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Soul Game- Francesco Pessina

21.02.2008 - 22.03.2008

11 Church Street NW8 8EE London

Francesco Pessina
Paintings, drawings & sculptures

Private View
Wed 20.02.2008, 7 pm


Patrick Heide Contemporary Art is delighted to present “Soul Game�?, a selection of new paintings, drawings and sculptures by Italian artist Francesco Pessina. In “Soul Game�? Pessina expands the ideas behind his previously exhibited Totem sculpture into the field of painting and drawing and surprises with a new and playful interpretation.

Born in 1946 in Magenta (Milan), Francesco Pessina studied sculpture at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Milan and painting at the Ripetta Art Academy in Rome. In the 1970’s Pessina decided to move to the volcanic island of Filicudi, north of Sicily, where he still lives and works detached from the art world and modern city living. The insular life has transformed him into an artist searching for the roots of human existence and a person of outstanding sensibility for the essence of life.

The concept of a totem sculpture came to Pessina when analysing how an existence in a global society could be distilled down to its essential and timeless features. He found that in ancient societies totemic sculptures used to function as a moral codex for ethnic groups and other social aggregations.
But Pessina was hoping to create a contemporary symbol, one that would link men and women together by a common purpose yet leave their liberties untouched. The six forms of the Totem came to Pessina almost by accident. Then, through extensive anthropological research, five of the six forms became connected to the ancient cultures and current inhabitants of each of the five continents, the sixth to the inhabitants and cultures of the oceans.
On display during “Soul Game�? will be three Totem sculptures of quite different materials such as iron, pumice, wood and terra cotta, the highlight is a Totem of 180 cm height carved from imperial marble.

Pessina’s new paintings and drawings on view in the gallery, the “Bidimensionali�? (Bidimensionals) and “Disegni Volanti�? (Flying Drawings), burst with Mediterranean colors in naive, playful and almost childlike compositions. At the same time they imbue an archaic and spiritual aura.
All “Bidimensionali�? paintings are executed with pigment and beeswax on canvas. The familiar Totem forms are applied in relief in tin, lead, copper or sand. Individual Totem forms on single panels are simply called “Singulis Forma�?. Other “Bidimensionali�? series reveal more complex mythological and philosophical levels such as the “Gea�? paintings for example, which are linked to mother earth as the origin of all things emerging from the chaos. The title giving series “Gioco dell’anima�? suggest an image of life as a game of the soul.
Most surprising are probably Pessina’s “Disegni Volanti�?, sketches hung decentralized and seemingly flying in the wind. Their colorful airiness and life affirming presence are typical of Pessina’s new works.

“Soul Game�? amazes the viewer with a message that is simple and genuine yet lucid and deep. The visual language of the new works infuses the exhibition with extraordinary formal lightness.
“Soul Game�? gives the highly versatile form of Pessina’s Totem sculpture numerous new dimensions. It playfully places the artist’s ouevre between rationality and irrationality, between anthropology and art.


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...Overview 2008