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Machunas A Performance Oratorio in Four Colors

Featured ExhibitionFolla Rizzuto Gallery - Palermo, Italy

Featured ExhibitionMoney Money Money Galleria Michela Rizzo - Venice, Italy

8 Aphorisms Lucio Pozzi, 21 October 2000

Latest Works A small selection of featured works

Featured ExhibitionRisonanze People and Things - Palazzo Ducale Mantua

Featured ExhibitionScatter Painting Studio La Città - Verona

More to Come... Stay Tuned for New Contents

Machunas a performance oratorio in four colors (1997-2003), 150’
Created in collaboration with Frank J. Oteri

Around 1995 I started looking for a composer who would construct with me my ultimate performance: a singing opera. After a long search I had come upon the theme of George Maciunas’ life during a lunch with the writer Anthony Haden Guest. George Maciunas, was an architect, artist, activist and founder of the Fluxus art movement, the last avant-garde utopia of the modern era.

I then spent a couple of years researching details, interviewing acquaintances like the artist Nam June Paik, Maciunas’ sister and others who knew him. The artist and scholar Jon Hendricks was especially helpful. I decided to misspell the protagonist’s name due to phonetic considerations and the desire to separate this story from any accurate description of his life.

Building the piece, it became clear that the story of MACHUNAS is an emblem of the end of twentieth century culture, in all its tragedy, irony, delusions, romance and immense vitality.

The structure was set to become a part of the puzzle of my art, which is often gauged around painting’s basic colors. The acts would not be numbered but identified by Yellow, Green, Red, Blue.

I needed someone who would like to write the libretto with me and create the score based on my outline of the story. I especially wanted the composer to also accept my input for mood, tone, melody, rhythm. 

The music was to avoid the formulas of XXth Century sound while also including their influence.  I needed a solid theoretical structure with no fear of touching upon sentimental echoes as well.

Luck had it that in Frank J. Oteri I found not only a musical mind but also a wordsmith. Oteri then structured the whole concept around a numerical set of symmetries into which the story was woven through a long and detailed collaboration. The music became a complex adventure reaching beyond my highest wishes.

Lucio Pozzi

The four parts, Yellow, Green, Red, Blue, are marked by specific moments of Maciunas’ life. The four acts of MACHUNAS are divided each into 9 episodes.

MACHUNAS begins in Yellow, narrating the days of a young child in the old Lithuania that’s about to be extinguished by the Nazis and Soviets and transitions into Green through the story of a teenager strangely out of place and time in an American-controlled refugee camp in Germany at the end of World War II. In Red, Machunas emerges as a revolutionary crusader protesting the Vietnam War, founding Fluxus, and igniting the downtown SoHo art community in New York City. Finally, in Blue, Machunas is a forgotten and rejected outcast dying prematurely of cancer in Boston.

Throughout the oratorio the protagonist, Machunas, is played by a man singing on one note. All other parts, male and female, are sung by women and are nameless. The score ranges from Lithuanian folkloric songs, Romantic music, twelve-tone compositional structures, a fluxus rock band of electric guitars, sax, synthesizer, shakuhachi, live radio and theremin, to period instruments from the Baroque era. Each act consists of different ensembles, with varying keyboard instruments serving as a continuo. Whereas each of the four acts features a completely different orchestration and stylistic orientation, they all share melodic and harmonic material.

Lucio Pozzi, author
Frank J. Oteri, composer
Premiere at the Center of Contemporary Art, Vilnius, Lithuania, 2005
Donatus Katkus, conductor
St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra of Lithuania.

Folla Recent Color Crowd paintings 2020-2021

“The crowding caught me in the starry sky as much as in the gravel of the garden, in the crowds of people in the square as well as in the conglomerates of granite or moss on the stones; I found it in the images of the Latin sarcophagi, in the battle scenes of the Renaissance, in the representations of the Brueghels or Ensor, in the all-over fullness of Gustav Klimt, Mark Tobey, Jackson Pollock, in the pages of certain comics.” (Lucio Pozzi, March 2021)

In this exhibition Lucio Pozzi presents the latest production of works belonging to the Color Crowd group, a series born in the 90s, but which, like all "families" of works, returns cyclically. “I never stop committing myself to the families of my works. Not only do I return to each one in turn but they also intertwine and contaminate without even me noticing. "

They are artworks consisting of large fields of oil paint, first painted with two quick glazes of very diluted acrylic paint thrown with large brushes on the canvas laid on the floor. Then hanging the canvas on the wall, Pozzi intervenes with the slower oil painting. The process is highly improvised; the unintentional acrylic stains offer the artist many ideas but in the same way he also finds unexpected images, like a swing between the conscious and the pre-conscious.

Throughout his artistic life, Lucio Pozzi preferred themes such as crowding or dispersion rather than stylistic definition, assuming that the painter's mental and physical handwriting cannot fail to reveal itself spontaneously, without him predetermining the conditions.

Filling images and shapes into a container has been one of Pozzi recurring motifs since ever. Sometimes it’s spots and dots, lines and patterns, other times it’s faces and bodies. Every time different thoughts and emotions are triggered. Pozzi started large Black on White Crowd paintings filled with images of all kinds in 1996 as a counterpart to the abstractions of the Rag Rug group. After a while it became natural to add other colors. The bigger paintings in this show are divided by one or two caesurae, a kind of seam at which the forms on either side don’t match.

The composition of the artworks varies from the most elaborate to the most compact. Images arise in the process of making. They are echoes of the swarming mind. As often happens, especially in painting, it is important for Pozzi not to know in advance what will happen and never be sure if a work is finished. He equally wants the viewer to create what s/he sees without worrying about the author's understanding. Each painting offers infinite possible interpretations.

There’s also a display of works on paper 1980-2017 tracing the kind of images that appear in the Crowd works.

Money Money Money Nanni Balestrini, Francesco Jodice, Andrea Mastrovito, Fabio Mauri, Antoni Muntadas, Cesare Pietroiusti, Lucio Pozzi, Aldo Runfola e Ryts Monet

Curated by Elena Forin

This collective exhibition is measured by the concept of 'value' and with its many declinations in terms of market, economy, imagination, power, time and money. In this perspective, Money Money Money was designed to provide a moment of reflection and a transversal analysis on one of the great critical and thematic junctions of this time.

Among the many possible interpretations, the exhibition highlights some groups of meaning around which it is possible to measure oneself - from the staging of economic and political power, to imaginaries linked to money, to the work of art and action artistic in its visual, conceptual and market presence.

The exhibition includes an exhibition path in which artists belonging to different generations and characterized by research, languages and even deeply distant interests, confront themselves with this broad and varied path.

The world of art in its link with the market is no exception and fully falls within this analysis as one of the universes to be explored and the mechanisms of which to return: Fabio Mauri in his Social Series proposes works whose price, from the first copy to lastly, it continues to duplicate itself until it composes an unimaginable figure.

Similarly, Lucio Pozzi with the Red Planets works on the one hand on the concepts of presence, emptiness and distance, and on the other on the constant and progressive increase in value of the individual tables. The mercantile aspect, or 'mercatile' as Pozzi says, creating a deliberately ambiguous neologism, shows itself in these two cycles and in the vision of these two great artists as a totally arbitrary process that has nothing to do with the specific presence of the works, that play on the fact of being 'more or less' similar or even the same - and therefore not such as to motivate, at least apparently, spikes or variations in terms of cost.

A warning, developed through visual art, to make us reflect on the dangers that creep into the superficiality, often naive, with which we face the issue of money every day.

8 Aphorisms

1) The Big Bang

I want to re-visualize visual art. I wish for words to remain parallel to but disengaged from the visual event. Recently the visual has become dependent on the verbal. A work of visual art today seems to need explanations to exist.

I have been wondering why this has come to be. The reason, I feel, is nostalgia for consensus about the purpose of art, a consensus that no longer is possible. Art was obvious in the societies of old. It was necessary. It was fulfilling tasks that were agreed upon by everyone.

When Modernity, with the advent of the Renaissance, exploded the hierarchies that supported art in the past, what was assumed to be certain became uncertain.

2) Surrogates

In response to the Big Bang, art people desperately scrambled to search for referential structures that could replace the lost foundations of the past. Art history became a cacophony of concurrent contradictory proposals.

Surrogate standards were proposed from left and right. Each was submitted as the single exclusive foundation for a new consensus in the arts. These surrogate standards came under the guise of verbal explanations, manifestos, captions, taking the place of that which before had been obvious.

The mistake was to assume that consensus is still a necessary condition for artistic discourse.

3) The New

The strongest surrogate standard of recent times was the concept of progress in the arts. Like an addictive poison it is the surrogate standard that many of us still rally to, again and again. We hang on to it as if it were a last raft before we drown and instead it makes us sink deeper and deeper into a bureaucratic quagmire. Bereft of arguments to validate our preferences many of us qualify or disqualify a work of art by determining whether it is new or not.

Concern for newness blinds us to the inherent characteristics of the single artwork. Several of the formulaic tenets that hamper an open creativity in the field of art derive from the prison of the new.

Concern for newness causes us to shift attention from our feelings to matters that belong in the field of packaging more than in the field of visual substance. The package becomes more important than what it contains. An artist is encouraged to think her or his art in terms of how it shall be promoted rather than of how emotions and intellect weave into its substance.

Concern for novelty reduces the time frame an artist works within to that of a short-lived commentary, consumed and tossed away in a hurry. It prevents a long view capable of engaging the deeper potentialities of existence, the mystery of life and death, the surprise and panic of discovery.

4) Value

I understood early that I wished to avoid reliance on surrogate gauges for art but I also found no reliable standards shared by the community at large. I found only infinite options.

It became clear to me that after the Big Bang it is impossible to assume that we may rely on any shared criteria of validation and evaluation in the arts. Value has become as uncertain as art itself.

5) Creative Misunderstanding

If there is no common purpose and no judgement is possible, there is no community of intent and no communication in the arts.

Then what is there? In the arts that are not applied to utilitarian purposes, instead of communication there is flexible and revisable exchange, instead of judgement there is opinion, instead of conclusion there is open dialogue.

Author and viewer are linked not by agreement but by creative misunderstanding. Neither party submits to the dictates of the other.

6) My Response

I understood that I must develop my own independent referential structure – one that absorbs the history before me, one that engages in dialogue with the present but also one that does not take for granted any of the assumptions that could choke me.

7) Situation Specificity

I found that I could rely on nothing else but the specific conditions, every time different, of the single events I create. The materials, the processes, the concepts I work with are not to be put at the service of goals that are outside their substance. Rather, they are the quarry from which I draw the ingredients I make things with. My main quarry is the language of painting.

No general rules apply. Everything I put together, I call it a situation, even a painting on canvas. This approach allows me to follow the silver thread of my imagination without prejudice.

Multiple symbolic connotations inevitably fall into every situation without my having to pre-select them intentionally.

8) Specialization

I cast a critical look upon Novelty, Originality, Consistency, Style. I consider these to have become, in many instances, in many people’s minds, mere packaging devices for short-term marketing – yet another surrogate standard.

I know that I, like anyone else, anyhow cannot avoid marking my endeavors with the imprint of my mental and physical calligraphy and that of my time and place. As people who follow my work have confirmed, my art possesses a precise and recognizable “style”, but my style neither depends on a formula nor on a brand strategy. I have tried, for my art, to delay the inevitable product recognition, even name recognition, which will eventually be brought about by its dissemination.

As much as possible, I want the single pieces of my art to speak for themselves. I loathe the cult of personality in art. I feel that when artists are praised for having “found their own”, that’s an insult to their probing mind.

For as long as possible, I would like a person entering a room to say: “How interesting that piece is, who made it?” rather than: “That is a typical work by Lucio Pozzi”.

Lucio Pozzi, 21 October 2000

Latest Works A small selection of featured works

We introduce this page by citing Marco Meneguzzo essay - "Lucio Pozzi has decided to experiment with and reconstitute the "catalogue of painting" according to his own, new criteria: everything that you can make with the minimum elements of painting, where for "minimum" there is also intended a certain kind of elementary figuration, appropriate interventions, the assimilation of the spirit of the times and, above all, the artist's physical possibilities and his tools".

In the sense above, these are some random selected latest artworks. You can still access Lucio Pozzi's categories of work by clicking the menu button (those three lines in the upper left of the screen) there you'll find the RagRug paintings, Hard Edge Baroque, Wide Oil Removals and other works that have been showed in the most renowed galleries around the world that somehow try to complete Pozzi's own vision of art and painting.


The Hope February 23, 2020Acrylic on Wood36,0 X 26,0 X 2,5 Cm


Cover February 18, 2020Acrylic on Wood36,0 X 26,0 X 2,5 Cm


The Bunch February 18, 2020Ink on Paper39.9 X 29,9 Cm


Accumulo February 16, 2020Ink on Paper29,9 X 39,9 Cm


Foglia October 10, 2019Acrylic on Paper154,5 X 102,5 Cm


Ksana (Nunc) August 22, 2019Acrylic on Paper154,5 X 102,5 Cm


Barchusen’s Dream November 12, 2019Oil on CanvasTondo 36 X 1 1/4 Inches


The King’s Blind Elephant And The Universal Child October 25, 2019Oil on CanvasTondo 36 X 1 1/4 Inches

Risonanze People And Things

This exhibition has been on show : 6 Settembre – 8 Dicembre, 2019
at Palazzo Ducale, Piazza Sordello Mantova, Italy

For current and past exhibitions please visit the main Menu -> Current Shows

"The wayfarer Lucio Pozzi took so many artistic paths and explored knowledge in so many diferent ways to become enviable now - and that has been the case for several years. He can do what he wants now: intertwine, overlap, stratify, contaminate iconological genres and painting or non-painting techniques, with no prearranged hierarchies, jumping over fences like an acrobat who freely challenges disciplinary standards and finds an unusual balance between opposite strains".

The Ducal Palace Museum complex in Mantua resumes its programme of exhibitions with “Risonanze / People and things”, an exhibition devoted to the artist Lucio Pozzi - American citizen born in Milan — made of four works arranged along the Corte Vecchia itinerary, in the Alcova rooms, in Galleria Nuova, in the rooms of the Archers (performance on 6* and 7* September 2019) and of the Mirrors.

Lucio Pozzi’s artistic research fathoms the areas of abstract and figurative art refusing to keep art within certain limits. His art is rather an explorative process, a way to make new discoveries where the artist himself is being challenged. As aesthetic expression of the unfathomable mistery of living, art cannot ideologically obey the rules of political activism or social criticism: it must serve as “crucial evidence of sensitivity”, beyond the manipulations of modern art. Pozzi’s work acts in this direction, refusing any orthodoxy, combining artistic production with his teaching activity for the new generations.

Lucio Pozzi is a New York artist who works in Hudson (NY) and Valeggio sul Mincio (VR) now. He was born in Milan (Italy) in 193.5. After living in Rome for a while, where he studied architecture, he moved to the United States in 1962 as a guest of the Harvard International Summer Seminar. He then settled in New York and obtained the American citizenship. In 1978 the Museum of Modern Art of New York displayed his videos during one of the first exhibitions devoted to individual art of the series Projects: Video. He writes from time to time and he worked as a teacher at the Cooper Union, within the Yale Graduate Sculpture Program, at Princeton University, at the Maryland Institute of Art, at the School of Visual Arts. At the moment he is a visiting professor at schools of art in the United States and in Europe. His works were presented at Documenta 6 (1977) and at the Venice Biennale (American Pavilion) in 1980. His works are included in several private and public collections. A Lucio Pozzi was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1983. He — earned the honorary degree at the Academy of Verona (Italy) in 2010. He was awarded: the Ciampi Prize L'altrarte in 2015. He obtained the Lissone career award in 2018.

“I want single works to speak for themselves in all their specificity. | hate the cult of personality in art. I believe that it is an insult to their researching mind when artists are congratulated for finding “their final style”. I prefer that a person enters a place and asks: “What an interesting work, who is the artist ?”, rather than saying: “That is a typical work of Lucio Pozzi."


Reading the News

Lucio Pozzi sits on a chair that has under it grapes, nuts and water. He reads out loud the news of the moment for 8 hours. For every man’s name he substitutes Gino Rossi/John Smith and for every woman’s Maria Conti/Mary Jones. In random turn he wears four caps: green, red, blue, yellow. There will be occasional music.


Kerotakis the Mediator Angel’s Wheel

In the Alcova room we find a work by the contemporary artist Lucio Pozzi consisting of a big painting called “Kerotakis - the Mediator Angel’s Wheel / la Ruota dell’Angelo Mediatore” (2014), belonging to the series “Scatter paintings”. Its tile refers to the mystic angel overseeing transformation processes, and at the same time it represents the fool that was used by alchemists for the sublimation of certain metal vapours. This work is the result of the assembling of different acrylic layers and backgrounds, following random thoughts and emotions, and keeping adding shapes that cover the previous ones. The artist himself doesn’t know when, whether and how his work will be completed, as it is a combination of endless echoes, imitations, contradictions.

60 Yards of people and things

This work is located inside Galleria Nuova, where some of the museum paintings of the 16" - 18* centuries are arranged, too. This work, made of 8 big paintings recalling antique works, is described by Lucio Pozzi as “a swarm of acrylic shapes black on white, painted four times in red, green, yellow and blue on eight loose canvasses hanging like banners over iron rods”. This painting belongs to the group called Crowd, a series of freely invented image templates, with no preliminary preparation. The images arise from a variety of emotions, memories and thoughts that are continuously changing, icons the artist doesn’t remember. Random, daily thoughts are included, too. The observer must be able to interpret such confusion and give it a meaning, according to personal perception.

House Overturned Casa Rovesciata

“Casa Rovesciata / House Overturned” (2019) is located in the majestic Hall of Mirrors. It is a cubic construction with a height of approximately four metres made of a pyramid of rods pointed downwards. This work is inspired to Sol Lewitt’s works, who displayed in New York in the same gallery as Pozzi'’s, and it is based on a concept that considers a possible simple geometric structure of wooden rods that has been conceived to occupy a space clearly but also to involve at different stages. This work has been possible thanks to the contribution of the company Roversi Arredamenti from Moglia and it combines the two opposite primary colours, red and blue: they intersect creating an “abode diagram” whose overturned roof can be inserted in hundred different ways, so as to symbolise the anxiety of modern life.


A final video documenting the exhibition :

Scatter Painting at Studio La Città

This exhibition has been on show : 21 settembre – 16 novembre 2019
Studio La Città, Lungoadige Galtarossa 21, Verona, Italy

For current and past exhibitions please visit the main Menu -> Current Shows

 -text curated by Marco Meneguzzo

When it came to choosing the title for this show and this brief essay, we could not decide between "Scatter Paintings" and "Scatter Painting". After a short discussion we unanimously decided on the latter. One ''s" more or less decidedly changes the meaning of everything, because one thing means speaking about painting, in other words pictures and works, while the Iatter expression, without the "s", speaks about painting itself, so much that the adjective - "scatter" — gives the subject more than one possible key to analysis.

The first and most important, from which derive all the others in turn, is that we are talking about thoughts about painting and, at the same time about an action on painting, in other words about a behavioural attitude by the artist even more than an art product, an object with a symbolic function, a work or a series of works. In the case of Lucio Pozzi the symbolic function is himself and his action and the works are the record of this. This is to say that, in the best tradition of Conceptualism, we are speaking above all of the artistic process and not of its result. however attractive it might be (and this is really so but it is another story that begins immediately where ours stops and without interruption, like a movie sequel of which, however, we must already know the basic elements in order to understand what we are seeing). This consideration places Pozzi within the sphere of Conceptual Art, in that vaguely heretical section of it which, in order to demonstrate the concept (still) makes use of painting and for this must continually defend itself from the accusation of being dangerously heterodox in the face of "statement purists".

In America it was called "Fundamental Painting" even though the name did not stick, while in Italy today it is known as "Pittura analitica", which has been more successful. However this definition is not enough with regard to history and to a very particular historical period, however close to us it may be, and so to become a part of it would be prehistoric, even though Pozzi was present in "the right years", the 1960s. Instead his art goes beyond this context because it is part of a grand and infinitely more ambitious plan to which this Italian-American artist has devoted his whole life, like a master of Zen who, in the proverbial moral stories that I like so much, asks the emperor for decades of time only then to resolve in a single magisterial gesture the work that had been commissioned from him. And in fact Pozzi's attitude is similar to that of a Zen master who knows that his life is devoted to a single thing though he is not so blunt: on the contrary, he really has an analytical mind, a deductive rather than inductive one, and his life — which coincides with his work — is there to demonstrate it. As a perfect Conceptual artist, he has decided to experiment with and reconstitute the "catalogue of painting" according to his own, new criteria: everything that you can make with the minimum elements of painting, where for "minimum" there is also intended a certain kind of elementary figuration, appropriate interventions, the assimilation of the spirit of the times and, above all, the artist's physical possibilities and his tools.

In this way this "Scatter Painting" has become a subclass of the great family of painting, just like all the other series of works that Pozzi has habituated us to over the decades (because by now we are dealing with decades ), and that have led to the misleading accusation of eclecticism .. In fact Pozzi is not eclectic: he is encyclopaedic and, as in an encyclopaedia, the only leitmotif is language - Italian, English, Swahili _ .. - and Pozzi too strictly follows that single rule: everything that can be said is said with language.

Of course we know — and above all the artist knows — that he will never manage to complete this highly personal "Library of Babel", but it does not matter: the die has been cast, the step has been completed, the Rubicon crossed, and then we will see. Certainly, whoever wants to take one of his paintings home, or one of the many drawings here on show, will choose the one considered to be "the most beautiful", or perhaps even the one best matched to the colour of the divan in the sitting room; but the owner is obliged to see it as a fragment of the whole, of that painterly cosmogony of which the object is painting itself, like a point on an infinite line consisting of an infinity of points, one to which the artist's life is devoted.

More to Come Stay Tuned for New Contents

We're busy adding new contents.. videos essays interviews never before released material etc.

Shows / Exhibitions

Past, Current And Upcoming Shows

"Recycling paint, painting and art. This implies waste, entropy, fermentation and re-birth." — Lucio Pozzi


Lucio Pozzi's Biography

"First comes a feeling then comes play. Just try always to attain absolute intensity." — Lucio Pozzi

Solo Exhibitions

Lucio Pozzi's One Person Shows

"While painting, my emotions fly rampant in every alignment, from despair to fun, to boredom, to high attention." — Lucio Pozzi

Group Exhibitions

Lucio Pozzi's Group and Collective Shows

"A metaphysical reality is approached by attending menial visual matters." — Lucio Pozzi


Lucio Pozzi's Performances and Action Shows

"I savor the colors of toys and stationery, Bauhaus and Ellsworth Kelly. In my painting, color is both color-coding and chromatic feeling." — Lucio Pozzi


Lucio Pozzi's Auction Benefits

"From the obvious fact that a painting, like any tangible object, has an up and a down, a right and a left, a front and a back, I have derived an habit of using dualism as a tool to make things by." —LucioPozzi

Exhibitions Curated By The Artist

Lucio Pozzi's personally curated exhibitions

"One thing I like to stress comes from the consideration that the force of gravity is often taken for granted in the hanging of pictures on a wall. The nail from which a frame hangs, for instance, is hidden from the viewer." — Lucio Pozzi

Selected Collections

Collections that include Lucio Pozzi's artworks

"I am constantly widening the field of my art as a way to find in every work I do a moment of intensity and surprise." — Lucio Pozzi


Lucio Pozzi's Pubblished Catalogs

"I feel like declaring my art has no meaning whatsoever, even though I am well aware that cannot be possibly true about anything one does." — Lucio Pozzi


Lucio Pozzi's bibliography

"The important thing for me is not to proceed from one phase to another of my art but to carry on in parallel all the ways of my doing so that each one is enriched by the other." — Lucio Pozzi


Lucio Pozzi's art included in the following collections

"I removed and repositioned walls and parts of wood or painted canvas and postcards and many other objects. Through this modest surgical operation I focus on contexts that otherwise risk being taken for granted." — Lucio Pozzi