Curated by Saverio Verini
Preview Monday May 8th 2023, from 5 to 9 pm
Open to the public from Tuesday May 9th to July 21st 2023
Sin Nada is the first solo exhibition by Calixto Ramírez (Reynosa, Mexico, 1980) at Galleria Alessandra Bonomo. The project was born on the sidelines of the residence that the Mexican artist carried out in the summer of 2022 in Umbria, in particular in the Monteluco area, a hill occupied by a dense forest that rises up right in front of the city of Spoleto.
During his stay in Monteluco, Ramírez created a particularly large series of works, generated in close contact with the surrounding natural environment. Photographs, videos, sculptures and works on paper are the outcome of this meeting: in line with the approach that has distinguished his research for years, the artist has used his own body as a measure of the reality that surrounded him. The interpretation of places through his own body is perhaps the main feature of Ramírez’s poetics. In the works on display we see the artist imitating the landscape to the point of almost incorporating it, blending with its elements and activating a visceral and at times playful relationship with them.
Ramírez’s body thus becomes an extension of the landscape, allowing itself to be shaped and modeled: it happens, for example, in the photographs that show plant elements “cut out” by the artist, in an attempt to establish a relationship with the geometric-conceptual profiles of the drawings that Sol LeWitt made in the same place; or in the series of sculptures obtained from found objects – wood, rocks, ropes, glass – assembled according to a logic that underlines the tensions, between balance, suspension and contraction.
In the videos, the artist’s presence becomes more explicit: against the backdrop of the Sacred Wood of Monteluco, crossed by Saint Francis at the beginning of the 13th century, Ramírez records ephemeral events (the swing of a branch, the setting of the sun…), which are emphasized and “commented” through paradoxical actions and gestures performed by the artist himself (thinking of the yell “Finisce tutto! Finisce!” that accompanies the video Tutto, inspired by an inscription observed by chance at the Rocca di Spoleto, according to the emotion experienced by Ramírez while contemplating the sunset).
The gallery space is finally punctuated by a series of works on paper that refer to some specific traits of Monteluco, such as its rocks and its verticality. Painted with acrylic colors and oil pastels, these works are placed halfway between painting and drawing, between figuration and abstraction, suggesting a landscape hypothesis.
The title of the exhibition, Sin Nada, recalls the radical essentiality of Ramírez’s practice, characterized by an economy of means which, however, does not detract from the impetus and generosity with which the artist has created the entire exhibition.
Calixto Ramírez was born in 1980 in Reynosa Tamaulipas (Mexico) and currently lives and works in Monterey. He attended the National School of Painting, Sculpture and Printmaking in La Esmeralda, also in Mexico. In 2009, during a stay in Santander at the Botín Foundation, he studied with Jannis Kounellis. Among his most recent exhibitions: Evidence of circumstance, Sikkema Jenkins & Co, New York (2023); La tierra al revés, Jumex Museum, Izamal, Mexico (2022); Cuando todo era nada, Nieves Fernández Gallery, Madrid (2022); Una otra cosa, Spazio Rivoliuzione, Palermo, (2022); Dicen que dicen, Galleria Alessandra Bonomo, Rome (2019); Cuatro pasos, Ribot Gallery, Milan (2018).