m.simons is thrilled to announce the opening of "Your Recipes for my Happiness," the second solo exhibition by the artist Ciro Duclos. This exhibition is a further exploration of industrial materials and explores themes like individuality, ancestry, and spatial justice.
Upon entering the gallery, you will encounter convergence of nearly identical wall objects and a sculpture that takes center stage, as if it were a cerebral revelation. The wall objects, slim, highly polished pieces of metal fencing, are suspended before reflecting stainless steel panels, bearing identical proportions and physique. In the heart of this artistic narrative stands the sculpture—a stacked composition of industrial materials, featuring molten aluminum, concrete, and pur foam, as if for construction, molded around reinforcement metal.
Duclos' artistic approach, noted in earlier critiques, resonates with Minimalists like Robert Morris and Donald Judd and also Cady Noland. Of particular significance are Morris' "Steel Mesh" (1988), a group of geometrically shaped sculptures formed from metal mesh, and Noland's "Industry Park" (1991), a standard steel chain-link fence placed perpendicular against the exhibition wall. Though spanning different generations, these artists all evoke themes of Western standardized production, corporate aesthetics, consumer culture, and the socially accepted forms of aggression.
Ciro Duclos' initial inspiration for his metal wall objects dates back six years, following a visit to his father's homeland in Peru. In the suburbs of Lima, Duclos encountered homes with windows enclosed by personally customized fences, designed by their owners to enhance the safety of their homes. Unlike Western standard fences, which Duclos climbed many times, the Peruvian counterparts were tailored to the individual tastes of their proprietors.
Duclos' work defies standardization. The steel fences have been visibly reworked and polished by Duclos, crafted from standardized materials but transformed by an artist with no regard for conformity. While they provoke contemplation about aggression, industry, and consumer security, they radiate a sense of hope and individuality.
The sculpture further enhances this search for individuality. Duclos produces his Pillars by pouring industrial materials into molds, a process that takes weeks and sometimes multiple attempts to get right. The artist is left with a stacking of material that is widely used by artists linked to the Minimalists, though steel, the concrete and aluminum radiates not distance and standardization but due to the sedimental quality, something more ancient and individual.
Ciro Duclos, currently based in Amsterdam, graduated from the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague in 2015. His practice has since evolved into a diverse and dynamic body of work. In 2019, he received the Young Talent grant from the Mondriaan Fund and showcased his "Frontera" series at Prospects & Concepts during Art Rotterdam 2020. In 2022, his work took center stage in a solo presentation at Everyday Gallery in Antwerp and is currently part of a group exhibition at Design Museum Den Bosch. In addition to his artistic pursuits, Duclos frequently collaborates with fashion brands, recently working with Botter on an installation at Dover Street Market Ginza in Tokyo, Japan.