Zero and Five

Maura Biava

February 26 - April 13
Opening on March 9, 5-7 pm

Caroline O’Breen is pleased to announce a solo show by Maura Biava.

The work of Maura Biava is inspired by the hidden laws of nature. The regular forms of the organic world originated according to certain rules, information and energy. As an artist Biava wishes to find ways to make her work according to those principles.

During the last decades she has been working with analytic geometry and mathematics to create, understand and work with shapes. The interaction between information and matter informs and shapes what we see, it forms our reality. To show this interaction in her work Biava uses clay, as the matter, and mathematics and numbers, as the information. At the same time Biava works and shows the energy that is involved and generated in the making. She shows the energy by making the performative aspect of her work visible on the basis of photographic works that she combines with sculptures. She considers the work process as part of the artwork. She regards matter as entangled with the information and a phenomena in becoming.


In this exhibition Biava combines her “Zero” series with her “Five” series. Focusing on the artist hand. The “Zero” is a series of works that started with a photograph that pictures Biava’s hands interacting with clay. After this photograph titled “Zero #01” was taken, a digital scan was produced using a laser scanner which produced Zero #2. This piece intends to bring back the hands into a working process where the hands have lost their original function. At the same time this work bring the attention to the matter that Biava works with, clay.

2014, 3D printed ceramic, wood, plaster, detail

With the “Five” series Biava focuses her attention to the interaction, in this case between the matter and the artist. In ‘Five #01’ we see the hands of the artist getting in touch with the matter or material she works with. The material is shown in gold, historically used in art to show the elevation of the spirit. In this series thus we see the presence of the number 5 in mathematical formulas and their interaction with the spirit and vitality of the matter forming and shaping both two-, and three-dimensional forms.

Maura Biava (Reggio Emilia, Italy, 1970) lives and works in Amsterdam. She graduated at the Academy of Brera in Milan (1992) and at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam (1999). As a multimedia artist her work took her to several specialized residencies all over the world. She has been in residence at the European Ceramic Work Center – Sunday Morning, s’Hertogenbosch (2008); at the American Academy in Roma (2010-2011); at the Museum Carlo Zauli, Faenza, Italy (2013); at the ISCP New York (2014) and at Le Maupas A.I.R. France (2017).

Since her graduation Biava has exhibited all over the world. Her works are part of collections like Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and Stedelijk Museum De Domijnen, Sittard, Kunstfort bij Vijfhuizen, Akzo Nobel Art Foundation, Arnhem and De Nederlandsche Bank, Amsterdam. Since 2005 she teaches at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, and in 2015 and 2016 she also taught at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam.