Carpenters Workshop Gallery presents Crossing Over, the first LA-based solo exhibition of Italian artist Vincenzo De Cotiis. Considered one of the pioneers of international contemporary collectible design, this body of work is a continuation of the artist’s investigation into the urban environment, where the city becomes a place of contamination and a culture of displacement.

This collection introduces a series of sculptural works that delve into the realms of form and material, employing a palette of dark monochromes, organic compositions, and raw expression. The pieces invite viewers to engage with themes of migration and cultural hybridity, emerging as an artistic odyssey into the aesthetics of contemporary urban life. The dynamic interplay of diverse cultures within these spaces are seen through anatomies that could be plucked from the Los Angeles environment or the depths of an artist’s laboratory.

Although differing significantly from his recent collections Archaeology of Consciousness and Éternel, Crossing Over continues the artist’s signature expression of recycled surfaces. The recovery of materials is a fundamental part of the development of Crossing Over and becomes its primary creative act. Hand-painted recycled fiberglass, semi-precious stones, and metals combine in a new assembly of processes and contribute to a new organicity, as seen in De Cotiis’s distinct and monumental cabinets. The DC2117 Cabinet (2012), for example, is constructed of hand-painted fiberglass and German silver, the black façade presented as a shard of ancient material on a modern scale. These pieces are geometric and avant-garde, poetically brutalist, and functionally simple – a meeting point that embraces the clash between urbanisation and the natural world.

In other works, De Cotiis’ Neo-Primitive low tables are rooted to the ground like sturdy thrones; notable works include the DC2203B Side Table (2020), made from Malachite Challant marble, with opposing textures of hand-painted fiberglass, and the DC2211 Side Table (2022), which features contrasting materials and patterns cascading like the depths of the ocean. The DC1924 Floor Lamp (2019) consists of angular neon lights encapsulated in antiquated glass tubes and set in a polished and cast brass frame, a material that’s come as a signature of the artist. Each piece demonstrates De Cotiis’ introspection into linguistics, perception, and materiality.

Crossing Over resembles the work of an anthropologist who, through the study of cultures and traces, combines the differences and similarities within a given period. De Cotiis thinks of pure time as perpetual, absent from our world that’s saturated with images, simulacra, and reconstructed realities. Crossing Over becomes a nuanced tapestry, weaving together the intricate threads of temporal diversity and the timeless purity of existence.

Crossing Over is a journey, an exploration in search of places that I have seen and spaces that exist in my imagination. I have pursued cultures in search of symbols and iconographies that overlap with mine. It is research on contamination. All that is layered inside me, which belongs to me, but above all, what I still haven’t yet encountered.

(Vincenzo De Cotiis)