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Piero Guccione

Piero Guccione

Eternal and Infinite

In a category all of his own, we find an artist who has been a beacon light for many of the contemporary painters in Sicily. Piero Guccione
is considered the father of the Gruppo di Scicli, being the first to gain national and international acclaim. By exhibiting together with the others, and with his intellectual nature, Guccione was largely responsible for stimulating the recognition of the Gruppo di Scicli as a whole. Born in 1935 in the town of Scicli itself, Guccione attended the Academy of Fine Arts of Catania. Upon graduation he moved
to Rome, where he met Renato Guttuso who by then was one of Italy’s leading painters. From 1966 to 1969, Guccione participated in the Biennale of Paris, while working as an assistant to Guttuso at the Academy of Fine Arts of Rome. Later he would continue his work at the Academy in his own right. The year 1966 meant a kick-start for Guccione, who also participated in the Venice Biennale for the first time. He would be reinvested to this biannual Mecca of contemporary art in 1978 and 1982, while he was granted a personal showroom in the Italian Pavilion for the 1988 edition of the Venice Biennale. Personal exhibitions in his honour were organised from the 1970s onwards in Italy as well as abroad; most notably at FIAC in Paris and in the Metropolitan Museum of New York with a retrospective of his graphic work in 1985. A first monograph appeared in 1989 as part of the series “Grandi Monografie”,

published by Fabbri Editori and written by the hands of Enzo Siciliano and Susan Sontag. A second monograph was published in 1997 by Edizioni Electa, and a third one was made for the prestigious anthological exhibition in 2008 curated by Vittorio Sgarbi for the Palazzo Reale of Milan and travelling under the curatorship of Maurizio Calvesi to the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna of Rome.

From monumental seascapes to small-scale pastel sketches of land, sea and sky, abstraction and figuration go hand in hand and seem to become
one. Drawing vigor from the undeniable detail, the viewer receives an account of reality so real that it is in danger of being passed off as surreal. Guccione navigates successfully on the thin line that divides reality and the dream, as the apparition of a ship at the horizon. A quote from Haruki Murakami’s book “Kafka on the Shore” comes to mind: “Beyond the edge of the world there’s a space where emptiness and substance neatly overlap, where past and future form a continuous, endless loop. And, hovering about, there are signs no one has ever read, chords no one has ever heard.” Guccione’s paintings suggest that he himself has been to the edge of the world; that he has read the signs and heard the chords, and that they all speak of Light. His light seems both eternal and infinite, and unveils to our eyes scenes of eternity and infinity as one: the sea.