The Ritual of Odd Numbers
Characterised by his goal for emotional detachment, coldness, and distance, Nicolò Baraggioli's work seeks to emphasise the importance of the object through non-expressive and anti-subjective art. Focusing on elements such as surface, material, shape, thickness, angle, and chromaticism, Baraggioli’s work is first and foremost about the creation of object in place of representation. Based nearly exclusively on geometric shapes, his pieces are often modules that can repeat and be combined into small and medium-sized structures that result in sculptural installations.
Artist statement Nicolò Baraggioli (*1985 in Genoa, lives and works in Stockholm):
"The exhibition "The Ritual of Odd Numbers" is the result of years of work based on continuous research.
The research itself is the main basis and the leitmotif of all my artistic body. Everything that is created finds its roots precisely in the incessant need to search for new forms, continuous compositions and combinations of materials that lead me to experiment in multiple and often diametrically opposed directions. The result is the need to transform my thoughts, an interesting physical theory, a philosophical concept that I love or more simply a “sensation” into a sculpture. A wall sculpture mainly. This happens by trying to translate every single element in the most detached, cold and aseptic way possible.
“The Ritual of Odd Numbers” is the “sum” of all these elements and thoughts. With the works I present in this exhibition, I would like to express my "mania" for numbers. The composition of my works also follows this strict rule that I have imposed on myself: a precise mathematical scheme in the realization of my whole body of work.
Each work has a connection with a (odd) number that repeats and repeats and repeats itself in an almost obsessive way. As a famous Zen saying goes which has accompanied my work from the beginning: If something bores you after two minutes, try it for four. If you still get bored, try for eight, sixteen, thirty-two, and then again. You could probably find out that it's not boring but interesting.
All the works in this exhibition follow exactly the principles mentioned above which are put into practice in the making of them, giving life to my deepest and most personal conception of art."
Text about the exhibition by Oliver Tepel
in "Cologne Galleries A-Z", issue July-September
Two years ago, Nicolò Baraggioli burned seven of his works on paper and filled their ashes into a transparent capsule. This is reminiscent of an oversized medical capsule to swallow. Since he called the work "Catharsis", one wonders if he makes his liberation the intoxication of another. Packaged in a transparent plastic bag with a zip closure, the association is really hard to avoid. Interestingly, John Baldessari, in 1970 just on the way to finding his formal language, undertook something similar. In his "Cremation Project," ashes, baked into cookies, ended up offering a not very epicurean but perhaps intoxicating experience.
Baraggioli's formal language, which the 1985-born artist developed from his catharsis, is more rigorous than Baldessari's. As with Riki Mijling, everything in his work is based on the shape of the square, which projects from the wall into the room at a defined depth. For him, they are wall sculptures; at the same time, the Plexiglas forms, sometimes mounted on wood or in a wooden frame, could also be understood as borderline experiences of painting. When the edges stand out in transparent corpus, associations with the effective minimalism of the American Peter Alexander are also close, the fascination is similar. The so titled "Ritual of Odd Numbers" leaves one slightly sedated – is the pill really still in the bag?