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CUOROSENSA: A Reverse Archaeology

4 April, 2023 - 29 April, 2023

4 April – 29 April 2023

Tuesday – Friday: 12pm – 7pm
Saturdays: 12pm – 4pm
admission: Free

…These works leave us contemplating what will become of our own heartfelt acts, if only we take the time and energy to produce them…

Presenting another thought-provoking collection of mixed media works, Italian born artist Marco Luccio returns to fortyfivedownstairs from 4 – 29 April with his latest exhibition Cuorosensa: A Reverse Archaeology.

Over fifteen years ago, Luccio began collecting used postcards from New York City flea markets and curio shops when he was a resident at the top of the Chrysler building (notably, the only other artist to have had a studio in the iconic landmark is esteemed Life photographer, Margaret Bourke-White). Impressed by the card’s evocative nostalgia and intimacy, they were, according to Luccio, “beautiful artefacts, remnants of the past preserved in small and fragile time capsules”. That sentiment was reflected in Luccio’s wonderful collection of small-scale works, New York Postcards (2019). In Cuorosensa we see an evolution into something much larger in scale, both in size and substance.

In Cuorosensa, the artist’s bold, energetic and confident mark-making coheres into recognisable Luccio-esque themes — we see his Eiffel Tower, his Trojan Horse, his meditations on the myths and figures of classical antiquity — but closer inspection reveals a canvas of interlocking postcards with tantalising glimpses of the messages they once conveyed. When their contents are obscured completely by Luccio’s paint and ink, the postcards form something of an edifice, brick-like in their arrangement, transformed from something fragile to bedrock.

Archaeologists are known for digging down to gain insight into the daily lives of individuals who once constituted whole civilisations; in Cuorosensa this is reversed. Here the presumptive ephemera of material culture becomes the base upon which layers of bigger and vaster gestures are built. We see the expansive concept of civilisation layered over the intimate concept of community, and it is unexpectedly coherent. Perhaps these small acts of practical sentimentality are what is really hidden in the Trojan Horse. What really propels the march of history, of destruction and creation? Perhaps the idea of a blank canvas is its own myth, an attempt to obliterate the foundation of community in favour of the fiction of self-contained individuality.

Cuorosensa: A Reverse Archaeology delivers a cracking blow to concepts we like to contain within neat boundaries. Even the exhibition’s title plays with these themes: cuorosensa— a fanciful word fashioned to slide off the tongue and evoke its Latin roots of heart and feeling—combined with the conjuring up of a discipline; a regime of serious study, fired by applied curiosity.

As we move through a period of global upheaval, there has never been a better time to explore the themes presented in Luccio’s Cuorosensa: A Reverse Archaeology. These works leave us contemplating what will become of our own heartfelt acts, if only we take the time and energy to produce them.

A Reverse Archaeology

Opening Event
To be opened by David Hunt
Tuesday 4 April from 5pm – 7pm
FREE EVENT: RSVP essential to [email protected]

Artist Talk: The Making of Cuorosensa
Saturday 15 of April from 2pm – 3pm
FREE EVENT: RSVP essential to [email protected]

Art, Health and Happiness
A panel discussion hosted by David Hunt
Saturday 22nd of April from 2 – 3pm
FREE EVENT: RSVP essential to [email protected]

Drawing Sessions with the Artist
For the Love of Laneways: sketching in and around the laneways of Melbourne
Thursday 20 April from 11am – 1pm followed by a tour of the exhibition
$100 per person, email [email protected] or call 03 9662 9966 to book

Soaring Cityscapes: sketching the built environment
Thursday 27 April from 11am – 1pm followed by a tour of the exhibition
$100 per person, email [email protected] or call 03 9662 9966 to book

Sketching for Sanity: How Drawing Can Improve Your Life
Saturday 29 April from 10:30am – 12pm
1.5 hour blitz with Marco Luccio on how to draw for pleasure for non-drawers
FREE: RSVPs essential to [email protected]

Marco Luccio Bio

Award winning artist Marco Luccio has held upward of 50 solo exhibitions nationwide and internationally.

Luccio’s work is represented in 42 public and corporate collections, including the New York Public Library, the Museum of the City of New York, The New York Historical Society, The National Gallery of Australia, The National Gallery of Victoria, The State Library of Victoria and The City of Melbourne.

His work has been shortlisted for many major awards including the Dobell Drawing Prize and the Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing and he has undertaken artist residencies in New York, Paris, Italy and Australia.

In 2021 Luccio launched his book and exhibition, Tales from The Greek, which featured work inspired by the writing of award-winning author John Hughes. The exhibition travelled to Regional galleries throughout Australia. Previously he launched New York Postcards, 2019 and The Garden of Sorrows, 2013. Luccio’s work is also represented in many other publications including a feature and front cover of Maree Coote’s The Art of Being Melbourne, 2012, and Dr Colin Holden’s Piranesi’s Grandest Tour, 2014.

Luccio is currently running Sketching in the Gallery sessions at the National Gallery of Victoria and a feature documentary on Luccio’s artwork spanning 30 years is currently in production.


4 April, 2023
29 April, 2023
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fortyfivedownstairs gallery
45 Flinders Lane
Melbourne, Victoria 3000 Australia
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03 9662 9966
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03 9662 9966


Marco Luccio
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