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An article featuring in Imprint - March 2004, by Mischa Merz

Melbourne printmaker Marco Luccio's coming solo exhibition at Dickerson Gallery promises to tap into something quite primal despite its very urban and contemporary subject matter.

Luccio's drypoints and etchings of the northern flank of the city, seemingly under perpetual construction, bring Melbourne into the realm of great urban centers of the past and at the same time comment energetically and originally on the paradoxical nature of man - his twin capacity for creation and destruction. The work connects with a tradition of city depictions in fine art and cinema but explores notions of alienation and industry with a fresh eye, linking them with both past and future.

Titled Movimento, the work in the show is complex and dynamic, revealing the city to be a place of paradox reflecting human impulses. It is both ancient and modern, alienating and embracing, distinguished also by flux and permanency. Using the Queen Victoria Hospital site, the State Library of Victoria and other, more obscure, parts of the city, Luccio explores the relationship between the builders and their environment. Swinging like the great wrecking ball depicted in Cranes and the State Library , the artist too veers from extremes of light to dark and rocks us from the ancient to the modern, sometimes with dizzying effect. The chiaroscuro effect runs deep, giving the work both visual and conceptual dimension. Drawing directly onto the plate with the city before him, Luccio's pictures display a tactile energy, a sense of visceral immediacy and vigour.

Influenced by the toiling artisans of Bruegel and the surrealistic jail scenes of Giovanni Battista Piranesi, he is also, however, interested in the city as a celebration of the human spirit.

Luccio, a graduate of RMIT with an honours degree in printmaking, is represented in several major collections. He has shown work in more than 40 exhibitions in Australia and overseas and has been selected to exhibit in the prestigious Hutchins Award, The Fremantle Print Award and the Geelong Print Prize.

Mischa Merz
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