Emilio Cavallini’s exhibition “Transfiguration” at the Rosai Ugolini Modern gallery in Manhattan’s Lower East Side channels the geometry and spirituality of mandalas into colorful sculptural matrices. “Transfiguration” is Cavallini’s first solo exhibition in New York. Aside from his artwork, Cavallini is known for his tremendous contributions to the fashion and textile world, particularly his bold patterned and brightly colored hosiery and bodywear.
Cavallini’s artwork at Rosai Ungolini Modern shows an attention to detail that conveys an articulate manifestation of his intention in each piece, as modeled in his heptaptych, “Rainbow Catastrophic Bifurcation”. The piece is made up of seven square panels, each its own matrix woven with nylon yarn and framed by iridescent Plexiglass. Each is created with analogous colors, with one color being the most prominent – i.e. the first panel’s main color is orange, and red and yellow reverberate through the background and in small details.
On the back wall of the gallery was “White Star like Catastrophic Bifurcation,” a circular piece about six feet wide. A single bright spotlight lit up the work, imbuing it with an aura of mystery and enchantment. Its presence seemed almost sacred – a sign that the show’s title is a fitting one. While viewing it, I wished it had been hung higher on the gallery wall, because it seemed to warrant a long upward stare. The intricate detail of the work gave way to an overall sense of peace and simplicity.
Even though Cavallini is already a very established name in the fashion industry, it was exciting to come across his artwork in a gallery setting. The connection to his work in textiles is evident in the materiality of the nylon yarn used in his artwork, though as the title of the show, “Transfiguration,” implies that this Italian fashion designer is able to transform the everyday fabric of hosiery into a spiritual and luminous experience for the viewer.
“Tranfiguration” was on view at the Rosai Ugolini Modern 9/24 – 12/6
48 Orchard St. NYC 10002 http://www.rosaiugolini.com/transfiguration/
Written by Collette Tompkins