Artist: Francesco De Prezzo
Exhibition title: Subverting expectations without erasing their origins
Curated by: Domenico de Chirico
Venue: White Noise Gallery, Rome, Italy
Date: February 15 – March 21, 2020
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and White Noise Gallery, Rome
Cold and intimate, precise and hasty. This is how Francesco De Prezzo describes his research. His paintings will be on show at White Noise Gallery in Rome from February 15th until March 21st 2020, during an exhibition curated by Domenico De Chirico.
Born in 1194, currently lives and works in Brescia.
In his neutral coloured compositions made of ordinary objects –cloths, poles, chairs and drapes- De Prezzo obsessively looks for formal balance, then reproduced on canvas through long sessions of life painting.
The result of this meticulous work is then cancelled with rapid white or black strokes that wipe out almost completely the previous image: only a few fragments are left visible and the picture is renewed in an abstract form.
His artistic practice is a deep and meditative personal relationship with the object, where the absence of colour, seen as a disturbing element, focuses the attention on the form. The main focus is the essence and the structure of the formal element, the relationship between the different components, the time of execution, slow and continuous.
The viewer is asked to stop in front of each canvas in order to get every detail. The eye has to get used to the darkness of the blacks and to the blinding whites. The incredible maturity of the research of Francesco De Prezzo lays in the balance of his contradictions: between the pictorial act and its denial, image and monochrome.
Between painting that goes beyond time and multi-dimensional spaces, the artistic research of Francesco De Prezzo is continuously looking for a new balance, antagonizing the idea of status quo by concealing it.
His research swings between creation and deconstruction: rules and pedantic processes are wrapped up in the idea of cancellation. The annulment generates a new pictorial language that reflects on the idea of painting and its destruction. De Prezzo subverts the usual modus operandi, according to which, the colour coating works as image background.
Elegant compositions go through two different phases and, using the words of the artist: «[…] to paint means going through two separate moments, the first one is the “building of the image”, where, during a session of live painting, I accurately reproduce the space where I’m working, the second one, more instinctive, sees me covering up the previous work with a layer of enamel. This monochrome covers and cleans the original image, ideally giving autonomy to the surface of the canvas […]».
Renunciation to colour can be identified as “Chromophobia”. It is anticipated by the academic time of execution, slow, faithful and continuous. The result is rapidly cancelled by rapid and strong white or black strokes, spread with a paint roller that wipes out all those forms, situations and objects previously carefully described, saving only a few fragments.
This radical and almost incoherent act gives the work character; things become their painting gesture, the figurative blends with the metaphysical. And the canvas acquires a new depth.
For De Prezzo the pictorial work is a pretext to investigate the idea of perception and reproducibility of images in various declinations, visible only when there is a glimmer of light.