Mimmo Paladino's Dormienti

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To best vicariously appreciate Mimmo Paladino’s evocative installation Dormienti (Sleepers), poke around the internet and find composer Brian Eno’s electronic score of the same title. At Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, this trance-inducing music plays on a loop in a large, dark gallery space, creating a moody and surreal soundscape for Paladino’s ambitious installation, in which 32 life-sized abstracted terracotta human forms rest in the fetal position. It’s as if their inert earthen bodies have yet to experience the spark of life. Although unmistakably contemporary, this collaborative work seems timeless and universal, as do many of Paladino’s other sculptures on view. Even Eno’s electronic music, for all its technological modernity, seems evocative of free-rhythm Gregorian chant.…show more content…
But also on view, making their debut, are a dozen new lithographs specially created for and gifted to Meijer Gardens (these abstractly depict the twelve months, and were created in close collaboration with the Garden’s horticultural staff). In the 1970s and 80s, Paladino was active in the Italian Transavanguarde movement, which sought to restore the human figure and objective forms to contemporary art. Viewers will detect many and varied influences as Paladino impressively straddles both contemporary art and ancient
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