Massimo Guerrera | esse arts + opinions

Massimo Guerrera

Sylvie Cotton
  • Domus (Les résonances des plateformes), 2017. Photo: courtesy of the artist
  • Domus (Les résonances des plateformes), 2017. Photo: courtesy of the artist
  • Domus (Les résonances des plateformes), 2017. Photo: courtesy of the artist
  • Domus (Les résonances des plateformes), since 2017. Photo: courtesy of the artist

Massimo views his sketches as artworks in their own right. He compares them to a “support language” that opens out to the continuous refinement that occurs between media. Within his installations, they are poetic carriers that indicate his chosen paths.

Traditionally, a sketch is the pretext for a future work. A project. Preliminary study, graphic notation, flash, connection. It offers the humble promise of an “actual” thing to come and simply points the way to it. Thought relies on the hand, and at this stage they follow one other, observing, becoming one. For Massimo, drawing helps him to push ideas further. Mostly, he sketches sculptures or installations. In fact, his drawings always refer to three-dimensional projects. But now, nothing is just a draft. Standing, sitting, planted, everything holds. Self-sustains, self-supports. Details — organic or architectonic — abound. The felt pen presses in, leaving the first tentative pencil lines visible, each decision apparent. The hand seeks out this curious trace and lets it be what it is: a moment of free exploration. His sketches often occur in series, making them true documents of how a theme or an idea is worked through. Massimo thinks of sketching much like writing, “a stylization, a synthesis, a fusion of elements that emerge from the back-and-forth movement between drawing and sculpture.”

Drawing has its own special place in the overall history of Massimo’s art practice, as experienced in his studio on Adam street. In Vitamin D, Emma Dexter states that “drawing is a feeling, an attitude.” This notion of emotional investment seems accurate. It is what Massimo’s research and work have allowed me to glimpse and touch: the story of a single, grand composition, both strong and fragile, in which every line, whether graphite, black pen, ribbon, or string, whether drawn with a brush or performed as a gesture, whether structure or body, depicts the life of the artist inscribed on the blotting paper of the present moment.

Translated from the French by Jo-Anne Balcaen

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