(...cont: "The Splintered Landscape" by James Bohm)

Once condemned to its own trajectory of progress, painting has (hopefully) long since relinquished this fate. Direct and economical, Untitled ventures near but is by no means motivated entirely by Modernist principals of refinement, similarly Untitled as a 'tourist' harbors fantasies of doing the 'Grand Tour' of High Modernism and then 'slumming it' with more prosaic modes of production, even this dialectic quickly became the standardised subject requirement for any legitimate account of Painting, ultimately as Picca demonstrates, these accounts can continue to maintain a currency without becoming dogmas, resisting the endless pendulum swing of 'correct' critical manoeuvering. The work both navigates and avoids these terrains, presenting combinations of precise juxtapositions between surface, figure, colour fields and so on which seek to activate more complex spatial and narrative exchanges, irreducible to simple oppositional strategies or critical paradigms.

A preoccupation of the work is perhaps the culture of Wood. Picca occupies the methodologies and procedures of DIY, Woodcarving and Painting, Wood here is left alone, chopped, excavated, sawn, dressed up in varnish or left resplendent in all its splintered charms. The DIY enthusiast may be relegated to a Sunday activity, but he/she is charged with latent desires to effect a utopian social order. One that conforms to the rigorous model hypothesised by out of town furniture and home improvement stores. Of course this 'order' will always function on the exclusion of other parties, the codes of lifestyle exclusivity permeate all forms of cultural activity and the processes of assimilation will flatten out even the most stubborn of gestures. Painting amongst other modes of practice can at least make stubbornness some sort of virtue. Unconstrained by the 'tyranny' of finish which conditions the craftsmen or designer, the painter may explore the accidents and effects which oppose any immediate consumption of its own meaning. For Picca, he leaves us with surfaces that would induce insomnia for the DIY enthusiast, at times treating the materiality of wood as though it possessed the malleability of paint.


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