Harmony Runs on a Thread-Emilio Cavallini at GR Gallery

“A manual laborer seeking to exhibit his work in an artistic light needs precise vertical and horizontal coordinates through which he can rummage in search of ineluctable truths.”















Emilio began with stockings in the 60’s. ‘The stocking is the frozen image of a body that moves or could move; it is a fragment, synecdoche, a part of a whole’ (Barzini 68)*. Erecting bifurcated images on the side, hosiery remained the primary canvas through which his affinity for mathematics fountains. He would only later make his magnificent tapestries accessible to the public.


                                                                  Linear Fractals, 2010


                       Rainbow Catastrophic Bifurcation, 1998: Nylon on Plexiglass 

Starting with overlaying nylon hosiery over long tubes “Optical Installations”—his fascination with legs, which constitute over 30% of our bodies re-envisions itself. Long tubes set over plexiglass eventually gave way to small cylindrical cups, arranged onto larger snowflake or diamond “Linear Fractal” patterns. Description shall stop there, certo, because he mounts the layers of nuanced nylon entanglements over wood, color refractive glass or mirror. Hypnotic, these optical projections take root in the thickness, manipulation of a single nylon thread or strand. He’ll use a drill to twist one thread, but flatten the surrounding ones—fully in control of the mysterious underneath.


 Nylon on Plexiglass

All of Cavallini’s art is Kinetic. As the viewer, you enter into and move either with or without the indubitable impression made. Emilio takes no responsibility for embedding metaphor, labels or aspects of nature into his iconography, however. Nor does he ascribe it with a certain philosophy, faith or culture. “How you relate to it is not so much my job, as is achieving the perfect geometric platform. Architecture nowadays is very dynamic, so what I want to do is to create these sculpture like installations for structural interiors.” The ceiling tiles of the Pantheon did, nevertheless, inspire his hypnotic “Perfect Bifurcation” series.

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Eva Zanardi, Director of Communication and Emilio Cavallini

Believe it or not, Emilio neither listens to music, nor drinks wine to achieve his visions—controlled arrays of concentric lenses, through which a viewer loses him or herself. However, once he starts spinning, pulling, and stretching the yarn, he custom-makes himself. There’s no stopping him—sometimes for weeks. “Nothing is left to chance. I plan, sketch, and know the exact outcome of every piece,” and yet, as orderly as they appear, fractals, on Euclidean terms, ‘are the architecture of Chaos, that is the conformation rupture of a surface, around a fragment and the complexity of constellations of fragments, in the context of an expansion and repetition of form in the infinite’ (Barzini 184)*.


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   Perfect Bifurcation                                           Flamed Abstract Diagram, 1980



Referencing two quotes, ‘Math is the language of God’ and ‘the discovery of DNA was the greatest discovery,’ Emilio’s deep knowledge of math shines through. “I like monochromatic, because it supplies more sensation. In mathematics, which is already 3-dimensional, color is in your mind.  It is born because you are living in the future. Monochrome is what brings you into the present moment,” notes he who believes math defines human essence. “Just look at DNA!… When I walk around, I view everything in lieu of mathematics.” His symmetrical illusions simply elevate the structural discipline into a dream realm.




Linear Fractal, 1990




*Quotations translated from Italian by Eva Zanardi, Communication Director & Art Adviser

* Emilio Cavallini, Ed. Bernadetto Barzini, 2010.


On ViewExhibition September 8th –


(Left) Dotted Abstract Diagram, Farrah S., Actual Infinity- Optical, 1980



Gallery Hours: 
 Thurs.-Friday 12-7pm, Sat.-Sunday 12-6pm

GR Gallery: 
250 Bowery


Art Review and Photography: Farrah Sarafa


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