This 30th April marks the inauguration at Galleria Antonella Villanova of the first Italian solo exhibition by Keiyona Stumpf.
The show is an installation of ceramics and porcelain works created by the German artist between 2017 and 2022.
Keiyona Stumpf’s sculptures and large installation seem to blossom and bloom, burgeoning with a sensuality that alludes to the infinite possibilities of creating life, and of life itself.
Her large, organic forms combine botany and anatomy, alluding to a universe that contains matter, energy, light and life, of which we are all a part, and of which we are all made.
And as in a mysterious space, repeating the dynamics of the universe itself, humans encapsulate a world that has always held the interest of great scholars – Leonardo da Vinci first and foremost, who dedicated much of his research to scientific activities. In the Windsor notebooks, he depicted what until that time had only been described in words. Botany helped him to understand blood circulation, as he had observed the movement of lymph in plants.
With the same sort of wonder, Keiyona Stumpf observes the universe and the human body. In Florence, she visited the Museum of Natural Sciences known as the Museo della Specola, and was captivated by the wax models by Gaetano Giulio Zumbo, the famous Medici Venus, and the “Skinned Man”.
The pleasing, sensual shapes of her sculpture allude to human organs, and the long necklaces that adorn them are in reality intestines; all of this luxuriance is offered up to our eyes and our senses, which cannot but be overwhelmed in a tumult of mixed reactions.
Orchids, lianas, exotic plants, fantastical shrubbery, and sprouts trick our eyes – purple, indigo and bright green ceramics and porcelain become one with nature, and draw us in.
Our bodies/treasure chests – a metaphor of Nature as the sum total of all living beings and as an order that works according to laws and with generative power -, which we would like to keep forever young and eternal, compel us to preserve and to care for just as attentively everything around us.
“Nature isn’t just the foundation of our existence; we are “nature” and carry all its principles within us.
If you comprehend the world as an entity, existing through continuous Transformation, in which all parts are an integral component of the whole, and in which all parts determine each other as well as the parts the whole, then (nature and man) have never – neither within nor without, neither as the observer nor as the observed – been separate from each other” K.S.