Enzo Cucchi was born in Morro D’Alba (Ancona) in 1949.
Considered the most visionary artist among exponents of the neoespressionistic painting current “Transavanguardia”, in the 1980s Enzo Cucchi became internationally renowned. Cucchi sees painting as a means of bringing together a number of forms, concepts, and materials, using the invasive expression of gesture, through which the canvas becomes a receptacle of images and thoughts, the vehicles of a discourse frayed into a thousand suspensions. The presence of disparate symbols, of a classical or dreamlike matrix, torn from the present or memory, overlap and interrelate in the chromatic fabric from which they appear to emerge. The loss of spatial-temporal coordinates and the continuous incursion into a cultural territory and that of the emotions coincides with an unruly use of colours thickened and then streaked, violent and then sketchy and with a wide range of artistic materials and techniques, such as painting, drawing, engraving, mosaic, bronze and ceramics. Cucchi’s long term relation with ceramic – first used as an extra-pictorical material and then as a self-sufficient means of expression – comes from his trust in everlasting things, in memory. Ceramic – one of the most ancient materials – has always inspired the artist for its being a steady point, that has been through history, resisted many things and which he considers one of the most sincere disciplines.
Cucchi’s interest in the interaction between different arts and disciplines has led him to work in diverse fields (from the visual arts to architecture, design and fashion), and to grasp the importance and fertility of the encounter with other Italian masters. Intuitions such as these gave rise to emblematic collaborations, for instance, with architect Mario Botta, in 1994, for the developing the iconic system of the Santa Maria degli Angeli church, on the Tamaro Mount, in Lugano and, in 2001, with Ettore Sottsass in the conception of publishing projects (I Disuguali, a periodical issue of ceramic panels, 2001), in the production of four-handed works, and shared exhibitions, and in 2005-2007, in the creation of the four ceramic fountains for the architectural quadrilateral of the Chiostro della Pace (Peace Cloister) designed by Sottsass for the University Campus in Fisciano (Salerno). Enzo Cucchi has specifically conceived permanent artworks for different cities: the floor mosaic for the Museum of Art in Tel Aviv; the monumental ceramic panel for the Ala Mazzoniana of Termini Station in Rome; the ceramic works for the Stazione Salvator Rosa designed by Mendini in the Naples subway; the mosaic for the audience chamber of the new Palazzo di Giustizia in Pescara; the Votive Arch at the entrance of the Sanctuary of the Madonna della Grotta, donated by the artist to the city of Praia a Mare (Cosenza). His “Ideal Fountains”, commissioned by public Italian and international institutions, are placed worldwide: at the York University in Toronto (“Fontana d’Italia”), in the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebaek, Copenhagen, one in front of the Palazzo della Provincia (“Religione”) in Catanzaro and one in the old harbour in Ancona (“Fontana dei due soli”).
On the proposal of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, on May 2, 2012 the President Giorgio Napolitano honors Enzo Cucchi with the title of Commander of Merit of the Italian Republic. He has been a member of the National Academy of San Luca since 1999.
Enzo Cucchi has presented numerous solo exhibitions and taken part in collective shows in the most important Italian and foreign museums, such as MAXXI Rome; the Kunsthalle in Basel; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Tate Gallery, London; the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Castello di Rivoli, Rivoli (To); Palazzo Reale, Milan; the Sezon Museum of Art, Tokyo; the Academy of France in Rome–Villa Medici, Rome and the Musée d’Art Aoderne, Saint-Étienne Métropole. He has also participated in the most important contemporary art exhibitions internationally, including the Venice Art Biennial, Documenta in Kassel, and the Quadriennale d’Arte in Rome. In 2007 Museum Correr in Venice celebrated Enzo Cucchi’s work through a major monographic exhibition, opening in correspondance with the 52° Venice Art Biennial. His works are in the world’s major museum collections and the most prestigious private collections.