From 13 October 1993 to 31 December 1993
Curated by Ida Gianelli, Giorgio Verzotti
Enzo Cucchi (Morro d’Alba, Ancona, Italy, 1949) began painting in the late 1970s and quickly became a name to watch on the international art scene. Along with the work of the other Italian artists collectively grouped under the Transavanguardia banner, Cucchi’s art anticipated and reflected ideas and concerns that typified 1980s art across the rest of Europe and the USA.
These ideas centered on the return to traditional art forms – specifically painting and sculpture – following years of experimentation with other modes of expression. Cucchi uses painting, drawing, and sculpture to externalize his internal thoughts and feelings, expressing his personal poetic universe in a figurative way. Stories and myths, collective memories and personal memories fuse together and inform the complex narrative of his images.
This exhibition presented a range of works by the artist covering sculpture, drawings, and works on paper. The main focus is a series of sculptures dedicated to the figure of Hercules. The artist re-imagines the Greek mythological hero seated beside elements that refer to his Labours, and surrounded by 12 miniature sculptures that are also representations of Hercules. These are arranged in the form of a halo, a common theme in the artist’s symbolic, mysterious iconography that is used to signify a supernatural, redemptive presence. The mythical aspect of Cucchi’s work establishes a real cosmology; but this is not an attempt by the artist to flee from history, simply an acknowledgment that in order to exist, art must put itself forward as a fantasy universe.