Press Release

Ierimonti Gallery is pleased to announce “Materia Prima”, a group exhibition that emphasizes the link between El Anatsui, Claudio Costa, and Richard Nonas’ work. The three artists, in their own way, apply an anthropological approach to their artistic research.


Through recycled materials such as multi-color caps, paper labels, pieces of wood, El Anatsui creates a new "materiality" in a dialectical relationship between creativity and historical roots. With his tapestries, recalling the classic African Kente and the Nyekor ceremonial, he manages to revive the African tradition and, at the same time, to transform it under a new, modern light. His works are on the edge between art, craft, and design.


Richard Nonas works on the anthropology of doubt: he digs into our certainties and underlines the relativity of the phenomena that form our lives. The artist uses materials such as wood and iron, in primordial sculptures that create what he calls "charged places".

His work unfolds on an emotional and evocative level to reach the essence of things, snatching all their surfaces, without pretending to grasp any truth. "I grabbed and strongly handheld the inverted space that anthropology showed me and I immediately and concretely turned it toward the world in form of art; I made the doubt itself physical. "

Claudio Costa uses materials stranger to the artistic tradition, such as graphite, starch, gelatin, acids that links him at first to the Arte Povera movement of the late Seventies. The late artworks are however different, and aim to rediscover man's identity. In this perspective, the object acquires a primary role, enhanced by the way the artist operates: going backwards, Costa aims to reach primitive instincts in a work in regress.

Similar to Nonas’ work, Costa put great importance on evocative elements; however his work reflects a sacred almost magical meaning.

Alchemical processes also play a very important role in his production.

"In my ongoing research I found that the concepts of sacred and magical are lost: we approach objects and things looking only at the real part of them, without searching for the charm of the supernatural mystery.”



For press images and inquiries please contact: 

Christian Piscitelli | Director

+1 212 581 1619