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Gianluca CAPOZZI/Gordon CHEUNG - Brownian Motion (2012)

curated by Francesca Referza

Tuesday 6 November 2012 Velan Center opens Brownian Motion, the third garage42 event, curated by Francesca Referza, with Gianluca Capozzi (Avellino, 1973) and Gordon Cheung (London, 1975). Garage42 presents two artists in whose work we find affinities and references underscored by their sharing a single space. After the two shows with Davide Bertocchi and T-yong Chung in 2010 and Loris Cecchini and Sabrina Torelli in 2011, with Brownian Motion for Artissima 19, garage42 is exploring the pictorial experimentation of the artists Gianluca Capozzi and Gordon Cheung. Capozzi trained at the Accademia in Florence and Cheung at the Royal College of Art in London. They share a similar immersion in pictorial work. Yet, while Capozzi, from Campania, Italy, brings his exploration within the bounds of the traditional pictorial medium, Cheung, who is English of Chinese origin, combines and mixes recognizable figurative tropes of art history, film and Western culture with media far from those of traditional painting, using the likes of acrylic gel and spray. Brownian Motion is the title of Gianluca Capozzi and Gordon Cheung's show. The term describes a concept in basic finance studies. It was coined in the early 20th century by the French mathematician, Louis Bachelier, mathematically formalizing the random motion of physics and applying the concept to financial markets. This phenomenon had been first identified in the 19th century by the Scottish botanist Robert Brown, when he was studying the movement of pollen in a liquid. While Brown had simply observed pollen particles in a random, disorderly motion, Bachelier used this physical phenomenon to demonstrate his theory about the efficiency of financial markets. According to Bachelier, the motion of traded stocks follows the Brownian Motion, which makes it virtually impossible to predict a stock's future movements.

Capozzi and Cheung's meeting place was the Internet, which both use often, if in different ways. Likewise, their personalities differ, with Capozzi being introverted and taciturn and Cheung being ebullient and extremely communicative. Brownian Motion, the random motion applied to finance, was chosen as the unifying curatorial theme for the two artists. It takes formal substance, verging on the literal, in the recent works by Gianluca Capozzi, who is showing five square-format paintings at Velan Center. After Gianluca Capozzi's constant, patient practice of pictorial painting, which he sees as a daily discipline, as well as a personal form of meditation, he came to informal painting. In Frame Store, a solo show in 2010 curated by Alberto Mugnaini, Capozzi's paintings maintained a hazy, yet still very recognizable, figuration, a development of the painting of photographic clarity with which the artist had marked his debut. The images, taken in this case from the virtual world of Second Life, went them from the virtual world to a possible reality through Capozzi's painting. In Multipath Fading from 2010, curated by Pier Luigi Tazzi, the exhibition design intentionally underscored the coexistence of figuration and informal painting. For the show, Tazzi underscored how part of the attraction of Capozzi's works comes from his plundering of images from the Internet, in a practice as random as it is systematic. For Capozzi, the Brownian motion has a primarily visual result in the show, whereas for Gordon Cheung, this random motion can be used as a metaphorical key to understanding a large portion of his works that are painted on the pages of Financial Times, an authoritative English finance and business newspaper Cheung uses the small columns of stock market numbers as the basis for a figuration that at first glance appears legible and then becomes visionary through his use of aggressive, strident color schemes. Unlike Capozzi, Cheung's painting is highly imbued with the pictorial tradition in terms of its subjects, while his technique (spray and acrylic colors) seems to come from the industrial world. Decisive Moment, which the artist chose for Brownian Motion, is a large triptych (280 x 501 cm) that effectively translates Cheung's sharply critical view of contemporary society, that can be glimpsed in the weave of many of his other works, like in the dense columns of numbers from the Financial Times. The central scene in the painting, explains Gordon Cheung, is the moment in Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001: a Space Odyssey, where the pre-dawn man consciously decides to kill another with a bone as a weapon in order to conquer the pool (of life). It is an iconic scene in the film where after killing, he throws the bone into the air and it cinematically is edited to a floating space ship. The suggestion being that the evolution of pre-dawn man to space age man is intertwined with violence and bloodshed. Here in the painting the scene is held as if the spirit of the heart of an imagined modern dystopia.

We would like to thank for their support: Region of Piedmont. We would like to thank the galleries Artra, Milano and 1/9 unosunove arte contemporanea, Rome. The exhibition will run from November 7th to December 14th, 2012 at the following times: Thursday to Saturday from 3:30 PM to 7:30 PM



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