Marble presents ten artworks in the courtyard and entrance space by
the Italian sculptor, Fabio Viale. He challenges the formal preconceptions of
sculpture by presenting the classic material of marble as hyper-realistic
tattooed body parts, boats, paper airplanes or tires.
Working exclusively with Carrara marble – a tradition that spans the history of
Italian sculpture – Viale works his medium to take on the character of other
materials, so marble instead resembles Styrofoam, paper and rubber. To further
the illusion, some of Viale’s works carry distinct odors, characteristic of the
materials that they mimic – his automobile tires, twisted into a sign of
infinity, have a distinct smell of rubber.
Viale cites human memory and history as inspirations within his work. Several
works are called Souvenirs, recalling the historical destruction of
well-known works of art by vandalism committed in the past. Souvenir
Pietà refers to the damage inflicted on Michelangelo’s original statue of
Christ and the Virgin Mary in 1972, St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, Italy.
Here the artist has turned his figure into a ‘souvenir’ to remind us of this
past act of violence.
History and memory are further explored in Viale’s works, Yours will be
Ours, Souvenir, David and Kuros. He creates
sculptures from fragments of historically important and famous statues, such as
Michelangelo’s David and the torso of the ancient god, Kuros, which
are then covered in ‘tattoos’. These ‘tattoos’, inspired by a trip to Russia,
are indicative of labor camp and prison tattoo designs, featuring inscriptions
like ‘God is with Us’, ‘I’ll Die Soon’, ‘The Sickle and the Hammer’, as well as
winged skulls, the Golitha, the cross and other religious and mythic
In addition, Garage’s entrance hall will feature Ahgalla, a marble
motorboat weighing nearly half a ton, which floats in a pool constructed
specifically for its display. The artist has previously navigated the boat
through the waterways of Carrara, Italy; the Po and Tiber rivers, Italy;
Venice, Italy, during the 52nd Biennale; the Kronwerk Strait, St. Petersburg,