Gaspare Luigi Marcone (Terlizzi, 1983), aka Gaspare, lives and works in Milan. An artist and curator, he holds a degree in Art History and Criticism from the University of Milan, where he subsequently took a Ph.D. in the Science of Literary, Artistic and Environmental Heritage. He has also worked with the Department of Art History at the same university. Since 2015, he has been co-founder and artistic director of The Open Box – Milan.
He has curated exhibitions and published critical texts on numerous artists of the 20th and 21st centuries including: Vincenzo Agnetti, Valentino Albini, Enrico Baj, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Irma Blank, Gianni Caravaggio, Rä di Martino, Luisa Elia, Luciano Fabro, Lucio Fontana, Andrea Francolino, Gilbert & George, Goldschmied & Chiari, Allan Kaprow, Sophie Ko, Jannis Kounellis, Piero Manzoni, Rebecca Moccia, Roman Opalka, Giulio Paolini, Claudio Parmiggiani, Anne and Patrick Poirier, David Reimondo, Fabio Roncato, Elisabeth Scherffig, Eva Sørensen and David Tremlett.
As an academic, he has also edited the publications: Piero Manzoni: Writings on Art, Zürich, Hauser & Wirth Publishers, 2019; Fontana, Baj, Manzoni 1958 – 2018, Poggibonsi, Carlo Cambi Editore, 2018; Piero Manzoni, Scritti sull’arte, Milan, Abscondita, 2013, and Piero Manzoni, Diario, Milan, Electa, 2013.
His work combines history, memory and biography, seamlessly connecting historical/critical activity and artistic practice. Since the outset of his career he has used ash, obtained by burning his notes or his own works of art; it is the signature element of his art, evoking the notion of the perpetual destruction and regeneration of nature and culture. He also deploys this modus operandi to examine the function of the “word” in relation to the work of art. In fact, ash is a primordial, “polysemic” material laden with cultural/historical, scientific and religious references. The result of something that has been destroyed by fire, it carries a “memory” of the blaze, but also fertilizes the earth, and is the basis of lye, therefore a cleansing process. It is an apparently cold, inert powder generated by a heated, dynamic action. In some of his series Gaspare layers a variety of different materials on canvas, uses ink to overwrite on paper, or creates sculptures and installations choosing very symbolic sizes and materials – including obsidian, wood, wax, terracotta, and linen thread.
His main solo exhibitions include Gaspare Luigi Marcone per Piero Manzoni at Casa Museo Boschi Di Stefano in Milan (2016); Gaspare Ash Works 2013 – 2015 at The Open Box in Milan, (2015); Gaspare Works / Words 2008 / 2012 at Galleria Melesi in Lecco (2012), and Opera Prima at the Lakeside Art Gallery in Verbania (2010). He has also taken part in numerous group exhibitions including: Il Numinoso, in BUILDING, Milan (2022-2023); La città del sole at BoCs Art Museum, Complesso Monumentale di San Domenico in Cosenza (2018); Mythologies at Palazzo Palmieri in Monopoli (2017); Premio Lissone 2016 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Lissone (2016-2017); Riflessioni sul corpo e il sacro at Galleria San Fedele in Milan (2013-2014); Linea Mentis at Raffaella De Chirico Galleria d’Arte in Turin (2011) and numerous exhibition/curatorial projects at The Open Box – Milan.