Francesco Pessina’s almost philosophical approach to art is exceptional – within the program of the gallery as well as the broader field of contemporary art. Best known for his sculptures made of elementary materials such as stone, wood and iron, Pessina’s oeuvre reveals something deeply natural, metaphysical and primordial.
Having moved to the Aeolian island of Filicudi north of Sicily, the archaic beauty and spiritual energy of this surrounding have in many ways influenced his entire art practice. Living on a volcanic island he chose to dedicate himself mainly to sculpture as a means of expression. And he intensified his quest into the fundamental thoughts about humanity and the roots of human existence through periods of intensive research in anthropology, astrology, ethnic studies and dream reading.
Pessina’s Totem series is exemplary for the artist’s vision. Composed of six sculptural elements representing the five continents and the sea, Australianus, Africanus, Europaeus, Asiaticus, Oceanicus and Americanus, the Totem unites to a diary of all human populations on earth.
Equilibrium in life as a human endeavour, at times fragile and at times indestructible, is the principal concern for the Italian artist and a quintessential meaning of the Totem.