Francisco de Corcuera @ Rosenfeld Porcini

Rosenfeld Porcini presents the first UK solo show of Chilean artist Francisco de Corcuera. The exhibition titled ‘The Impossible Existence of a Mathematician’ comprises of some 24 new and older oil acrylic and pencil on canvas large sized paintings spanning the gallery’s two levels.

Aged 64, de Corcuera’s oeuvre reflects an amalgamation of experiences and interests deriving not only from his strong Catholic upbringing but also influenced from his personal in depth process of evaluating life and surveying the meaning of existence itself. His immense interest in mathematical theorems and algorithmic relations on a par with subtle philosophical formulae orchestrate a platform of curious loci fervently seducing the viewer into an oneiric journey and further exploration.

The works on display all follow the same structural pattern; a complex of grid lines commingled with geometric forms are dispersed over the large canvas area and infused with lakes of intense and skillfully used colour. The thickness variation, shape and direction of brush strokes create a rhythmic hypostasis wrapped with a unique energy in each work. At the same time, numerous objects and what seem to be strips and pieces of paper appear to emerge from the canvas surface. These almost three dimensional forms are de Corcuera’s homage to the eighteenth century trompe l’ oeil tradition, one of his favourite techniques employed in all of his works here.

De Corcuera’s abstract paintings occur to me as a sophisticated mapping practice with coded contours, secret guidelines and unknown symbols. The rough and uneven appearing surfaces are reminiscent of bird’s eye view landscape topography resembling labyrinthine and Daedalean structures of unfamiliar identity.

The complexity of his syntheses, or, what I would describe as a ‘constructed abstraction’, engages the density of the state of mind and even the esoteric balance/imbalance of the soul system. The clash of the mathematical and geometric systems with those dogmatic and unequivocal rules of religion that the artist came in close contact in his early life, generate intense dialogues of endogenic and exogenic nature. The development process of the artist’s maturity of thinking, entertain the concept of fine line between what may or may not be real and present, possible or impossible to exist.

De Corcuera’s 24 paintings are a diary of an almost cryptic philosophical exploration, departing with his very own life experiences and then shading light to the viewer’s own path of investigation, adaptable to personal registration processes and references from the time of childhood and up to the point of contact with his work.
Kostas Prapoglou

Francisco de Corcuera talked to REVma -/+ about his work and current exhibition:

REVma-/+: How did mathematics start influencing your art?
F.d.C.: Something about logistics of space. Maths remain logic yet geometry is not. I guess it was simply the best way for me to explain space and understand it. I start with a complex grid that gives me a foundation to work freely upon. This map like base comes to life with painted illusion: trompe l’oeil effects I create. I have always been fascinated with illusion- the magic in art and the transformative power of painting – since very early on.

REVma -/+: What is the relation of your strong Catholic background to the progress of your artistic oeuvre throughout the years?
F.d.C.: My paintings express in some way a concern about the existence of God; the artist trying to rationalize doubt. A way of being aware of my own limitations and trying to make the best out of them.

REVma -/+: You were born in Chile, live in Morocco and have exhibited in numerous other countries. Do you feel that your narrative has developed an inter-cultural character?
F.d.C.: The idea of “sobject” is very important to me. It is not a representation or a presentation but something more all-in-one… something akin to a “solid thought”. I guess in a way it made me realise the impossibility of living life going by a rigid structure, no mater what culture you belong to. Can life be lived abiding to rules and order or will life find inevitably a way of disrupting this balance. It’s funny because a lot of people have referred to my grids as maps. It must have some correlation to this inter-cultural character.

REVma -/+: Have you ever attempted to produce a piece of music based on the mathematical idiosyncrasy of your work?
F.d.C.: No, not really. I am a pianist. I play jazz, which is in a way contrary to my grids. No rules, no rationalities, purely abstracted and improvised. The artist does not try to rationalize: in jazz there are no doubts.