Enzo Cucchi - Untitled
Oil on canvas. 360 x 200 cm. Signed and dated '1989 Enzo Cucchi' verso on canvas. - Minor traces of age.
Enzo Cucchi's often mystical and secretive pictorial subjects are characterised by the pagan and Christian legends of his hometown, the harbour town Ancona and later also by Rome. In close affinity to the history and customs of the central Italian region, which is influenced by a rich cultural exchange between East and West, due to its geographical location on the Adriatic coast, Cucchi develops his characteristic, poetic and sensitive visual vocabulary, in accordance with an artistic trend of the 1970s and 1980s in Italy. Including Sandro Chia, Mimmo Paladino, Francesco Clemente and others, Cucchi pertains to a group of Italian artists for which the art historian Achille Bonito Olivia coined the term 'Transavanguardia'. The artists are united by the quest for a personal visual vocabulary, based on a neo-expressionist, figurative style of painting enabling subjective expression and they thus find equivalents in other international movements of the time, including the German 'New Wild' movement. Furthermore, a characteristic of the 'Transavanguardia' is also the recourse to classic themes and the strong conviction for cultural nationalism.
An integral part of Enzo Cucchi's iconography is the study of the Adriatic Sea and its maritime legends. Among the most frequently chosen motifs are ships, fish, waves and the 'Nereids', who originate from Greek mythology. 'His paintings are expressions but not literal renditions of the sea, the farmlands, the hills around Ancona, timeless forms in which there exist the possibilities of rebirth and renewal. If Cucchi does not aspire to be an artist-alchemist in the realm of action-theatre, he asserts his claim to the role of metaphysician in his paintings.' (Diane Waldmann (ed.), Enzo Cucchi, exhib.cat. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York 1986, p.24)
Beeldding, Hedendaagse Kunst in Belfort, exhib.cat. Stadshallen Brügge, Bruges 1996, p.28
Yellow now (Hg.), Les voies du silence, Liège 1990, S.30/31
Achille Bonito Oliva (ed.), Il genio differente nell'arte contemporanea, teoria del genio antipatico, Picasso, Fontana, Manzoni, Warhol, Beuys, Cucchi, exhib.cat. Lerici, Assessorato alla Cultura, Milan 1989, p.153
Oostende 2003 (PMMK Provinciaal Museum voor Moderne Kunst ), Marines in confrontatie, exhib.cat., p.311 (label verso)