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Indepth Arts News:

"Giacomo Picca: Trees for the Wood"
2003-01-29 until 2003-02-27
Gallery 32
London, , UK United Kingdom

The final exhibition in the Brazilian embassy’s year-long ARTBRAZIL+ series, Giacomo Picca’s ‘Trees for the Wood’, represents an intriguing and playful response to debates in contemporary painting, treading the ground between painting as a space of fiction and the materiality of its objecthood. Over the past 11 months, ARTBRAZIL+ has illuminated little-known aspects of Brazil’s diverse visual landscape. From the architectural torsos of Veronica Franca and epic work of Brazilian photo-journalist Sebastiao Salgado, to the interactive ‘Quasi-Cinemas’ of avant-garde leader Hélio Oiticica shown at the Whitechapel Gallery earlier this year, the series has captured the unique spirit of experimentation and dynamism at the heart of Brazilian art and provided a showcase for its most exciting artists.

In ‘Trees for the Wood’ Giacomo Picca uses the "tree" as a mediator of personal experiences and a shared sign operating in different cultural spaces. Working with the subject of wood as both the material of the work and the pictorial protagonist, Picca’s new work presents a series of landscapes which explore the cultures of wood, from the philosophical territories of Romanticism to more ‘home grown’ craft based activities, to the industrial processes of the timber yard. The power tool is in evidence as is the language of Modernist Abstraction but so are the sympathetic processes of woodcarving and the more explicit references to the genre of landscape painting.

The timber yard ‘origins’ of the work are treated again to the coexistence of contrasting methodologies and procedures informed by the highs and lows of cultural production, but with attention now given to cultivating more manifest notions of collective ideals. Importing the generic archetypes of landscape painting – tree, mountain, and horizon – with an index of painterly marks and formal strategies, the paintings continually operate on the margins of abstraction, design and decoration.

While these works speak candidly of their material histories, they do so in order to further disorientate our responses in determining their precise cultural and intentional locations. By occupying various positions Picca leaves us with paintings which accommodate multiple competing aspirations that inevitably conflict in their aspirations for ‘something.’ About what those ‘somethings could be’, his paintings leave us to dream.

Giacomo Picca lives and works in London. He was born in Brazil and trained as an Engineer in Sao Paulo before moving to London to study Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art & Design, Wimbledon School of Art and finally completing his MA at Goldsmiths College in 2000. Picca has exhibited widely throughout the UK and has recently presented a solo show in Madrid. ’Trees for the Wood’ is his first solo show in London.

Giacomo Picca
Trees for the Wood 1 - Solitary Tree, 2002

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