Francesco-Pessina - Africanus
Oceanicus- Francesco - Pessina

In the exhibition “Soul Game” at Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, Pessina expands the ideas behind his Totem sculpture into the field of painting and drawing and surprises with a new and playful interpretation. An obsessive repetition of a sculptural theme is raised to new levels: colorful, almost child-like and of unexpected versatility.

Considering Pessina’s complex reflections on society, “Soul Game” amazes the viewer with a message that is simple and genuine yet lucid and deep. Its visual language infuses his new works with extraordinary formal lightness. Pessina’s new paintings and drawings, the “Bidimensionali” (Bidimensionals) and “Disegni Volanti” (Flying Drawings), burst with Mediterranean colors in naive, playful and almost childlike compositions. At the same time they imbue an archaic and spiritual aura. 

All “Bidimensionali” paintings are executed with pigment and beeswax on canvas. The familiar Totem forms are applied in relief in tin, lead, copper or sand. The individual Totem forms on single panels are simply called “Singulis Forma”. Other “Bidimensionali” series reveal more complex mythological and philosophical levels. The “Gea” paintings for example are linked to mother earth as the origin of all things emerging from the chaos. The depiction of a single totem on one panel reminds us that ‘everything becomes one’. Pessina’s “Rebis” paintings on the contrary extract the ambivalent soul of the totem. They describe the equilibrium of all forces on earth such as the inseparable balance between light and shadow. The “Oceano” paintings refer to the Uranus myth representing the origin of all life on earth. Finally, the title giving series “Gioco dell’anima”, suggest an image of life as a game of the soul.

Most surprising are probably Pessina’s “Disegni Volanti”, sketches hung decentralized and seemingly flying in the wind. Their floating character hints at the fluidity of life as such and the impossibility to contravene against the rules of nature. Their colorful lightness and life affirming presence are typical of Pessina’s new works. In a way they reveal what is probably a picture similar to his soul.

“Soul Game” gives the already highly versatile form of Pessina’s Totem sculpture numerous new dimensions. It playfully places his works between rationality and irrationality, between anthropology and art.