sure elements about the structure and the size of it so Edoardo had some freedom into the creative process.”

A hydraulic lifting system had to be used here to manoeuvre blocks of the pre-made sculpture. This project took 5 months to complete. It was carried out, together with the Italian Ministry of Culture, and is a unique convergence between contemporary art and archaeology that will remain on site indefinitely.

The Basilica has been awarded the Gold Medal for Italian Architecture 2018.

Photography is by The Blind Eye Factory.

Etherea: Massive Installation At Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival In Indio, California

This site-specific installation is his biggest sculpture yet. It features three transparent structures (standing at the heights of 36, 54, and 72 feet) evoking Neoclassical and Baroque architecture. Tresoldi explains it as, “a dedicated space where the sky and clouds are narrated through the language of classical architecture.” The outside landscape filters and influences the internal atmosphere since the transparency allows for the California landscape to penetrate the space. Tresoldi states:

“The installation plays ironically on the dualism between the pure and the filtered experiences that intertwine with one another, to eventually leave the man at the center of it all. With the passage from a macro-reality to a restricted one, the human body becomes a key to read, discover, measure and experience reality, just like architecture itself. An analogy between man, architecture and their surroundings is ultimately established.”

Vast Indoor Piazza Of Architectural Fragments

This project was commissioned for a large-scale event in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. He collaborated with Design Lab Experience to construct this 7000 square meters event space. It is made up of a collection of classical architectural elements including, domes, arches, colonnades, columns, and imitations of sacred spaces (namely Italian basilicas). Although they are all separate items, while seen together the pieces create a translucent and ephemeral sequence of indoor rooms – all layered by a strikingly contemporary aesthetic.

Aura: An Interpretational ‘Architecture In Ruins’

This project is a reflection on ruins and the transformation of architecture, with an emphasis placed on the contrast between classical forms and contemporary materials. The sculptures that hang suspended from the glass ceilings of Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche in Paris symbolize matter and non-matter, full and empty space, body and soul of architecture. There are 2 enormous domes and as Tresoldi explains:

“The one in wire mesh relates to the idea of absence, while the one in corrugated metal expresses the terrestrial dimension and the passing of time.”

 

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