56 HENRY is proud to present Pizza Connection, a selection of new work by the Palermo-based collaborative duo, Laboratorio Saccardi. Comprising three small works on canvas and one wall-mounted cut out, the exhibition will be on view from March 25th through April 16th, 2016. Pizza Connection marks Laboratorio Saccardi's first solo show in New York.
In a tightly focused presentation that pairs small paintings with a wall-mounted cutout, Laboratorio Saccardi pulls on a set of reference from art history and economic crises to comment on the state of Italian political affairs. One small painting charts the history of Giorgio De Chirico, the famed Italian surrealist who began his career heavily inspired by the quality of light in Mediterranean cities, but became known for his haunting representations of classical architecture. Stella Nera picks up De Chirico's ghostly palazzos, rendering them in black and white, filtering them through a type of nostalgia and placing them in a distant past.
Stella Nera is presented alongside Il Fallimento, a brightly colored painting on panel depicting a violent scene outside of the Banca Etruria. The bank was one of four major lending institutions relieved by the Italian Government from accusations of fraud, the investigations for which led to a number of people committing suicide. These allegations arose after pensioner Luigino D'Angelo, who having lost 100,000 Euros of worthless Banca Etruria bonds, hung himself in November 2015. The rescue of the banks stirred issues with the government, because of the Reform Minister Maria Elena Boschi's ties to Banca Etruria. The 3.6 billion Euro rescue protected jobs and account holders, but shares and bonds in the four lenders are worthless. The government claims it was unable to do any more without breaching European Union rules against state aid.
A cutout of an Alitalia plan is tacked to the gallery wall. In late 2013, facing bankruptcy, the airline announced a 500 million Euro rescue package, which included a 75 million Euro investment by the Italian state-owned postal operator. On 1 August 2014, the Abu Dhabi-based UAE national airline Etihad Airways confirmed it had agreed to buy a 49% stake in Alitalia. This deal was signed 8 August 2014, and became effective on 1 January 2015. Alitalia is the only airline that flies direct to Rome from NYC.
Laboratorio Saccardi was founded in 2002 in Plaermo, Italy. Their work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions in Italy since 2003, and is held in the collection of the Museo Civico di Castelbuono, in Castelbuono, Italy. This is the group's first exhibition with 56 HENRY.