Siro Cugusi Chimeras

Siro Cugusi Chimeras

From 30 March to 3 June 2024

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Nivola Museum

Nivola Museum

Via Gonare, 2 (Museo Nivola), Orani

Open now from 10:30 to 19:30

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The Nivola Museum is pleased to present Siro Cugusi 's first solo exhibition (1980) in an Italian institution. Siro Cugusi's painting unfolds in works on canvas and paper that are striking for their refined technique and multiple suggestions. Suspended between figuration and abstraction, his artistic language reinterprets in a personal and intimate key the surrealist concept of the uncanny, the liminal and metaphysical space where nothing is as it seems.

Cugusi's painting cites and deconstructs themes and genres of classical painting, opening windows onto parallel worlds where sacred and profane symbols merge, every logical principle is subverted and apparently foreign objects are united by mysterious bonds. 

Curated by Luca Cheri and Camilla Mattola, the exhibition is a journey into the artist's most recent production, characterized by large canvases that revisit the traditional genres of landscape, still life, nude and portrait, unexpectedly combining recognizable iconographic elements , abstract shapes and gestural brushstrokes.

The natural landscape is a recurring theme, evoked by large fields of green that refer to trees and plants. If the formal simplification of the subjects and the stylized details in the landscape recall the masters of the early Renaissance, from Masaccio to Piero della Francesca, from a symbolic point of view the image of the garden as a secret and spiritual dimension recalls the triptych The Garden of Delights, created in starting from the end of the fifteenth century by the Flemish painter Hieronymus Bosch.

The perspective construction, which alternates the Renaissance systems of the central monofocal point of view and the bird's eye view with twentieth-century distortions typical of Metaphysics and Surrealism, is fundamental for unifying a series of incongruous elements on the canvas, sometimes difficult to distinguish. The depth, however, is often contradicted by flat decorative backgrounds, reiterated and superimposed on different levels.

In this irrational space, figurative fragments emerge in battle against a recurring impulse towards abstraction which translates into material and expressive brushstrokes. We glimpse anatomical parts, gears and pieces of machines, tools and objects that are familiar but difficult to identify. Pink backgrounds recall human flesh, with a reference to the gelatinous and grotesque bodies in Francis Bacon's paintings, but calmed by the rich and luminous palette. In some figures it does not seem possible to distinguish biological matter from mechanical matter, almost as if the two dimensions were confused.

The large format gives Cugusi's painting an experiential quality: the canvases create an environmental and immersive effect. The sensation is that of being catapulted into impossible scenarios halfway between the unconscious and reality. Through these landscapes dominated by illusions and imagination, the artist tries to build a parallel and utopian world, a personal aesthetic and poetic dimension, in a research which, inevitably destined to clash with the prose of reality, can only prove to be a chimera.

Siro Cugusi's solo show, accompanied by a catalog with the curators' critical texts, follows that of the surrealist painter Bona de Mandiargues, symbolically connecting two different generations of artists in the continuously transforming space of the Nivola Museum.

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Via Gonare, 2 (Museo Nivola), Orani, Italy

Apri la mappa

Opening hours

opens - closes last entry
monday 10:30 - 19:30
tuesday 10:30 - 19:30
wednesday Closed now
thursday 10:30 - 19:30
friday 10:30 - 19:30
saturday 10:30 - 19:30
sunday 10:30 - 19:30

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