The first UK exhibition by the veteran Swiss artist whose existentialist paintings bear
witness to the tragedy of the human condition
Rosenfeld Porcini is pleased to present Those Who Remain by the Swiss artist Cesare Lucchini. This will
be the first UK exhibition of Lucchini’s work and will include both works on paper and recent paintings,
displayed over both floors of the gallery.
Throughout his career, Cesare Lucchini has been concerned with the crucial issues of our time, the
inhumanity of man and the plight of the downtrodden. Those Who Remain is a series of statements
expressing these existential concerns. An oil-stranded bird, beak open wide, evokes the British
Petroleum disaster of 2010; a helicopter circles in Iraq; a man lies on the ground, watched by a lone wolf
or dog; the boats that run the desperate journey of hope and despair between Africa and Lampedusa.
Lucchini is deeply moved by the images of suffering he sees portrayed in the global media, and they
often provide the spark for a new painting.
“The starting point (for me) to make a painting normally begins from my reflections on one of the
dramatic events which take place daily in our contemporary world. Certain realities provoke in me a very
strong emotional response, even anger, and, as a consequence they become a reason to begin
painting.” Cesare Lucchini
The title of the exhibition is taken from the series of paintings and drawings of prisoners in Dachau,
made by the Istrian painter Zoran Music, who was interned in the concentration camp during the war,
and with whom Lucchini shared a gallery in Milan. For Lucchini, there is always the narrative beneath the
abstraction: the pain of those that are left behind.
Lucchini was part of the sea of change that took place in painting during the 1950s and 1960s. In his
early years as a painter, there are occasions when Lucchini’s works are purely abstract, where the
gesture, space and colour is everything. His development out of the great painterly abstract tradition of
the 1950s and the social awareness of the 1960s, and his ability to combine gestural freedom within
narrative, has led directly to the originality of his voice in our epoch.
Throughout, there is a tension between darkness and light. The richness of Lucchini’s palette and the
density of his brushstrokes provide a kind of visual forest or landscape out of which, little by little, the
figure can be made out; the subject partly emerging from, and partly submerged by abstraction. The
paintings are never documentary and do not set out to record the events. Lucchini's paintings are lyrical
and emotively-charged, with a desperate beauty that has the capacity to move far more than factual or
Born in 1942 in Bellinzona, Switzerland, Lucchini trained at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Milan,
where he spent the next two decades. In the late 1980s, he moved to Germany, attracted by the
vibrancy of the art scene and the historical engagement of artists like Georg Baselitz and Anselm Kiefer.
He now divides his time between studios in Cologne and Lugano, and works with galleries in
Germany and Switzerland. His solo exhibitions include the Mendrisio Palazzo Pollini, Ferrara; Pallazzo
dei Diamanti; Locarno Pinacoteca Casa Rusca; and Neuchtel Musee d’Art et d’Histoire. He has a further
exhibition planned for the Kunst Museum in Berne in 2013.
“Cesare Lucchini has made a decisive contribution to abstract-expressive painting since the 1960s. With
his powerfully energetic art, he has never abandoned the link to the themes of existential realism, as
treated by Alberto Giacometti and Francis Bacon. For him painting is never just a decorative or
conceptual end in itself”. Matthias Frehner, Director, Kunst Museum, Berne
Notes to Editors:
Cesare Lucchini was born in Bellinzona (Switzerland) in 1941. In 1965 he obtained his degree at the Brera
Academy of Fine Arts in Milan, the city where he worked until 1988 before moving to Lugano, where he
still lives and works, dividing his studio between there and Germany, initially Dusseldorf and now
Cologne. Lucchini works with galleries in Germany and Switzerland and has had many exhibitions in
museums, including solo shows at the Mendrisio Palazzo Pollini, Ferrara; Pallazzo dei Diamanti; Locarno
Pinacoteca Casa Rusca; Neuchtel Musee d’Art et d’Histoire. He has a further exhibition planned for the
Kunst Museum in Berne in 2013.
Rosenfeld Porcini Gallery
Founded in June 2011 by Ian Rosenfeld and Dario Porcini, directors of Italy’s Galleria Napoli Nobilissima,
the Rosenfeld Porcini Gallery occupies a prime location in the heart of the dynamic gallery district of
London’s Fitzrovia. With 3,000 square feet of gallery space, Rosenfeld Porcini has a strong international
outlook committed to showing contemporary artists from around the world with an innovative
exhibitions programme. Old Master and Modern shows will occasionally be presented, either
monographic or themed, within the context of the contemporary space, exploring a firm curatorial belief
in the continuity that underlies the story of art.