Leonardo Pellicanò exhbition: Repair is the dream

Past exhibition

Repair is the dream

24 June - 22 July 2023

Campoli Presti / Passages


Campoli Presti is pleased to announce its second iteration of Passages with “Repair is the dream”, a solo presentation of recent paintings by Leonardo Pellicanò.

Pellicanò’s paintings inhabit chimerical worlds that serve as metaphors for human experience and emotion. His enigmatic environments revive and reinterpret different imageries, from symbolism of the middle ages, pagan motifs and rituals, to oniric abstraction. Caught in misty backdrops and tangled in impossible ways, infants and hybrid creatures, imps and fauns populate many of his scenes. Instead of deliberately situating each visual and historical reference, Pellicanò’s appropriations seek to communicate something universal around the symbol as a catalyst for introspection.

The works appear indeed as the physical remnant of a psychic exploration, at the edge of losing grip with reality to slip into a world of hallucinations. The recurring figure of the child is drawn from Antonio Mancini’s portraits of scugnizzi, 19th Century Neapolitan street boys known for their cunning and lively character. Pellicanò is interested in the marginalized and its quixotic side, but also in the way these boys were confronted and forced to face reality at an early age. For the artist, they are a way of accessing early memories of apprehension, fear and discovery. Rather than fixating on the biographical, his characters interact with illusory and visionary phenomena, as well as half-human entities similar to satyrs, a creature of subversive nature known to mediate between the supernatural and the human.

The diffused, veiled coloring reveal the abstract dimension of Pellicanò’s paintings, where smoke and buildings, hands and flowers seem made out of the same substance. The unity between the figure and the surface is also physical. A light metallic coat infuse some of the paintings to make them evolve into a different organic state. Even when using the most feverish hues, like To Warmer Days (2023), Pellicanò manages to create an airy, delicate space in which shapes flow and communicate.

Leonardo Pellicanò (b. 1994 in Rome) lives and works in Paris. He holds a Bachelor's degree from the Nuova Academia di Belle Arti in Milan and a Master's degree from the École cantonale d'art de Lausanne. He has always been involved with his own generation of artists, organizing shows and performances in both institutional contexts and independent projects. In 2021, he took part in the group show Lemaniana, Reflets et autres scènes, at the Centre d'art contemporain de Genève.