Paola Pivi
You started it...I finish it
Paola Pivi
Don’t change my name please 2013
from OK, you are better than me, so what?
urethane foam, plastic, feathers
72.0 x 221.0 x 107.0 cm
Photo: Guillaume Ziccarelli
© Paola Pivi, courtesy Galerie Perrotin

Continuing a recent series of major commissions by leading international artists for Federation Court at NGV International, the National Gallery of Victoria is delighted to present a major suite of new sculptural works by Italian artist Paola Pivi.

You started it…I finish it is an installation designed for Federation Court encompassing eight life-size sculptures of bears, adorned with neon-coloured feathers. These flamboyant figures adopt various attitudes and guises, playfully occupying the space of Federation Court, greeting visitors, posing and frolicking: one bear leaps from a balcony; others approach each other as if to dance, or engage in deep philosophical conversation, whilst others recline in joyful, carefree abandon.

Sculpted from urethane foam and adorned with psychedelic plumage, Pivi’s carefully modeled figures are each accorded a distinct personality and body language. Together they create a marvelous, enigmatic scene – of baroque excess and surreal desire, recalling fables and fairytales, dreams and allegories, where unexpected forms become strangely familiar and the pleasure principle prevails.

You started it…I finish it continues Pivi’s characteristic playfulness, her interest in narrative, myth and rumour, and the creation of indelible images which echo in the imagination. As with much of her work, You started it…I finish it also invokes an animistic, other-worldly spiritual wonder, coupled with a deep concern about the vulnerability of the natural world.

This installation is generously supported by the Loti & Victor Smorgon Fund. The NGV also acknowledges the support of Michael Buxton.


28 May 201428 Sep 2014 NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road
Federation Court