‘PENTIMENTO' – Images of Paris and Florence
Marco Luccio’s, Pentimento – Images of Paris and Florence, opens from 1 to 28 November 2006 at Steps Gallery in Lygon Street, Carlton.
Pentimento is an exhibition of drypoints, etchings, drawings and paintings inspired by the cities of Paris and Florence. Over 20 works will be exhibited. A printmaking press and showcases filled with sketchbooks, tools, photographs and small works from Marco’s journey to Paris and Florence in 2005 will be on display.
Marco’s third solo show in three years is also his biggest and most accomplished. The show is titled Pentimento, and explores the layers of the City amid the shadows and stories of its built and rebuilt environment. Pentimento means ‘regrets’ in Marco’s native Italian, but it also describes the layers of preparatory drawing and painting that exist beneath finished works of art.
The key to the creative intensity of Pentimento is the time Marco spent in Florence and Paris in late 2005. Those two cities provided the powerful inspiration for the works on show, which will reward Marco’s significant and growing national following with art that is original, technically accomplished and which ranges across an absorbing array of subject matter.
Pentimento’s scenes include soaring cityscapes of Paris and intimate scenes of Florence, as well as arresting details from those cities such as the view of Paris from the Arc de Triomphe, and a sensational study of an exquisite Etruscan statue of a horse that Marco first encountered in the Louvre Museum, Paris.
It seems like a departure for Marco, who has documented the built environment almost exclusively, but he explains that the horse as a symbol has become fused into his sense of the City.
“The horse as a symbol represents power and civilization and wealth, so to me their presence in a city speaks of politics and intrigue, and the ascent or destruction, of a place,” Marco says.
“The Etruscan statue that I used as a study for my own work was a tiny piece. It was elegant, as Etruscan art so often is, and it looked liked it was made for its lines to live on in new work. It’s one of my favourite works,” he says.
Marco says that he felt an immediate engagement with the panoramas of Paris, and finally settled on exploring the panorama viewed from the Arc de Triomphe.
He says, “I chose the Arc because I knew that its location included everything that would fire the automatic response that inspires all of my work. I find it hard to work from memory or from photos, so I really have to work live-on-site, and the site has to be a place where something monumental is happening,” he says.
“The monumental thing that Paris does is lay down layers and layers of itself as every moment passes, each moment never to be repeated, and it has places where you can see that happen. On top of the Arc I saw all of Paris laid out around me, in the grind of the traffic, the pressing crowds, and the wedges of city split by those radial boulevards, the architecture and, of course, the Eiffel tower, which for me is the perfect industrial icon.”
Before arriving in Paris, Marco and his wife, Debra, travelled to Florence, Italy, and stayed in the centre of the old town in sight of the Duomo of Florence, the Santa Maria del Fiore. This allowed him to pursue one of his favourite subjects – the architectural dome.
“The dome has become a recurring motif in my work – as an art student in Melbourne I repeatedly drew the dome of the State Library, which I love, but the Duomo’s dome is just about perfection, to me. It’s the form itself and the whole vaulting ambition of the designers, so when I see great domes I’m always compelled to draw them from life.
“At that time the Duomo was surrounded by scaffolding, which probably marred its appearance for the thousands of tourists who trail past it daily, but for me the sight was serendipitous,” Marco says.
“It just reinforced to me that this place, which lives and thrives on its Renaissance past, still lives now. Scaffolding is all about remaking the city, and it told a truth that was at odds with the romantic conception of the place. In a way, the scaffolding was indistinguishable from the profusion of air conditioning units, antennas and satellite dishes on the old town’s roofs.
Marco says that Pentimento allowed him to express ideas about the city that he says he has a thought about for some time. “I think that time speaks to us through the marks that we make on the city, and that our marks are never entirely rubbed out. Everything changes, even in glorious artifacts like Florence, and when change emerges from the layers of new lives building on top of the old, it’s beautiful.”
In 2007 Marco, and his wife Debra who is also an artist, will work with a master printer in Florence. They will then travel to New York for an eight week visit where Marco will make a new series of works.
Marco’s work is represented in many collections including the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. His work has also been shortlisted for several major awards and is in private collections throughout the world.
Pentimento – Images of Paris and Florence
1 – 28 November 2006
Opening Night: 1 November 7-9pm
To be opened by: Warwick Reeder
Artist Talk: Sunday 19 November 2pm
(Bookings essential 0400 004214 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
STEPS GALLERY 62 Lygon Street Carlton South 3053
(Beside Trades Hall, Melway 2B F11) Tue-Sun 11-6pm
Also Showing At:
Impressions on Paper Gallery, Canberra, July 2007
Colville Street Art Gallery, Hobart, November 2007
Further national & international exhibitions to be announced
To contact Marco:
Mobile: 0409 008357
Phone: 03 9434 5670
for further information including biography, articles, images