Chiara Valci Mazzara

Henrik Strömberg for Morra Foundation – Palazzo Reale Spinelli Tarsia, Naples, October 12 2019 through January 31st 2020


‘Chiara Valci Mazzara and Prof. Giuseppe Morra would be delighted to welcome you on the occasion of the opening of the exhibition:


Refraction of lightness


Fondazione Morra – Palazzo Spinelli di Tarsia

Largo Tarsia 2, Naples

Fondazione Morra presents a new exhibition project Refraction of lightness, displaying a site-specific installation of serigraphs and hand blown glass sculptures and volumes by the Swedish artist Henrik Strömberg.

The exhibition is curated by Chiara Valci Mazzara and Loredana Troise

in collaboration with Fondazione Morra and Laboratorio Avella Naples with Gianluigi Prencipe.

 Refraction of Lightness will be on view until 31 January 2020. Opening hours: Wednesday to Friday from 10:00 a.m. – 01:00 p.m. / to 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.

We are looking forward to your attendance.’



The Quartiere dell’Arte (Art District), program conceived by Fondazione Morra to foster a new awareness of contemporary art in the city of Naples, presents a new exhibition project created for Palazzo Spinelli di Tarsia, home of Shozo Shimamoto Foundation.The space will host the show Refraction of lightness, displaying a site-specific installation of serigraphs and hand blown glass sculptures and volumes by the Swedish artist Henrik Strömberg.
The exhibition, curated by Chiara Valci Mazzara and Loredana Troise, in collaboration with Fondazione Morra together with Laboratorio Avella Naples with Gianluigi Prencipe, is the result of the three-month residency of Henrik Strömberg.

In the historical spaces of Palazzo Tarsia, glass sculptures and serigraphs are presented as the two main areas of density of the installation, determining the core around which the presentation of further assembled elements, organised in an immersive landscape, revolves. The serigraphs are relocated as a uniquum: a large-scale work mirrors (refracts into) the new series of glass sculptures conceived and created on the occasion of the exhibition. The work of Henrik Strömberg is the result of a creative process of investigation about form and content, volume and concept, multiplication and refraction of meaning. Living and recovered materials such as paper, glass, burned newspapers and pigments contribute to the creation of works that allow the viewer to immerse in a landscape organised as a self-sufficient ecosystem that, by suggesting new forms, creates new contents. Where every element becomes part of a whole. The assembled prints creating a new system of references relating to the meanings and aesthetics they originally had, are now enriched with additional semantics, while, at the same time, the glass volumes reflect the complexity of the creative gesture. In the glass works, a transformation and the alteration of content, occur simultaneously. Ultimately, the matter is shaped and transferred through different media, all the elements are commuting back and forth regularly concurring, and eventually, overlaying meanings. Nothing can be isolated, everything mutate as when volcanic magma erupts.In the spaces dedicated to the master of the Gutai group, the Northern European artist approach the exhibition space through the system of references linked to the creative gesture. At the same time, the references to Surrealism, to the re-evaluation of the object- trouvee and the use of the form to act on the content are perceived as a characterising elements of Strömberg’s work.

In the printed pieces the roots of the past meanings, and -for the sculptural volumes- the references to biological forms are perceived diving into an alternate drift of perspective: Strömberg reduces the source to polarise the content at the very core of the image perception. He doesn’t settle down for clarity, rather he pursues the action of placing triggers to initiate a new existence of the subject. The clarity being left aside, it is consequential that the viewer is exposed to an unexpected outcome and to an ephemeral content. While the installation of the volumes and the different components takes shape, a sub-ecosystem formed through the combination between seemingly disparate elements appears as a logical consequence. Photographic elements, negative cut outs, paper works and sculptural volumes are coexisting but their accumulation is not left to chance, rather to a multiplication of occasions. The various elements commit to deliver a wider perception of the different pieces, it’s like a dance where every single element concur to a higher harmony. The sequence of reflections, the portions of images and the verticality of the installation take form as an immersive landscape through which the viewer is moving, absorbing the complexity of the elements, never redundant and always cohesive. There’s not a unique interpretation but rather a kaleidoscope given by the use of different media equally involved in the final result.”   Chiara Valci Mazzara


Text to the exhibition by Loredana Troise:

Henrik Strömberg’s practice demands to move beyond.
First. We need to abandon abused mythologies, transgress stereotypes, violate consolidated icons. Learn to see otherwise. We need to outline landscapes that preserve a solemnity without patina and, at the same time, we need to engage in to alternative journeys towards different universes, apart from any utopian solace.
Other moves. Between belonging and absence of belonging, we need to leave the tracks, to derail within that coral reef that is the language. Relying on a sequence of movements of the body, of the gaze, of various intentional and reactive gestures; linger on the volumes and lighten the weight of the architectures, including frontal, lateral, total perspectives. By suggesting distances. And, through the spaces, investigating the micro porosity of the surfaces.
Refraction of lightness, as a site-specific installation, which is been conceived on the occasion of the three-months residency at Morra Foundation, combines to the technical-compositional expertise, a speculative exercise. The result is the one of a fusion between ideas, techniques and materials used to shape a thought: we find ourselves, undoubtedly, facing a journey on search of the stinging knots of the aesthetic relationship. A speech that transforms the voice into a sign, into a drawing, into a printed body of works, in the shadows of something that has to do with the light, with the scenery given by the re-assembling act , with pigments, with drawing and the layering of collages. 

Through the creation of a form, we gain access to new paths that take away their weight from things, and which sorrounds and bend the space, inviting the viewer to immerse themselves in a range of chemical and alchemical processes: what is it, really, art, if not an alchemical code? A territory of conquer and production to decant and distill things?

Able to cross over the usual disciplinary boundaries, Henrik Strömberg composes a setting in which, around extraordinary hand blown glass sculptures, precious serigraphs, created in collaboration with the laboratory of Vittorio Avella (Casa Morra), vibrate dialectically above the complexity of the creative gesture. And then photographs, negatives, burned newspapers, and materials that the artist selected with indefatigable attentiveness among the workshops populating our historical center.
 The compositions are perfectly symmetrical and, at the same time, are open, placed beyond constraints and dikes, revealing an intimate taxonomic attitude that is not given as a petrified structure, but as an intimate elaboration of consciousness.
It follows a narrative in progress that outlines a geography of connections between icons, an embodied meaning that coincides with an unmistakable metonymic linguistic-expressive interweaving: the content and the form, the inside and the outside, the signified and the signifier, the oscillation and the becoming, the obsolescence and the metamorphosis, are concurring to build a hyper-historical stronghold, in which Strömberg sets his personal, aesthetic and cultural path: open freely to the viewer, who becomes an actor of his own intimate landscape, of his silent abstractions, but also of wider and markedly random latitudes.
We are witnessing the migration of patterns in which the order of things and the space are redefined: first the artist outlines a space specific. Then, he leads us from one point to another, through different perspectives, multiplying the points of view, gradually spreading them over the different angles. Eventually, his pieces are transformed into a pivotal body that moves to touch the urban space outside, in a play of assonances and differences, interpenetrating the icon of Naples, to the extent of a re-evaluation of its symphony. The magic of this mis en scène is, indeed, consisting in making its different parts work perfectly as for a clockwork device, with the awareness, however, that it will always be impossible to cage it within rigid rules.





Download the pdf to the show:

HS:Refraction of lightness:FondazioneMorra