This work is a continuation of Sciascia’s abiding interest in the materiality, the production and the metaphorical language of light. The representation of light has a long lineage in Western art history: in a break with the use of light as an analogy for divine grace in the Midde Ages, the archetypal Renaissance man, Leonardo da Vinci, is credited as being the first artist – and scientist – to analyze the optical properties of light and to depict its effects empirically. The dramatic dimensions of the technique known as chiaroscuro, which used the contrasts of light and shadow to create powerful psychological and atmospheric affects on the canvas, would flower in the work of Caravaggio, and, following him, during the Baroque era. Following that, the explorations of light’s effects took new modes of realism during the Enlightenment, and, later in the nineteenth century, in the tableaux of the Impressionists, which foregrounded the optical subjectivities of light.
Lux Lumina, for instance, is an oil painting based on a late eighteenth-century lithograph illustrating a meteorite exploding as it entered the earth’s atmosphere. In referencing historical imagery involving light, Sciascia evokes both the history of the representation of light in art – the corona of linear rays here recalls another famous example, that seen in Bernini’s sculpture of The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa – as well as an era, before the advent of recording technology, when scientific imaging was achieved through artistic rendering.
Filippo Sciascia (b. 1972, Italy) is an Italian artist based in Bali, Indonesia. He studied art at the Institute of Art, Nordio, Trieste and Fine Arts Academy, Florence, in Italy. His most recent exhibition with Yeo Workshop was GODSPEED in 2019.
He has had solo exhibitions in various venues in Italy, USA and Southeast Asia such as Sarang I, Yogyakarta, Indoneisa (2016); National Archaeological Museum of Naples, Italy (2013), Museum Castel Dell’ Ovo, Naples (2012); Langgeng Art Foundation, Yogyakarta (2011); 54th Exposition Venice Biennale (2011); National University of Singapore Museum (2010); Galleria Poggiali Firenze in Pietrasanta and Milan (2010); Valentine Willie Fine Art, Kuala Lumpur (2009).
Over many years, Sciascia has explored the pictorial tensions between painting and imaging technology of the new era, challenging the art of painting as a practice. Choosing photographic imagery to re-depict on canvas, Sciascia captures the transitional process from one medium to another in an amalgamation of pixels, lines and forms.
The emphasis on the process in his work rather than on the object demands a profound understanding of the character and history of each media. Sciascia demonstrates this knowledge through his consistent and loyal struggle with the challenges of representation and reality.
Oil and gesso on canvas
41cm (H) x 29cm (W) x 3.5cm (D)