Gianfranco Chiavacci
Binary Sequence

Press Release

 Sous Les Etoiles Gallery is pleased to present a collection of photographs and photomontages from the Italian artist Gianfranco Chiavacci (1936-2011), represented exclusively in United States by the gallery. 
Part of the exclusive online program developed by the Gallery, this exhibition Binary Sequences is the first show dedicated solely to Chiavacci’s photography works, that is on from September 24th to October 31th, 2020 and include photographs, photomontage and photographic Sculpture.
A self-taught and innovative Tuscan artist, Gianfranco Chiavacci was born in Pistoia in 1936, near Florence, where he lived and worked for all his life. In 1962, after taking a programming course on IBM’s first computers, Chiavacci’s curiosity for this new form of language sparked. With aspects of optical and kinetic art, he made paintings experimenting with different materials creating one-of-a-kind geometric figures and forms, all the while never using the computer, but the binary logic that is inherent to it, mastering the art of experimentation in painting, photography and three-dimensional work. 
In the 1970s, Chiavacci began to use photography as a tool of investigation. By separating himself from the common use of the camera, he researched, recorded and repeated the movements of objects in space and time. Using compositions, photograms, solarization, three-dimensional sculptures, color slides and most importantly, light, he developed his most extensive series Ricerce Fotografice (Photographic Research), a body of work representing the purest form of abstraction. Through his systematic mannerisms, Chiavacci created an environment where the systems created by him became forms of abstraction and where the binary system, so present in all his other work, is replaced by the concept of two-dimensionality  
In the series  “Translations, Rotations, Blurs” Chiavacci used the movements of simple objects such as cardboard to create a variety of movements. “Translations,” are records of static positions happening before an open shutter; “Rotations,” are these same objects, lit by a wood light, exposed on horizontal surfaces at various shutter speeds and finally, in “Blurs,” the focus is on the film emulsion. A few years later, Chiavacci replaced the use of black and white with color. In his “Cibachrome” series from 1973, also known as Ilfoflex, he used very similar methods and created a “correlation between the chromatic scale and the binary elaboration of [two]-dimensionality” . 
 

Throughout the 1980s, Chiavacci used his self-portraits developed in the 1970s, and expanded them into photographic sculptures: a study on the self through an experimentation of volume. In his sculptures, Chiavacci sought to expand the two-dimensionality of the binary logic into artworks of volume in which the binary can move within a three-dimensional space. His photographic sculptures do just this. The use of black and white images offers the binary duality present in Chiavacci’s aesthetic that is then moved into a space to impose volume.  
The photo montages from this decade are combinations of various techniques he previously used such as solarization and silver gelatin prints. For example, the photograph used in GF1965 is an image made in 1978, GF1552-4 Simmetria. In 1978, the image is used as a negative on its own, while Chiavacci later used, in 1985, the positive image and composited it with a traditional Italian wall tile background. Whether it was during a family vacation or daily life, Chiavacci’s use of complementary colors or the use of negative and positive space show the viewer that he was constantly in search of new two-dimensional opportunities. The photomontages are examples of the infinite amount of possibilities when in the binary logic.

 

 

2018: Works 1957 – 2005, first Survey In United States of Gianfranco Chiavacci, Sous Les Etoiles Gallery, New York
2015 : Gianfranco Chiavacci | François Morellet rigorosi, rigolards...”  curated by Alessandro Gallicchio, Artforms and Die Mauer, Prato, Italy. 
2013 “Fotografia Totale,” curated by Valerio Dehò, Palazzo Fabroni, Pistoia, Italy. 
2012: “Gianfranco Chiavacci - Ricerca Fotografica,” curated by Angela Madesani & Aldo Iori, Milan Image Art Fair 2012, Milan, Italy.
2007: “Gianfranco Chiavvaci,” curated by Aldo Iori, Centro di  Documentazione sull’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea Pistoiese, Pistoia, Italy.
2003: “Gianfranco Chiavacci,” Galleria Vannucci, Pistoia, Italy.
1994: “Gianfranco Chiavacci. Limiti,” curated by Bruno Corà, Opera Associazione Culturale per le Arti Visive, Perugia, Italy.
1996: “Fernando Melani (e gli amici di Fernando Melani),” Galleria Vannucci, Pistoia, Italy.
1984: “Por la Paz, Mostra Internazionale di Mail Art,” Santo Domingo University, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
1973: “Gianfranco Chiavacci. Binarietà,” Ti. Zero Center of Experimental Aesthetic Research, Turin, Italy. 1967: “Gianfranco Chiavacci,” Galleria Numero, Florence, Italy.
1966: “Piccolo Formato,” Galleria Numero, Florence, Italy.