MADAMA CUCCHI, an installation by Enzo Cucchi for the Juvarrian Veranda of Palazzo Madama, Turin

Enzo Cucchi, Testa dura, 2015


Palazzo Madama offers a new occasion for dialogue between the ancient and the contemporary – a form experimented during previous editions of Artissima – with the opening of the exhibition Madama Cucchi. Artist Enzo Cucchi continues his research and confrontation with ancient art in three paintings and a sculpture in lime wood that will be displayed on the walls of diaphanous South Veranda of the museum.

Following the exhibition at Castello di Rivoli in 1993, Enzo Cucchi’s work resonates once again with a space created by the great Sicilian architect Filippo Juvarra. The ancient Room of Mirrors of Madama Reale, an outpost on the square and transculent wing at the top of the large stair case, is the ideal place for Cucchi, who always underscores the central civic role of the artist society. As Cucchi claims: “I think that from a spiritual, moral and ethical point of view, we have to be new buccaneers and create new sorts of outposts” with the staunch belief that, he continues “it is the artists who have to provide images of the world.”
Three paintings, each with specific essence . Rather than simple labels, the meaningful titles of each of the paintings reveals Cucchi’s connection to poetry.
Per ora… basta (For now… enough): a prayer, an invocation entrusted to the face and the strength of his hands clasped the pleurant;
Sì… siamo in Italia (Yes … we are in Italy): a two-faced Janus (or a Trinity descending from the ancient medieval frescoes) that observes the visitor and at the same time looks away leaving behind a vale of tears;
Testa dura (Hard head): Giotto style profile, pure volume as the diamond cold.
Like Piero della Francesca’s egg, the sculpture in lime wood, the preferred wood of the sculptors of the German Renaissance, is designed to be suspended in the middle of the room, symbolizing the continuity of man and art. In Drone Dario pointed spiers that crown the sculpture are quotes from a continuous flow of volume in a Gothic cathedral that gives way to the domes of a Renaissance building and tufts of a palm tree. And in this flow of the composition are placed only two human figures: a distortion where the bodies come out of the confines of their skin and blend in one essence.
Once again, the Veranda Juvarra, with its high windows and eigteenth-century ceiling, provides us with the opportunity to engage with Cucchi’s reflection on sculpture: “I can think of a sculpture like a shadow; I like the idea that a sculpture can make a shadow on an incredible place: the sea, something that instead of the usual classical sculptures can not reach; or something that I liked, in this sense is that this sculpture can even see the sky.”
For Enrica Pagella, director of Palazzo Madama, “Madama Cucchi, like any work of art in any time and space, takes us inside the removed sphere of the relationship between man and the world, enlightening and building it through paths which fluctuate between experience and memory, between hearing and taking action, where nothing is stable and definitive, ‘moments, miracles – says Cucchi  – once and in the place where the transformation takes place.’”

On the occasion of the exhibition Madama Cucchi a simple and yet sophisticated exhibition catalogue has been published by NERO, in which architecture, drawing and painting interact and challenge the intellect of the beholder.

Palazzo Madama – Piazza Castello, 10122 Torino
Opening – 4 November 2015 at 6pm

5 November 2015 – 1 February 2016