Paddington Custot Gallery, 7 March-4 May 2018
If this exhibition teaches you no more than to read Italo Calvino’s Le città invisibili, then it has taught you a life lesson. In fact, that is the life lesson here. Calvino’s novel is in itself an expressive, meditative and complex work of art. In it he imagines a conversation between the Venetian explorer Marco Polo, and thirteenth-century ruler of the Mongol Empire, Kublai Khan; Polo describes non-existent cities, which act as metaphors for the human experience. Meditations on death, time passing and memory intersperse his poetic descriptions of these fictitious yet familiar places. This small exhibition, which includes works by Giorgio de Chirico, Giulio Paolini, Fausto Melotti, Tomás Saraceno and Gego, among others, delivers a satisfying visual segue into one of the most beautiful books of the twentieth-century.
Words by Lucy Chiswell. The Iris Letter April 2018.