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Luigi Anastasio is an Italian artist, born in Rome (Italy) in 1961. On completing his studies Anastasio traveled to India, inspired by two ideas: the first being attributed to a claim made by Marcel Duchamp during his last interview in which he stated that he had done “nothing” throughout his life. The second stems from Anastasio’s research into the life of ancient Buddhist monks in Korea, who lived their lives secluded in caves and other isolated places. As the monks approached their final moments they inscribed one, two or even three poems on the cave walls in order to summarize their entire existence and all that had been illuminated to them. While in India, Anastasio came to understand that the “nothing” Duchamp refers to represents emptiness while the poems of the monks represent the perfect minimalism.
In India, Anastasio felt he had truly found his “home”. He limited his artistic production in order to travel to the Himalayas where he met his root master, who allowed him the use of a cave in which to practice meditation. For nine years he traveled between Italy and India, always returning to the same Himalayan cave. Anastasio realized that his path as a painter would be quite different from that of his peers. His root master advised him on meditative practices to be performed before and after painting. He became aware that the processes of painting and meditation are complementary to one another. Anastasio developed an original technique where the stroke in his painting is revealed by subtracting rather than adding colors to the surface.
Everything/Nothing refers to the reflective quality of the mind, similar to that of a mirror. When the mind is observed in its natural state, it is revealed to be an unfilled space, peaceful and luminous. The reflection of all that is manifested and the empty quality of the mind are one and the same: form is emptiness, emptiness is form. This exhibition originates from Anastasio’s deep respect for Indian culture.
Prabhavati Meppayil Memory of hands
A finely prepared gesso panel is almost like an object. I draw on the panel with delicate copper wire, by heating, stretching and embedding on the panel; make marks by tapping with my father’s goldsmith tools. The incessant tool mark is the physical trace of sound. The entire process for me is not just about drawing, it is as much about making; making things.
Layering gesso on the wooden panel, polishing it, making marks and embedding wires on the panel; physical involvement is vital to my work so is the ‘time’ that the work contains. The process of working is repetitive, intense and at the same time liberating; it has no beginning or end.