Vertical Earth. A conversation with Michele Tocca ...

Vertical Earth. A conversation with Michele Tocca and Fabrizio Prevedello

From 23rd April to 2nd July 2021, the works of Michele Tocca and Fabrizio Prevedello are on display at the z2o Sara Zanin Gallery. The exhibition, curated by Davide Ferri, starting from the encounter between the two languages, offers a unique narrative through the dialogue between the works themselves: the result is a cohesive space in which new visual associations and paths are generated between painting and sculpture.

Sofia Zin: Did you already know each other’s work?
Fabrizio Prevedello: Walking through the streets of Bologna, where I still orient little, during the days of the last art fair in 2020 (in presence), I reached Palazzo De’ Toschi in Piazza Minghetti. There, Davide Ferri curated the painting group show “Le realtà ordinarie“, a selection of works including some canvases by Michele Tocca. Brown works, intimate format, delicate. I had also heard the name of Michele repeated in reviews of exhibitions, stories of friends and painters.
Michele Tocca: Live I had only seen a small work by Fabrizio Prevedello at MARS, in Milan, in 2010. I had an indirect knowledge of him, through the writings and words of Luca Bertolo, Davide Daninos and Gian Antonio Gilli. Then, at the last edition of Straperetana, in Abruzzo, I saw this rock embedded in the rock wall of a cellar, a delicate gesture, mimetic but stubborn. There, I also met Fabrizio. A visit to his studio followed, even Davide Ferri was there. The idea of the exhibition did not exist yet and I entered the work without other filters.

How did you react to the request for an exhibition that was not a double personal but a story with a single message?
Fabrizio Prevedello: With joy. First of all for the interest that Davide Ferri with the invitation showed for the work; because the approach immediately appeared to me as a landslide ground, therefore eventful, intense; then for the opportunity to understand, being close to two regular painting frequenters.
Michele Tocca: Davide Ferri conceived the exhibition as an emanation, in the spaces of the gallery, of what happens inside and between the works, telling a movement of the gaze that rotates, rises and arrives at the bottom, then begins again. There is no single content. But the course of the exhibition becomes a metaphor of how we look at things, painting and sculpture, leading to carefully observe, to identify in the creative processes of each through continuous mutual allusions between works also exhibited in different rooms.

In reference to your paths, do you believe that there are points that you share and that it is possible to find in the exhibited works?
Fabrizio Prevedello: There are many points. The silence, present in all the works on display. An intimate concentration. Michele has made some paintings outdoors, in the midst of the noisy movements of the city, of the traffic, but the attention paid to the subject has isolated him, observing surfaces (the Fanghi, the Mura), but surfaces that are gateways, doors. That’s how I read his paintings. This same attitude I find in many of my sculptures.
Michele Tocca: We both work a lot in places, we have a constant relationship with the outside. I think that even in the case of Fabrizio, there is a strange overlap between art and the physical world. He sees a block of marble and he feels Brancusi, he sees an archetype to try to explain what happened in history and what is happening to him as a sculptor in the present. I see myself there too. On all the tangencies that can be found looking at the exhibition, I think we share a firm acceptance of the limits as a painter who loves sculpture and sculptor who loves painting.

How much in your works the component of memory is present and how important for you is the search for new experiences and new stimuli?
Fabrizio Prevedello: The accumulation of memories and therefore of experiences is essential. I don’t intend to evoke anything, I make an effort to exhume something (for me) wonderful. Sometimes I have fragments of dreams, there the landscapes and the architectures are beautiful. Well, I’d like to keep myself between that kind of beauty.
Michele Tocca: In my work, memory and the search for new experiences consume each other in execution. Drying shirt, a piece on display, was born unexpectedly in a day of frustrating work, watching the wet T-shirt of the shower that, in vain, I had tried to paint on that canvas. You see a worn-out and damp shirt but still prevails a strange feeling of rain. All my works are a bit like this, unique experiences, let’s say new and unexpected, that brings traces, previous thoughts.

The balance between the abstraction of the paintings by Michele Tocca and the concreteness of the sculptures by Fabrizio Prevedello is very interesting. How does it feel to see them around?
Fabrizio Prevedello: Abstraction and concreteness I would say can also be inverted between the works in dialogue. The selection decided by Davide Ferri was clear very soon, after some discussions. In the exhibition I was amazed by the naturalness of the dialogue between the works, each stands out the others. A pleasant sound.
Michele Tocca: I like the idea that the visitor can continuously oscillate, interchange the two attributes. One moment, to believe that my paintings are abstract and the sculptures of Fabrizio are concrete, a moment after the opposite. Let’s just say that the exhibition really offers a lot of room to look at, to compare.

Sofia Zin


Michele Tocca e Fabrizio Prevedello. Verticale Terra
23/04/2021 – 02/07/021
a cura di Davide Ferri
z2o Sara Zanin
via della Vetrina 21, Roma

Fabrizio Prevedello and Michele Tocca, Verticale terra, installation views of the first room, Ph. Sebastiano Luciano, courtesy z2o Sara Zanin Gallery

Verticale terra Fabrizio Prevedello / Michele Tocca Vista delle istallazioni della terza sala Ph. Sebastiano LucianoFabrizio Prevedello and Michele Tocca, Verticale terra, installation views of the third room, Ph. Sebastiano Luciano, courtesy z2o Sara Zanin Gallery

Fabrizio Prevedello and Michele Tocca, Verticale terra, installation view of the third room, Ph. Sebastiano Luciano, courtesy z2o Sara Zanin Gallery

Fabrizio Prevedello, Sceso da una cava sul monte dentro lo zaino (pensando a Carlo Scarpa che pensava a Costantin Brancusi) (194), 2017, marble, iron, water, 38,5 x 116 x 197 cm, marble, aluminum, water, Ph. Sebastiano Luciano


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