(…) Then no figures, the perceptual terms are rejected thus, and marked by this rejection as not-figure and not-ground.
But in being canceled they are also preserved. And the logic of that preservation is made transparent by the graph.
The graph’s circumference holds all its terms in mutual opposition: figure versus ground; ground versus not-ground; not-ground versus not-figure; not-figure versus figure.
Its diagonal axes yield, however, to mirror relations, or rather to mirror restatements (the structuralists’ inverse-of-the opposite, their double negatives), with figure, in this case, being the “same” is not-ground.
Rosalind Krauss, The optical unconscious, 1993
“Fabrics, tripods, panels, containers, tiles, hangers and other objects that are used to cover, support, contain or divide and that cast off their simplicity to enter a new dimension and acquire a new aura.
What we find in these works is an idea of synthesis and transformation away from figurative painting through a process of layering and covering at the limit of the monochrome, questioning the possibility of fixed visual perception and challenging the role of the image as language.
In Rosalind Krauss’s The Optical Unconscious – a rereading of modernism in which the critic questions some of the idealist dogmas of traditional art history – one of the main themes is that of figure/ground in relation to issues that fuel debate on the concept of “representation”.
In De Prezzo’s work, figure and ground switch places, the one going past the other: the image is supplanted and positions itself on a different level.
It is the same for his installations, where multiple subject/objects physically enter a shadowy zone, modifying their utilitarian identity to become something else.”
Is the erasure of a pictorial image truly an ending, a negation of existence, or rather the anticipation of a new beginning? Imagine the canvas, once covered in colors and shapes, now erased, now empty. Isn’t emptiness perhaps a field of possibilities, an opportunity for transformation?
S.1 Erasure: loss of the image <——-> creation of a virgin field for a new image <——-> cancellation of erasure due to new painting <——-> creation of a new occlusive layer.
Erasure is not a destructive act, but a revealing one. It is not at all the death of the image, but its rebirth. It is rather the echo of the past image and the anticipation of the future image. But what about the lost image? Isn’t it an irreparable loss? The physical image may be lost, but the mental image, its impact, persists. This lost image, therefore, is not truly lost. It lives in the memory of the viewer, and it lives in the subsequent act of painting, as well as in the underlying physical layer.
Should we perhaps argue that the physical layer no longer exists because it is not visible? Yet it is there and serves as a base for the new painting.
S.4 Loss of the image: physical loss <——-> persistence of the mental image <——-> cancellation of loss through memory <——-> creation of a new imaginary.
And what if erasure really is an anticipation of a new image? A pause, a moment of reflection, a reset. It is a gesture that affirms the possibility and the promise of something new.
Thus, the image becomes a process, a series of acts, including erasure, which becomes an integral part of the creation of the image. We might dare to say that the act of representation reaches its highest expression precisely in the gesture of erasure, in the loss of the visible, or if you prefer in the recovery of the invisible.