Venice during the Biennale 2019: Luigi Pericle

Probably I should start by saying that instead of writing about contemporary art, this time I would like to introduce you to the Swiss painter Luigi Pericle (1916-2001) and tell you the story of his amazing re-discovery.

Luigi Pericle was a great painter, in possession of a big brain and he had an A.K.A.: Giovannetti – illustrator and creator of Max the marmot. This successful creature was published in the Herald Tribune, Punche Nebelspalter and the Washington Post.

His paintings were signed with ‘Luigi Pericle’ to keep the two professions separated. This parallel career path was not in the least less successful. He exhibited at the London Arthur Tooth & Sons Gallery together with Appel, Francis, Jorn, Picasso. He exhibited with the masters of CoBrA, Jorn, Corneille, as well as with Tàpies, Dubuffet, Mathieu and Riopelle.

Luigi Pericle – Matri Dei d.d.d – 42x60cm – China ink on paper – 1964 —

Celebrated and well-connected as he was, he landed in the artistic community Monte Verità (Ascona) in the 1950s. The house called ‘Casa San Tomaso’ became his home and the home to his collection of works, documents and many books. Everything to feed his research. By character he liked to keep to himself. He was entirely dedicated to the contemplation of nature. And so he retreated himself from the world and stayed focused on his study until the end of his days.

This has played a role in us starting to forget about him and his presence in the list of main art characters of his time. Fortunately for us Luigi Pericle had neighbours with a passion for art, that have always been intrigued by the character Luigi Pericle and the mystery surrounding him and his work.

When the opportunity arose in 2016, the neighbours Andrea and Greta Biasca-Caroni bought Casa San Tomaso.

Greta to “removing the volumes from the shelves, in view of the restoration of the premises, we found a 1991 catalog entitled ‘Nafea’ by Hans-Joachim Müller where the paintings of Luigi Pericle were published alongside works by Picasso, Hodler, Van Gogh and Matisse. It was this discovery that gave life to our extraordinary adventure. After the initial dismay it was clear that something important had happened in the past of Pericle; he had a story to tell and our job was to reveal it. ”

This realization was the launch of their efforts to promote this artistic and intellectual human. They understand the importance of making the story of Luigi Pericle known to the public. To this end they founded the archive and this major exhibition dedicated to Luigi Pericle is the first of several initiatives planned.

Luigi Pericle – Matri Dei d.d.d – 42x30cm – mixed media on hardboard – 1978 —

The exhibition is yet to be opened, but GALLERGRY will be there at the opening. Some keywords on the style and what to expect: monumental, shapes that could lean towards architecture and calligraphy, dynamic movements, textures and compositions as firm as exclamation marks. ! ! !

Time to put him back on the list!

Querini Stampalia, in the CARLO SCARPA AREA.

11 May – 24 November 2019

Campo Santa Maria Formosa, Castello 5252, Venezia, Italia.

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