MODERNIST icon Pablo Picasso once said that sculpture “… is the art of intelligence.”
The idea of sculpture as a more cerebral branch of visual art can be traced to its roots in religious iconography. While painting came about as a visualization of record keeping, sculpture’s more durable nature, combined with its dimensional flexibility, came to be used to depict gods and deities.
But sculpture is also a more difficult mode of expression, hewing closely to the precision of architecture.
Carlo Magno’s paintings are well known, but not too many people know him as a sculptor. Before shifting to fine arts at Philippine Womens University, he was an architecture major at Mapua Institute of Technology. His familiarity with space, volume, material and gravity helped him later in his sculptural practice.
Taking on the difficult medium of stainless steel, he will present his new works in the exhibition “A Piece of Mind,” which opens on July 17 at Podium Mall in Ortigas Center, Pasig City.
Magno’s career started during the tail-end of the Modernist era of Philippine art, in the late ’70s and early ’80s. From an early adherence to a realist aesthetic approach, Magno developed his own brand of abstraction that can be thought of as organic minimalism, along the Japanese aesthetic concept of “wabi sabi.”
For his works in “A Piece of Mind,” Magno draws up sketches on illustration boards, finding ways to connect abstracted figures of horses and shellfish into a three-dimensional form.
They are then formed from the steel, before being polished, painted, and polished again. The resulting work is characteristically Magno—smooth forms, clean figures, and with minimal yet refined embellishments.
The exhibition is organized by Galerie Francesca and will open on July 17 at 2/F, Atrium of Podium mall, ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City. Call 5709495, 6592667; e-mail [email protected]