Interview with Lucia Pescador, on show in Milan

Lucia Pescador. Geometries for Sonia Delaunay and Joseph Beuys. Exhibition view at Assabone, Milan 2021. Photo Melania Dalle Grave, DSL Studio

We met in this interview Lucia Pescador (Voghera, 1943) on the occasion of his exhibition Geometries for Sonia Delaunay and Joseph Beuys from Assab One in Milan, curated by Marta Sironi and created in collaboration with APalazzo Gallery. Between the love for the twentieth century, absurd and fantastic inventories and the passion for collecting, it was an opportunity to investigate his practice and poetics more closely.

Your solo exhibition is dedicated to two fundamental figures of the twentieth century, Sonia Terk Delaunay and Joseph Beuys. Why this dedication? And how did you “evoke” these two important presences?
I love many artistic figures of the twentieth century. When I thought of exhibiting the “Geometry” of mine Turn of the century inventory with the left hand – the first item on display was “Nature” in 2019 in the NonastanteMarras space, curated by Francesca Alfano Miglietti -, I was working on Sonia Delaunay’s polka dots, inspired by one of her small designs for fabrics. Then I was fascinated by the photo of one of her patchwork dresses from 1913, which I designed. By contrast, I approached it with stylized cyclamen. A shot of lightness. This dress led the first part of my twentieth century, the most colorful. I then remembered a photographic processing on film of Joseph Beuys’s felt dress from the Seventies made by me in 2010 – and this is the second part of my twentieth century – which carries with it the flow of life like a river.

How is the exhibition organized? Which works are present?
What I mentioned earlier is also the very articulation of the exhibition at Assab One with works ranging from the Nineties to the recent ones created “in time of virus”.

Lucia Pescador, Philatelic diary for Sonia Terk Delaunay, 2021. Photo Luca Del Pia

THE ART OF COLLECTING ACCORDING TO LUCIA PESCADOR

The studio is a very important place for you, so much so that I recreate it in a site specific intervention on display. It represents a field of experimentation to formulate different possibilities of setting up and rearranging your works, historical or more recent, creating new connections and readings.
Of course, I live in a studio-house, but after years of accumulation it has become a studio and a small house. I also invaded the bedroom. A life of work. And then books, objects, all layered. As is mine too Turn of the century inventory with the left hand. My mind also thinks in associations. As I speak, I am reminded of Morandi’s studio where there is a small bed. He slept there. Moving. I would like to set up small rooms calling them “dispersed ateliers”.

Where does the impulse to collect come from? And attention to the waste, to the fragment?
It is not easy to say. Stools, old toys, ceramics, books and, of course, old papers to draw on (I’m always used to working on papers already written with the buzz of the twentieth century): everything is used to create an installation, I use them as props invading walls and floors . A literary friend of mine, Marzio Porro, says that I feel the “piety used objects ”because they carry the soul of the people of the time. I believe that the waste and the fragment are part of our culture of modernity and the turn of the century. And for me, working on the cultural memory of the twentieth century is a vital fascination. I can only collect fragments – the same ones I find when I go to the theater and the cinema – of feelings. All things that help to live.

THE INVENTORY OF LUCIA PESCADOR

You said before that the works on display are part of Turn of the century inventory with the left hand, a research cycle that you have been carrying out since the early 1990s.
Yes, the works on display are all part of theInventory. I like to imagine myself in an old library, or in an archive, making an inventory of places, objects and places of feelings, translated into small drawings on old papers by a little girl from 1943 (when I was born the war wasn’t over yet). I call him Inventory because I work in series, all close together, of drawings, like a somewhat absurd or fanciful classification. In the seventies and eighties I called them Flight hypothesis, Hypothesis of the color of the sky, Geometries set on the clouds. Then Botanical relics, geological, of meteorites, animals up to Gardens of the simple.

Strong therefore is the fascination for cartography, for taxonomy, for orders. How, on the other hand, do you relate to chance, to randomness?
Chance is always there, but it develops when it meets the availability of the spirit. And if you are curious, there is no shortage of opportunities.

How do the titles relate to your works?
Titles can be as mundane as a Inventory – banality becomes ambiguous – or concrete, but unrelated to the subject, as in the case of the latest drawings on transparent paper which I called Cartilages or fragments of colored papers entitled Offal. Our body is always compromised.

Why the choice to work with and on the vases?
Before, I also drew very large ones, of 1.80 / 2 meters. Like columns. The vase became an architectural element. With a unique color. Let’s say that in the composition of the wall it is like a percussion stroke. Then I bought vases in the flea markets, which are my passion. I am part of the gatherer tribe. Later I drew the historical avant-gardes on the vases. I too wonder why this choice! I would say that they imposed themselves on them. When I grow up I will be a potter in Crete, the island of vases.

– Damiano Gullì

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