10 Prato Franco Menicagli
Franco Menicagli approaches sculpture through the unusual medium of cardboard, which he has chosen for its domestic quality and for its flexibility. With the neutrality of white card, the artist builds a series of house plants in a purely memonic attempt at formal reconstruction.
Recording the level of the attention we pay to the environment in which we live, be it urban or domestic, is the foundation stone on which the artist has built his entire output, going on in subsequent years to develop an in-depth exploration of the concept of restoration seen as an opportunity to exploit stratification as a means of building something new.
Since 2006 Menicagli's work has focused on the ephemeral plasticity of salvaged objects, mainly parts of pieces of furniture, around which he creates a kind of skeleton or scaffolding which can be either segmented and discontinuous or curved and elastic, and which changes both the objects's focal points in space and our ability to relate to them.
In neutralising the object's original function, the artist develops a formal discourse consisting of tension, precarious balance and compression that spawns elastic structures capable of extending or expanding considerably, even to the point where they take up the whole of the exhibition space or become architecture themselves, almost totally losing touch with the original object.
His site-specific works in public areas are also tangential to the practice of architecure, comprising visualisations of "negative space" or missing and deteriorating architectural parts, or else they are set up in environments that have lost their original function and have been forgotten and abandoned.
Franco Menicagli was born in Livorno in 1968. He lives and works in Prato, where he shares a studio with artists Raffaele Di Vaia and Stefano Tondo. In 2003 he showed his work in Tuscia Electa, in the Innesti Doc section, contemporary art in Chianti, in Panzano (province of Florence). The following year, Maria Antonia Rinaldi invited him to show at the Galleria del Costume [Costume Gallery] at the Pitti Palace in Florence, during the Gemine Muse festival of young artists in Europe's museums. In the same year he took part in a collective exhibition called Venezia. Immagine-Retentiva, curated by Raffaele Gavarro at the Italian Pavilion in the Giardini di Castello in Venice. In 2005 he created a site-specific work called Grottino, in Piazzetta Pascoli in Matera, for an exhibition entitled InLuogo, curated by Angelo Bianco.
The most recent collective exhibitions in which his works have been shown include: Strong End - Week End nella città che sale, curated by Pier Luigi Tazzi, Prato, January 2008; Gallery DOB, Belgrade, Serbia, May 2009. While his personal exhibitions include: Noli Me Tangere, curated by Alessandro Sarri and Patrizia Pepe, Capalle - Prato, April to July, 2008; Clues, curated by Francesco Marmorini, Galleria Mega+Mega, Arezzo, April to June 2008, Strain Gage, curated by Antonio Grulli, Galleria Nicola Ricci, Pietrasanta - Lucca, May-June 2008.
Address: Via Marsala 18, Prato

Address: via Marsala 18 (off via Zarini) Prato
How to get there: by bus from Prato Centrale railway station: LAM red line (for Grignano - Le Badie) - alight at Valentini 8 stop; line 78 (for Mezzana)