James Geccelli "Pictures"
Saturday, February 23, 2008, 5-8 p.m.
I am pleased to present for the first time pictures by James Geccelli in the cabinet room of the gallery.
After studying photography and art, Geccelli started developing a dialogue between built objects and drawing. Both working methods stimulated each other. For several years now, the line has become an object of his interest - his works operate with a reduced stock of colour lines on paper, wood and aluminium panels, as well as canvas. His interest in the colour line also gives rise to the question of the opposite of the pictorial object: The white ground began asserting itself more and more vis-à-vis the line. It became a foundation and functions as a memory of his attempts to repeatedly redefine the relation of picture and wall.
"The picture is built up in subsequent and merging layers. One line is placed, another one at another spot is painted over with white. From layer to layer, one line recedes into the surface, while another line remains on the white. The lines compete with the contours of the picture's body, leading from the edges into the picture. Over time, the lines gain intensity inside the white. The colour of the lines can indicate a previously undetermined level to the white. Gaps come into play, orders and markings begin to shift." (James Geccelli)
"Strictly speaking, there are no elements of painting in Geccelli's pictures. What could count as the most basic building block always proves to be undivided, changeable, instable. Geccelli's work begins before simplicity, since what is visible is not yet separated and hence not yet brought back together... The line no longer bears witness exclusively to perception, but also to bodily movement... The line is therefore not elementary, but instead a phenomenon of indifference that only afterwards branches into what is seen and what is drawn, into the visual and the corporeal. It is similarly the case with the ground. Therefore, it is much too simple to presume that the ground is a given and stable entity.
Without doubt, the painter first levels out and primes the picture medium, but he also paints over the colour lines again with white, to such an extent that their graphical and coloration effects are more or less strongly muted. For Geccelli, then, establishing a ground not only means preparing a surface for the drawing; it is equally important that the drawing can again sink into this ground. The foundation of painting is also its veil... and we also sense the risk of neutralisation associated with the use of this colour. It is precisely this risk that Geccelli seeks: For it alone also allows a new picture to be painted."(Ralph Ubl, University of Chicago)