New York

Enzo Cucchi

Blumhelman Gallery

In 1990, in a tour de force homage to the city of Rome, Enzo Cucchi produced nearly three dozen small paintings. Butted up next to each other to form a fast-moving stream of images, they are noteworthy for their whimsical method and general air of ironical fantasy. Certain motifs—skulls and black birds, for example—proliferate ominously (sometimes in collage form). Jinnilike figures perch on famous monuments, and grimacing ghosts and cosmic signs populate the otherwise deserted streets. Cucchi’s eternal Rome is home to a horde of spirits that appear impulsively like stray thoughts. Indeed, the works are perversely lyrical—a kind of capriccio, in which scale is thrown off by larger-than-life emblems, overloaded with archaic associations. Cucchi’s Rome, for all its grandeur, is an intimate, morbid, haunted place, having more to do with unconscious processes than historical reality.

Cucchi is

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