FRANCESCO DE PREZZO
lives and works between Milan and Brescia
-Subverting expectations without erasing their origins, curated by Domenico De Chirico, White noise gallery,[Rome] 2020
-Portraits of a room, Falsefront, [Portland] 2019
-Homeworks, SpazioTripla, [Bologna] 2019
-Represent, Palazzo Monti- residency program, curated by Marialuisa Pastò, [Brescia] 2018
-Null Paintings, Loom gallery [Milan] 2016
-There was here first, Fondazione Musil [Brescia] 2016
-Silence is so accurate, curated by Lien Craps, Geukens & De Vil, [Antwerp] 2020
-Ibrida 2, Castello di Perno, [Monfote d’ Alba] 2019
-Trauma, la Marignana, [Venice] 2019
-JNBY group, [Hangzhou] 2019
-Francesco De Prezzo, Pierre Etienne Morelle, Louise Reith, Loom Gallery, Miart 2017 [Milan] 2017
-Biennale, LOOM Gallery [Milan] 2017
-Project space Galleria Massimo Minini [Brescia] 2016
-Aequilibrium: Ariel Schlesinger, Francesco De Prezzo, Ignacio Ubriarte, Nicola Ballarini ,LOOM gallery [Milan] 2016
-Premio Michetti, Fondazione Michetti, [Francavilla al mare] 2016
-MELT, Mta, [London] 2016
-70° edizione Premio Lissone 2016, M.A.C. [Lissone-Milan] 2016
-Francesco De Prezzo, Raum 116” Kunstakademie Düsseldorf [Düsseldorf] 2015
-Spatial Perceptions, Latin Art Gallery [New York] 2015
“There was here first”, Fondazione Musil, text by Paolo Canevari, Marine Tanguy, Nicola Mafessoni.
“222 Artisti emergenti su cui investire” A Book by Exibart (ITA / ENG)
“Francesco De Prezzo” Fragile Magazine (ITA / ENG)
“Portraits of a Room”, Artist Book, FalseFront (USA)
“Pensieri Albini” Espoarte n 91 (ITA)
“ Scandale Project VOL 1” (ENG)
“There Was Here First” fondazione Musil, Brescia (ITA / ENG)
“Null Paintings”, Loom Gallery (ITA / ENG)
“Represent” Palazzo Monti (ITA / ENG)
“ Premio Michetti 2016, Fondazione Michetti” (ITA / ENG)
“70’ Premio Lissone 2016, MAC Lissone” (ITA / ENG)
> Lepsien Art Foundation, Berlin
> Pittman private collection, Washington DC
> JNBY group, Hangzhou
> Risvig collection, Silkeborg, Danmark
The work of Francesco De Prezzo spans different of media, from painting to installations and architectural interventions.
His practice across all these forms is connected by an interrogation of the formal language of space , at its most familiar in the theme of the monochrome, which is in the painting theory seen as a radical rejection of the principles of representation. His work, tests the possibility of visual perception discussing the role of the image as language.
Seeing the form
Sensing the space
Seizing the ecstasy
“(…)Nowadays, the gaze “becomes blind. It loses cognitive depth. It becomes omnivorous. It is too fast and distracted to become knowledge, emotion, or meaning”1. Nowadays, the suffocating increase of digital images overflows and blinds the collective consciousness. Therefore, Francesco De Prezzo chooses to take the opposite path. His production of images, creation of potential spaces, and re-founding of reality’s appearance occur through a process, which takes advantage of the images’ lack itself. Meanwhile, what is the space of the artwork? Is it that which endures and presents itself as a sort of metallic and skeletal structure? Is it that which is contained within it, without being revealed? Is it that which melts into the paintings themselves as they appear to the viewer? Or is it that which is hidden beyond the first colour’s coat and prevents the viewer from seeing beyond it?
We can see nothing except the nothingness, and this probably is the whole, in continuous comings and goings through places and dimensions, hanging in the balance between visible and invisible. Let us take a step back. Francesco De Prezzo has decided to entitle his last exhibition Represent. Representing is in fact the first action that the artist performs in chronological order. He starts from the reality as it stare in front of him and he duplicates it on the canvas as a reproduction of reality. Soon after, it happens a process of “rejection” of reality, which the artist expresses through a “dissolution”.
The long period of construction is thus deleted in a second step of cancellation. Perhaps, this is the most important phase of his creation. Francesco De Prezzo uses a solvent to interact with the painting.
He rejects the reflection of reality to instead give his own representation of the visible through an destroying action. This is the cornerstone of his research. It is continually involved to support the alchemical power hidden behind the transformation of an image and its re-foundation. In his artworks, Francesco De Prezzo creates an immersive and comfortable universe, even in its cold and aseptic mode. It makes us think about the meaning of looking. Nowadays, we spend much of our time looking at photos and posts on social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. This habit to scroll through visual moments and instants of reality leads to the danger of de-realization in all areas of our lives. We often look, but at the same time, we do not look at all.
Hyper-dynamic vision grants us the privilege of seduction, but it does not increase the material and real physicality or the unworldly and imaginative intuition. We are often unconscious and disconnected from the world. In some ways, De Prezzo’s attitude is linked to that same disembodied gaze, leading to an inability to see. Meanwhile, his focus on the “lack of image” activates the opposite reflection. We must then return to looking carefully at the world around us while, at the same time, imagining. His paintings are like a “fluid” body with his sculptures.
They invite us to look at where we live, to question ourselves about the reality of what we do and do not see. It welcomes the limit of perceptual faith and its duty to its dark side.
It is a process of sensorial activation, generating a phenomenon able to go beyond the simple artistic sphere. In this way, it enters a wider ecology’s sense of seeing and acting.
Francesco De Prezzo’s work projects us into a dimension of total dematerialization within which the digitized 21st century human being lives. It is a suspended world with an ephemeral
attitude and vulnerable meaning, where attention and awareness have lost their supremacy, leaving space for visual devices.
His work talks about dematerialization, suspension, uncertainty, and inconsistency, which we can trace in the social, political, and economic dynamics of our time.
“Recognition notoriously marks the transition from ignorance to knowledge. Recognising, therefore, is not the same as coming into contact for the first time, nor does it need words: recognition is almost always mute. And recognising does not in any way mean understanding, as understanding has no role in an act of recognition. The most important aspect of the term “re-cognition” therefore lies in the first syllable, which refers to something that comes before, a pre-existing awareness that makes the transition from ignorance to knowledge possible. Recognition occurs when an earlier awareness flashes before us, causing a sudden change in our understanding. And yet that flash cannot occur spontaneously; it cannot flare up without its lost other. The resulting knowledge is therefore different from the discovery of something new; rather, it derives from becoming aware of a yet unexpressed potential.“
(…) “In its most literal sense, the term representation acquires the meaning of re-presentation – that is, making something present again.
The title of the show “Represent” refers to both the act of representing and content of the representative action itself, the image that becomes object in order to be communicated.
Francesco De Prezzo’s works copy elements from reality, borrowed by the surrounding environment and portions of its studio.
His subjects pass onto the canvas, giving life to faithful reproductions. His works reflect on the spatial relation between the real and the reproduced, as well as between the observer and the observed.
After this first phase comes a covering action, through which the images resolve their authenticity in a process of self-negation. Thick layers of white polish or solvent applied on the finished forms wipe away most of their comprehension, preserving the integrity of just a few fragments.
The big uniform layers of color that overwrite the preexisting image transform the canvas into an open space full of possibilities, where nothing seems to undermine the circumstances of change.
De Prezzo rethinks the relation between space and dimension and raises questions on the dynamics of images fruition, giving them a new interpretation.
His gesture transforms the eloquence of the reproduced object into a link between concealment and manifestation. It runs from painting emphasis and quests for a natural conclusion in the absence of noise, which – in fact – hides by unveiling. And by doing this, it finally invites the observer into a silent complicity.”
(…) “Between painting that goes beyond time and multi-dimensional spaces, the artistic research of Francesco De Prezzo is continuously looking for a new balance, antagonizing the idea of status quo by concealing it.
His research swings between creation and deconstruction: rules and pedantic processes are wrapped up in the idea of cancellation. The annulment generates a new pictorial language that reflects on the idea of painting and its destruction. De Prezzo subverts the usual modus operandi, according to which, the colour coating works as image background.
The result is rapidly cancelled by rapid and strong white or black strokes, spread with a paint roller that wipes out all those forms, situations and objects previously carefully described, saving only a few fragments. This radical and almost incoherent act gives sense at the work; things become their painting gesture, the figurative blends with the metaphysical And the canvas acquires a new depth.
For De Prezzo the pictorial work is a pretext to investigate the idea of perception and reproducibility of images in various declinations, visible only when there is a glimmer of light.”
Domenico De Chirico