Opening: Wednesday April 5 from 6 to 10 pm
On the occasion of this year’s Salone Internazionale del Mobile, the Alberto Levi Gallery is proud to present its latest collection entitled Heavy Metal. It consists of hand made flatwoven rugs employing vegetal fibres native of the Andes, juxtaposed with strands of metal such as copper and tin. This is the result of an idea born about twenty years ago from the mind of an artisan located in the heart of the Colombian highlands, at close distance from the carpet’s natural resources. The recent meeting with Franca Cainarca, an Italian architect who grew up in South America, enabled the development of a series of pieces in which the pattern is defined by the contrast between the opaqueness of the natural fibres and the translucency of the metal. Wonderfully enticing to the touch and exquisitely crafted, the character of each weaving will therefore not be defined only by its colour and pattern but also (or even especially) by its texture, by which is meant the three dimensional effect resulting from the careful miscellany of materials of different nature.
The ingredients for these rugs originate from the Andean highlands to the mines of Colombia. They consist essentially of fique, a fibre extracted from the leafs of the Fucraea andina tree and used to weave garments, ropes and hammocks since pre-Columbian times. This fibre, which can be dyed in 64 colours, is sometimes woven together with cotton, jute or wool as well as the more precious silk and organza. The metallic component is copper, the characteristic colour of which continues to inspire the world of contemporary art, architecture and design, as well as tin, a malleable metal with silvery hues which allows for the invention of works of great refinement.
The patterns of this collection are intentionally simple in order to highlight the material consistency of the weaving. Monochromatic open fields subtly punctuated by the metallic thread or infinite repeat modules of geometric motifs embellished by the chiaroscuro contrast of the two materials; tone on tone effects whenever the natural fibre is dyed in a gradation similar to that of the metal, or decorative patterns inspired by Modernist design containing fields of copper or tin alternated to sections of either natural or dyed fique. The idea is that of devising a sort of lexicon consisting of specific combinations of colours and materials which enhance the rug’s texture, offering also the possibility of customization in formats of a maximum of 450 cm of width and unlimited length.
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