New York Postcards: Return to Sender

Paul Calendrillo New York

Jun. 4, 2024 - Jun. 29, 2019

547 West 27th Street, Suite 600
New York, 10001
PHONE 908 875 0149

Paul Calendrillo New York proudly announces the first solo exhibition with our gallery of award-winning artist, Marco Luccio, at our Chelsea gallery from 4 – 29 June 2019 with his latest exhibition and book launch—NEW YORK POSTCARDS—featuring works in varying mediums including ink, acrylic, and drypoint, composed on original postcards collected in New York.

An exhibition over ten years in the making, Luccio began collecting used postcards from New York’s flea markets, antique and second-hand shops on his first trip to the city. In the artist’s words, he was drawn to their “beautiful, tactile and fragile beauty” and the stories they conveyed as “precious intimate artifacts and remnants of the past”. While Luccio confesses that working over the hand-written messages often felt like “vandalism”, the final result is ultimately both a preservation and elevation of ephemera into enduring art, creating a monumental mosaic representing aspects of civilization and art history through striking and memorable imagery.

A kind of reverse archaeology, the small, penned stories excavated by Luccio from New York’s dusty boxes are layered over with sketches, paintings and prints of which many created during the artist’s frequent drawing excursions to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Renditions, interpretations and juxtapositions of famous artworks by Picasso, Modigliani and classic Greco-Roman sculptors adorn the cards, often leaving tantalizing glimpses of the hand-written messages, stamps and postmarks underneath. While the style and use of serendipity is unmistakably Luccio’s, there is often a delicacy to this small-form work that is a delightful addition to the artist’s métier In place of the large-scale pieces that have characterized Luccio’s recent exhibitions, the audience is invited into the expansiveness of the daily drawing practice—the constant searching, exploring, playing and discovering—that underpins Luccio’s continued artistic evolution.

A highlight of NEW YORK POSTCARDS is that Luccio’s original sense of the postcards, as precious and intimate, has been preserved and expanded for the viewing audience. The multiple layers of story found on each work invite both close, detailed inspection and an invigoration of the imagination—they draw viewers in and entice us to take up the role of the ultimate story-weaver. What do these layers of meaning mean to us? What can they tell us of what is lost in our information technology-dominated, throwaway culture? Can we know what will ultimately become of our own small attempts at communication and connection? There are depths to be plumbed here, depths that complement and enrich the aesthetic beauty and impact that is a defining feature of Luccio’s work.

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