For his second solo exhibition at SolwayJones, Carmine Iannaccone has undertaken a task meant to be simple in conception, complex in execution, and charged with a sense of both the poetic and the absurd: to design a rock.
Building upon his interests in pastoralism and wilderness, Iannaccone has taken a specific historical development as his point of reference. In the 19th century, landscape artists challenged the supremacy of history painters by enlisting science to their cause. Thanks to the emerging discipline of geology, the natural world had a new kind of structure and the "anatomy of nature" could now fill-in for the anatomy of the human body that history painters were expected to master. Even better, phenomena like the sedimentation of rocks could turn landscapes into legible, datable, historical texts.
One such "Useable History" is blueprinted into Iannaccone's current series of laminated-wood sculpture through his use of templates, assembly-runs, and machine work. Patterning and structural anatomy are made even more visible through the artisanal handling he layers over this: transparent polychromy and labor-intensive carving. The striation of plywood doubles as the stratification of sediments.
But the resulting forms tell more than just the story of their own making; their unconventional physicality is an index to our material culture at large and begins to act on the artist's greater ambition to not just represent, but re-embody the world.