cover image Cucchi


Rizzoli, Perucchi-Petri, Ursula Perucchi-Petri. Rizzoli International Publications, $60 (400pp) ISBN 978-0-8478-1203-5

Prominent Italian artist Enzo Cucci evokes a strange, apocalyptic world in his small drawings. In one, a quasi-human figure is caught in a whirlwind that razes everything to the ground; the vortex itself takes the form of a horrific face. In another, a teetering coach drawn by a gaunt horse carries two trees and a house; the coachman stretches to embrace a wheel suspended in mid-air, reminiscent of a sun disc. Perucchi-Petri, a Swiss curator, deciphers Cucchi's symbolic dramas mixing private and archetypal images as enigmatic messages of hope. The existential landscape is littered with angry seas, piled-up skulls, mysterious floating oval objects, while the artist himself, a bent figure with a radiant spine, reaches for blackbirds ``as if he wanted them to carry him to Heaven.'' Neither surrealist nor literal symbolist, Cucci gives his imagination free reign in the kingdom of chaos. (July)