For her second solo show in London, Italian artist Guendalina Cerruti presents a series of new paintings and a large-scale site-specific installation made of metal grids and colourful beads. The artist uses the visual language of pop culture, teenage aesthetics and personal narratives to further explore our deeply intertwined relationship with consumption and consumerism.
Individual paintings of meticulously reconstructed branded t-shirts have been sewn together in a series of grids. Titled after the streets where the London stores are based, they reveal our obsession with brands and desire to construct an identity through clothing. Another landscape painting uses photos of Brandy Melville and Subdued garments and designs, taken by the artist on her morning walk to her studio through Carnaby Street. Together with cartoon angels and stills from Hailey Bieber’s TikTok, the collage is a mind map which points towards society’s sexualisation of youth and innocence.
The metal cage, hand embellished with colourful beads, occupies the centre of the exhibition and seduces visitors to enter into the structure. The viewing experience of the paintings is filtered, enhancing the distance between viewer and commodity, and commenting on aspiration, belonging and self-expression.
The works that Cerruti makes are born out of moments of transit between destinations, appointments, locations. The artist’s reflection in a shop window looks back at her, studying her own relationship to culture, value and collective identity.
On Wednesday, 30 November, the exhibition will host a performance by Daria Blum. The artist will perform a series of musical interventions responding to the themes of the exhibition. Similarly to the works in the show, the performance will reflect on the tensions between feelings of belonging and selfhood in relation to contemporary fashion trends and consumerism. With the cage acting as a structure of confinement and separation, the live actions performed within will function as attempts to reject structure and invite disorder.
Guendalina Cerruti (b. 1992, Milan, IT) is an artist who lives and works in London. She completed her postgraduate degree in 2017 at the Royal College of Art, London. Her installations represent inner monologues, micro-universes loaded with sentiment, sarcasm and attitude, lying between reality, representation and imagination. Subjectivity and popular culture come together to create emotive experiences for visitors entering the scene.
Guendalina's practice is the result of daily layering and connecting impulses and ideas, in an attempt to explore contemporary living and the rupture between the self and reality, borrowing from psychoanalysis and social studies. Her sculptures, paintings and objects often invite anthropomorphism, giving the installations a clear sense of narrative. The figure of ‘the inept’, as portrayed by Italian author Italo Svevo a century ago, is recast/reimagined through her subjects, who express an existential and social malaise – the product of contemporary society bound by consumption and glamorised, aspirational life-styles. A deeply personal narrative ultimately permeates the work, expressed through enigmatic aesthetics and fragments of information that both reveal and obscure an intimate secret.
Her recent solo presentations include: People Watching, New Low (Los Angeles, 2022), Wasted Dreams, Public Gallery (London, 2021) and Love You Bye, Studiolo (Milan, 2018). She has participated in group exhibitions at Peres Project (Milan, 2022); Ordet (Milan, 2021); Greengrassi (London, 2019); MAMBO – Museum of Modern Art Bologna (Bologna, 2018).