Opened on 27th January 2023, at the Contemporary Cluster in Rome, La bigiotteria della Terra (The jewellery of the Earth), solo show by Luigi Presicce is still open to the public until Saturday 11th March. The exhibition brings together a group of works belonging to the last three years of the artist’s research. The title of the project, which is as enigmatic as the author’s painting style, derives from an experience that seems identically incredible, beacuse it reproduces a part of a sentence shouted by a homeless man, perhaps overheard casually in the middle of a street.
Unfolding along the gallery’s three exhibition rooms, the project immediately demonstrates the adoption of a setting that does not appear to be at all conceived as a predicate of the space but, on the contrary, as the subject of the visual narration set up here. Indeed, the exposed artworks, ranging from painting on canvas to ceramic sculpture, passing through drawings on paper, unfold throughout the interior architecture of Palazzo Brancaccio, so as to invade its saliencies and connotations, often even with the deliberate breaking of symmetries, sometimes working on unusual portions, to the point of requiring the viewer’s additional attention.
Anyway, the arrangement of the works does not pollute the eurythmy of the venue, outlining a tour that succeeds in offering an exhaustive overview of the author’s language, by practicing display methods being in tune with the sometimes dreamlike and sometimes alienating nature of artist’s aesthetics. This, as it can be seen in the works on show, is recognisable, first of all, by a chromatic scale that is completely lysergic, with dissonant and surreal tones that create atmospheres with a strong dreamy aura. Within these phantasmagorical dimensions that, to paraphrase the title of a famous essay by Aldous Huxley, seem to go beyond “the gates of perception”, one notes how there is, developed as much in the two-dimensionality of painting or drawing as in the three-dimensionality of sculpture, the recurrence of the same subject, only liable to small variations in its features and portrayed in the midst of ever different contexts.
The latter character, featured by an indefinite sexuality, seems to embody the protagonist of a journey, which, like an onironaute, runs through the entire progression of the exhibition. Portrayed immersed in a symbolic nature devoid of human testimonies, except for the glare of the electronic light of smartphones used as light sources in his settings, this figure with anthropomorphic features corresponds to a personal reinterpretation of the Saints, of their symbolic power, also made by using stylistic cues that can be traced back to the universe of the web as a term of comparison, considered like inextinguishable reservoir of images.
So, this aspect of Presicce’s work, more capillary, also subtends a reasoning concerning how the ways and purposes of the representation of the human figure and the body have changed within society, making an aesthetic leap that runs from the iconographic display of antiquity to the typical showcasing of social media within today’s civilisation with a high rate of visual consumption.
La bigiotteria della Terra: Luigi Presicce
27.01.2023 – 11.03.2023
via Merulana, 248
Contemporary art critic and curator, he has curated exhibitions in galleries, independent and institutional spaces. He has lectured in Italy and abroad. His texts and research are published in catalogs, sector magazines, gallery editions and monographs. He is the curator of artist archives, contributor to specialized magazines and press offices. He collaborates with foundations, public museums, publishing houses and universities on research and curatorial projects.