Alessandro Pessoli

September 10 - October 17, 2009

July 30, New York—For his forth one-person show at Anton Kern Gallery, Italian artist Alessandro Pessoli has put together a body of work, seamlessly moving between drawing, painting, collage, and sculpture, that places man at its center. With his fragility and his uncertainties, the human being is presented in a fragmentary way, with many parts left undefined while others are closely examined.


Expressively painted, fluid and immediate, often using a raw, loosely sketched, mark-making technique, or stencils and spraypaint, comprising erasures and overlays, the artist draws inspiration from classical themes of Christian iconography. Pessoli transforms the two gallery rooms into metaphorical spaces. The main area is dominated by the richly painted, large static figure of a crucifixion (Gesù che brucia tra i limoni) in intense lemon-lysergic coloration, that is surrounded – in an act of destabilizing the conventions of traditional altar painting – by bands of small-scale narrative scenes (Red People Gold Sky). These images depict a heterogeneous humanity populated by restless characters, masked, unconscious and unaware like sleepwalkers, punctuated by fields of pure golden light. Doubts are articulated, common beliefs and values are questioned. Pessoli embarks on a research journey that is above all emotional, his figures express sentimental tension, always looking for emotional movement.


The more intimate back room is given over to one sculpture and a collage painting that combine mundane materials, part simply sewn pieces of fabric, or cardboard, or a folded sheet of metal, part studio detritus such as the cloth that Pessoli used to clean his brushes with while painting Christo Giallo. The most material evidence of the artistʼs work, the “relics” of his practice so to say, takes on a dual meaning of both the concrete and the marvelous. The material and immaterial sides of Pessoliʼs work strongly resonate off each other, they are the forces that animate the entire exhibition.


A set of 30 Pessoli drawings is currently on view at the Venice Biennale as part of the Making Worlds section curated by Daniel Birnbaum. Since the artistʼs seminal New York debut at the Drawing Center in 1997, Pessoliʼs work has been shown in numerous exhibitions, including a solo presentation of painted ceramic sculptures at Chisenhale Gallery in London (2005), as well as group shows at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin, Italy (2002), the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles (2003), and the Philadelphia Museum of Art (2004). In November 2009, the exhibition Italics: Italian Art between Tradition and Revolution, 1968- 2008 will open at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. The show was curated by Francesco Bonami and premiered at Palazzo Grassi in Venice in 2008.


The exhibition will open on Thursday, September 10 and run through Saturday, October 17, 2009. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am - 6 pm. For further information and images, please contact Christoph Gerozissis or Michael Clifton at (t) 212.367.9663, (f) 212.367.8135 or email: 

Installation Views