Fosca & Roberto Cuoghi • Perla Pollina
The drawings of Roberto Cuoghi's sculptures installed in Centre d'Art Contemporain, Genève, were made by Fosca as commissioned by Roberto to illustrate one of the essays in his first monograph published by Hatje Cantz. Fosca's extraordinary micro-drawing reflect the material and formal complexity of Cuoghi's sculptures right down to the last detail. By virtue of their great power and beauty, we decided to display them to complete this major retrospective dedicated to the Italian artist.
The Centre d'Art Contemporain Genève is happy to present PERLA POLLINA the first mid-career retrospective of Italian artist Roberto Cuoghi from February 22 to April 28, 2017. PERLA POLLINA will comprise approximately 70 works, spanning 1996 to 2016 and covering the different aspects of his rich and intricate production. Through an array of unconventional techniques, Cuoghi’s paintings, drawings, sculptures and animations explore the notions of metamorphosis, hybridity and devotion.
Known for his legendary transformation into a 67 year old man for seven years when in his twenties, Roberto Cuoghi is one of today’s most mysterious and radical artists. Concepts of perpetual experimentation, rule breaking, continuous and processual learning are central to his work: From il Coccodeista (1997), a series of works born from the artist’s idea to spend days wearing glasses whose lenses had been replaced by Pechan prisms, inverting and reversing his vision, to his intensive two-year study of the Assyrian language and rituals, after which he made a giant reproduction of a small talismanic statue of the menacing demon-god Pazuzu (Pazuzu, 2008) and a hybrid sound installation combining music of western and non-western cultures; (Šuillakku— corral version, 2014). More recently, Cuoghi combined sophisticated 3D technology and unpredictable archaic firing techniques to create an invasion of ceramic crabs on the island of Hydra, Greece (Putifiero, 2016).
This retrospective is part of a wide curatorial project initiated by the Centre d'Art Contemporain, Genève, which will bring together, in addition to this retrospective, other exhibitions in Europe: At the Madre Museum, Naples, Italy (May 26 – September 18, 2017), Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, Germany (14 October – 17 December 2017).
The artist’s first comprehensive monograph will accompany the exhibition. This richly illustrated 500 pages catalogue, published by Hatje Cantz, will include new essays by Andrea Bellini, curator of the exhibition, as well as Andrea Cortellessa, Anthony Huberman, Charlotte Laubard and Yorgos Tzirtzilakis in addition to a compilation of previous interviews, specially commissioned drawings by FOSCA (also shown at the 4th floor of the Centre during the exhibition) and a complete chronology and bibliography by Sara De Chiara.
Director Centre d'Art Contemporain • Andrea Bellini
A very young artist named Fosca has chosen, for her latest personal exhibition “The Fantastic World of Fosca”, not only this venue, but also to create something inspired by the institution whose history has unfolded in these rooms.
For some years now, The Marciana Library has hosted contemporary art in its exhibition space, including works by the Italian artist Riccardo Licate, who died recently, and also by foreign artists such as Lore Bert, Liselotte Hohs and Huang Kehua, among the most recent. As a consequence of this, the majestic Sale della Libreria Sansoviana, embellished by paintings by the Great Masters of the Sixteenth Century, both on the walls and on the ceiling, have consequently often interacted with the imaginary world of the contemporary gaze.
A very young artist named Fosca has chosen, for her latest personal exhibition “The Fantastic World of Fosca”, not only this venue, but also to create something inspired by the institution whose history has unfolded in these rooms. Thirty or so engravings will be exhibited in the vitrines of the Salone, their black and white hues in perfect harmony with the antique Venetian floor. In these pieces the dreamlike imagination of the artist merges with the surrounding environment, revisiting some aspects of its history and reinterpreting these in an ironic and fantastic vein. In this way the story of the collapse of the Library’s ceiling, which happened during construction works, and which Sansovino was to pay for with time in prison – is told through one of the artist’s charming anthropomorphic animals: we see the architect handcuffed, crushed by the rubble he is leaning on in the Piazzetta. Leda and the Swan, the prestigious work of art from Cardianal Grimani’s collection, still present in the vestibule of the Library, is revisited with a disrespectful rabbit blithely caressing Leda’s curvaceous figure. The chains which anchored precious manuscripts to the bookcases in the original Salone, which was the Venetian State’s public library, are now attached to the foot of another character from the artist’s fantastic bestiary.
Floating from the ceiling above the public is a large installation, the Literary Globe, which dominates the centre of the Salone of the Sansovinian Library, with a sphere composed of fifteen thousand hand-cut letters of parchment and cracked glass beads. It is an imposing, airborne installation which seems to interact with Vincenzo Coronelli’s celestial and terrestrial globes to be found underneath this nebulous sphere of letters, thus establishing an ideal relation between the object and the spirit of the place. Amongst the fluttering letters we catch a glimpse of the Marciana lion, symbol of Saint Mark the Evangelist, historical symbol of Venice and the Serenissima Republic, which lives on not only in artworks and itinerant Venetian sculpture, but also in the emblems of many of its contemporary institutions, including, of course, the Marciana Library.
Marciana National Library Director • Maurizio Messina
Fosca’s Solo Exhibition at the Correr Museum overlooking the unique setting of Piazza San Marco and the lagoon of Venice.
An awe inspiring piece was hanging at the heart of the exhibit, in the centre of the Sala Sansoviniana, the monumental main hall: the ‘Literary Globe’, a gigantic sphere made of fifteen thousand hand-cut paper letters and golden glass droplets produced by Murano glass artists. As a literary echo of Vincenzo Coronelli’s ancient celestial and terrestrial globes located underneath, the nebula of letters will establish an ideal link between Fosca’s artwork and the spirit of the library.
Thirty-six drawings on paper, including zinc engravings was exhibited in the shadow of the Literary Globe. A golden thread connect them to the space for which they have been created, stimulating a dialogue between the surroundings and the population of imaginary animals belonging to Fosca’s universe.