Davide Zucco at NURTUREart

Deep Time is the first solo exhibition by the Italian-born, Brooklyn-based artist Davide Zucco (Belluno, Italy, 1981), held at NURTUREart (Brooklyn, New York). The title refers to a time when “we find no vestige of a beginning, no prospect of an end” – to quote the Scottish geologist James Hutton (1726-1797), who first defined the concept of “deep time.”  Deep time, in the interpretation of Zucco, is an ancestral and enigmatic space in an unfathomable past in which forces capable of generating transitional and archetypal forms perpetually act, creating the symbols of an age that anticipates human presence.

Zucco holds, as a snapshot, one of those transitory moments, pulling it out of a thousand others. Such as it is, he is able to formally finalize it through a work that is densely narrative and wisely coded, almost bordering the paradox. The exhibition manages to balance an oxymoron in which the artist is able to make visually explicit, in a subtle and crystallized atmosphere, those agent forces operating in an incessantly mutating time hundreds of millions of years far away, “deep time,” in which the geological material evolves gradually but relentlessly.

Hence, the seemingly organic forms of the metal sculptures, or even the wooden one that, at a glance, resembles a sort of animal, have the ability to symbolically give shape to a life before life. At the same time, the metal surface of the paintings, with its engraved signs, discloses the presence of a cosmic force that generates a profound mark in a densely worked and corroded material, as in a sort of palimpsest.

A mark, thus, that excavates, little by little, the surface of the silver faced foam panel, revealing the density of an aggressive and intense force – in a rainbow of different dark shades, as the final aesthetic outcome; a mark also clearly crystallized in kaleidoscopic patterns inspired by the Arizona Petrified Forest; a mark condensed, finally, in a system that re-draws all the complexity of a structure that is expressed by abstraction.

There, where the cosmos was formed, comes back to us, and traces, shapes and symbols become the agents of a pre-ordered vocabulary, capable of releasing with strength and density the energy of a floating timeless atmosphere.



Davide Zucco: Deep Time is currently on view at NURTUREart in New York City, NY until July 11, 2015.

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