Tatiana Trouvè prefaces your entrance into her otherworldly space, constructed at the Madison Avenue Gagosian Gallery, with a simulacrum of an empty, unfurnished room. Barren white radiators are set against the walls and a pair of shoes sit curiously unattended. The radiators are cast concrete, the shoes a patinated bronze. I was not aware of the duplicitous nature of these objects upon entering the gallery, and Trouvè successfully manages to create an air of discomfort and unease. One isn't sure of the purpose of this entryway, only that it seems at odds with the familiar experience of the gallery. The main body of work in the adjacent room consists of large wall drawings of interior spaces, connected by copper and aluminum lines which cross over each and the floor to creep up the walls and inhabit the spaces of these drawings.
Further investigation reveals more strange artifacts. Materasso (literally, Mattress) appears to be a large, dull mattress folded and belted to a support pole. Another work (Cuscino N°2) portrays a cushions, folded and jammed between another pole and the nearby wall, itself boasting an unsightly stain running down from behind the cushion. Like the radiator and the shoes, these too are facsimiles of the objects they represent, carefully crafted in concrete and poised such that you're not inclined to second guess their role as sincere cushions and mattresses. The work, in its stark simplicity and emptiness almost insists the viewer remain at a distance. This distance is enforced by the installation of a room the viewer cannot enter, with glass at either end to halt them. Within the room are a few disparate household objects, some kind of fluid dried to the glass, and a small door on a side wall that invites entry though being definitively inaccessible.
The work is at once foreign, unsettling, yet tentatively familiar and nostalgic. Trouvè takes the viewer through a desolate interior, fitted with the appropriate items, shoes, bedding, radiators, etc, but contextualized in such a way as to seem impossible and at odds with their very nature. The palette and materials of her work recall the work of Anselm Kiefer, but rather than being imbued with a sense of grandeur and scale, Trouvè's work is off-putting, almost down-beat, though has a kind of esoteric allure that insists something, be it terrible or foreboding or sublime, is going on beneath the surface.