press release

Chisenhale Gallery is pleased to present Italian artist Alessandro Pessoli’s first solo exhibition in a UK public gallery.

Baracca’s Time comprises painted majolica sculptures and fifty drawings presented singly and in groups.

Francesco Baracca was an Italian fighter pilot and hero of the First World War. He is now viewed as a mythical figure in Italy – reflected by Ferrari adopting as their trademark the ostentatious black stallion he painted on his aircraft’s fuselage.

Pessoli is concerned with the mythical quality of Baracca – his sense of destiny as an archetypal hero – and the reality of his life, which ended in combat. Pessoli was also fascinated by his grandmother’s stories of how her long lost brother, who fought during the First World War, reappeared years after the conflict ended as a stranger with a thick beard and oversized shoes, saying nothing of what he had done during his absence.

The instinctive approach of Pessoli’s sculpture avoids the use of models, moulds or preparatory drawings to retain a sense of fluidity in his work. The sculptures and drawings in Baracca’s Time developed from the emotional bond Pessoli established with them as they moved through a process of change and improvisation. The ceramic figures, initially inspired by a catalogue of small lead soldiers, retain the memory of the toys but their military unit has been dissolved. Displayed on pedestals throughout the gallery, each figure displays its own unique character: forlorn, humorous or ghost-like.

Pessoli’s flow of vivid and arresting images places the heroic Baracca back into his own time of the Great War. Baracca’s Time is an exhibition imbued with melancholy, sentiment, the desire for beauty, and the search for happiness.

Pessoli was born in Cervia, Italy, in 1963 and lives and works in Milan. Recent solo exhibitions include: The Void Winners, Xavier Hufkens, Brussels (2004); Pollock Gallery, Southern Methodist University, Dallas (2004); Il Gaucho Biondo, Studio Guenzani, Milan (2003); Sandrinus, Anton Kern Gallery, New York (2002); Caligola and 15-18, greengrassi, London (2002).

Pressetext

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Alessandro Pessoli - Baracca´s Time